Foeniculum vulgare Mill: a review of its botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology, contemporary application, and toxicology

Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:842674. doi: 10.1155/2014/842674. Epub 2014 Aug 3.

Abstract

Foeniculum vulgare Mill commonly called fennel has been used in traditional medicine for a wide range of ailments related to digestive, endocrine, reproductive, and respiratory systems. Additionally, it is also used as a galactagogue agent for lactating mothers. The review aims to gather the fragmented information available in the literature regarding morphology, ethnomedicinal applications, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology of Foeniculum vulgare. It also compiles available scientific evidence for the ethnobotanical claims and to identify gaps required to be filled by future research. Findings based on their traditional uses and scientific evaluation indicates that Foeniculum vulgare remains to be the most widely used herbal plant. It has been used for more than forty types of disorders. Phytochemical studies have shown the presence of numerous valuable compounds, such as volatile compounds, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, fatty acids, and amino acids. Compiled data indicate their efficacy in several in vitro and in vivo pharmacological properties such as antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antinociceptive, antipyretic, antispasmodic, antithrombotic, apoptotic, cardiovascular, chemomodulatory, antitumor, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, and memory enhancing property. Foeniculum vulgare has emerged as a good source of traditional medicine and it provides a noteworthy basis in pharmaceutical biology for the development/formulation of new drugs and future clinical uses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Foeniculum / anatomy & histology
  • Foeniculum / chemistry*
  • Foeniculum / genetics
  • Foeniculum / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Traditional*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / chemistry
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*

Substances

  • Plant Preparations