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Foeniculum vulgare Mill: A Review of Its Botany, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, Contemporary Application, and Toxicology

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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.
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Review Article
Foeniculum vulgare Mill: A Review of Its Botany,
Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, Contemporary Application,
and Toxicology
Shamkant B. Badgujar, Vainav V. Patel, and Atmaram H. Bandivdekar
Department of Biochemistry, National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, ICMR, Jehangir Merwanji Street, Parel,
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400 012, India
Correspondence should be addressed to Shamkant B. Badgujar; shambadgujar@gmail.com
Received  February ; Revised  May ; Accepted  June ; Published  August 
Academic Editor: Ronald E. Baynes
Copyright ©  Shamkant B. Badgujar et al. is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution
License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly
cited.
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. e 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 scientic evidence
for the ethnobotanical claims and to identify gaps required to be lled by future research. Findings based on their traditional
uses and scientic 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, avonoids, phenolic compounds, fatty acids, and amino acids. Compiled data indicate their ecacy in
several in vitro and in vivo pharmacological properties such as antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inammatory, antimutagenic, antinoci-
ceptive, 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.
1. Introduction
Foeniculum vulgare is the oldest valid name within the genus
Foeniculum for the plant designated by Karsten as Foeniculum
Foeniculutn. However, according to the international rules
of nomenclature, the binomial name Foeniculum vulgare was
not validly published by Hill in his reference []forthereason
that he did not consistently adopt the binomial system of
nomenclature. In accordance with the international rules as
adopted at Cambridge, the name Foeniculum vulgare must
be accredited to Philip Miller, who rst validly published
it in the eighth edition of his “Gardeners Dictionary” in
.Fromthenon,thenameofthisplantiswrittenas
Foeniculum vulgare Mill. It is a medicinal plant belonging
totheUmbelliferae(Apiaceae)family,knownandusedby
humans since antiquity, due to its avor. It was cultivated in
almost every country []. It is universally known as Fennel
and is known by more than  names (Tabl e  ). It is a
traditional and popular herb with a long history of use as
a medicine. A series of studies showed that F. vu l gare eec-
tively controls numerous infectious disorders of bacterial,
fungal, viral, mycobacterium, and protozoal origin []. It
has antioxidant, antitumor, chemopreventive, cytoprotective,
hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, and oestrogenic activities
[]. Some of the publications stated that F. v u lgare has
a special kind of memory-enhancing eect and can reduce
stress []. Animal experiments and limited clinical trials
suggest that chronic use of F. v u l gare is not harmful. Fennel
maybe consumed daily, in the raw form as salads and snacks,
stewed, boiled, grilled, or baked in several dishes and even
used in the preparation of herbal teas or spirits. A diet
with desired quantity of fennel could bring potential health
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 842674, 32 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/842674
BioMed Research International
benets due to its valuable nutritional composition with
respecttopresenceofessentialfattyacids[]. In recent years,
increased interests in improvement of agricultural yield of
fennel due to its medicinal properties and essential oil content
has encouraged cultivation of the plant on large scale.
Research on F. vulg a r e with current technology has been
conductedallovertheworld.Alltheavailableliteratureon
F. vu l g are was compiled from electronic databases such as
Academic Journals (including high impact, nonimpact, and
nonindexed journals), Ethnobotany, Google Scholar, Scopus
link, PubMed, Science Direct, Web of Science, and library
search. A review of the literature from  to  shows
only % reports published on F. vu l g are which increased
to about % from  to . Briey, in these  years
a total of  claims appeared in the literature on various
aspects of F. v u lga r e . It is important to note that about
% of reports ( articles) were collected from recent three
years, that is,  to  (Figure ). Some of the earlier
published reviews of this plant included medicinal properties
and phytochemistry [], but few of them appear in all
these reviews. However, there is a need for an inclusive
review that bridges the gaps between traditional uses of
fennel and its in vitro studies. e present review attempts
to collate the available information on the botany, nation-
wise common vernacular names, cultivation (propagation),
nutritive value, and traditional/contemporary as well as allied
applications, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicity of
F. vu l g are. We hope that this review may provide scientic
basis that explains the ethnophytopharmacological role of
F. vu l g are in order to facilitate and guide future research.
In particular, we aimed to answer the following questions.
() What information is available on the traditional uses,
botany, phytochemistry, and toxicity of F. vul g are?()What
pharmacological studies were performed on this plant and
how do they validate its traditional uses? () What is the
future for F. vu l g are?
1.1. Taxonomy. Kingdom: Plantae, division:Tracheophyta,
subdivision:Spermatophytina,class:Magnoliopsida,order:
Apiales, family:Apiaceae,genus:Foeniculum,species:vulgare,
and botanical name:Foeniculum vulgare Mill.
1.2. Botanical Description. Fennel is an ancient seasonal herb.
e fennel plant originated in the southern Mediterranean
region and through naturalization and cultivation it grows
wild throughout the Northern, Eastern, and Western hemi-
spheres, specically in Asia, North America, and Europe.
It is cultivated in elds and also grows wild. e herb was
well-known to the ancient Egyptians, Romans, Indians, and
Chinese. e Romans grew it for its aromatic seeds and
the edible eshy shoots are still a very common vegetable
in southern Italy []. Emperor Charlemagne was known
to have encouraged its cultivation in Central Europe. It is
an indispensable ingredient in modern French and Italian
cooking. All parts of the plant are aromatic and can be used
in many ways.
F. vu l g are is an upright, branching perennial herb
(Figure (a)) with so, feathery, almost hair-like foliage
T : Vernacular names of Foeniculum vulgare.
Region/language/system of
medicine Local name
Alto, Bolivia Hinojo
Arabic Bisbas, razianaj
Aym ara, Kechua Inuju
Balikesir, Turkey Arapsaci, rezene, malatura,
hullebe
Basque Mieloi
Bengali (Indian language) Mauri, p¯
anmour¯
ı
Bosnia Komoraˇ
c
Brazil Endro, erva-doce, funcho
Catalan Fenoll, fonoll
Central Serbia Morac
Chinese Hui xiang, xiao hui xiang
Czech Fenykl
Dalmatia (southern Croatia),
Poland
Komoraˇ
c, koromaˇ
c, kumuraˇ
c,
moraˇ
c, moroˇ
c, moraˇ
ca, Koper
wloski
Danish Almindelig fennikel, fennikel
Denmark Almindelig
Dutch Ven k e l
English Bitter fennel, common fennel,
sweet fennel, wild fennel
France Fenouille
French Fenouil
Germany Fenchel, fenchle, bitterfenchel,
wilder fenchel, dunkler fenchel,
Guerrero, Mexico Hinojo
Gujarati (Indian language) Hariyal, variyali
Haryana, India Saunf
Hindi (Indian language) Badi, badishep, bari saunf, badi
saunf, saunp, saunf, sonp, sont
Italy
Finucchio, nucchiello,
nochietto, nocchiella,
fen`
ucciu, fenuc´
ettu-sarv`
egu
Jammu and Kashmir, India Saunf
Japanese Fenneru, uikyou, uikyou,
shouikya
Java, Indonesia Adas
Jordan Shomar
Kallawaya Jinuchchu
Kannada Badi sopu, badisepu, sabbasige,
dodda sopu, dodda jirige
Korea Sohoehyang
Laotian Phaksi
Latin Foeniculum, maratrum
Loja, Ecuador Hinojo
Majorcan area Fonoll
Middle Navarra Hinojo, cenojo
BioMed Research International
T : C o n t i n u e d .
Region/language/system of
medicine Local name
Marathi (Indian language) Badishep, bad
.¯
ı´
sep, shoap
Nepalese Madesi sauf
North Iran Badian
North Portugal Funcho
Norway Fenikkel
Norwegian Fennikel
Pakistan Sonef, saunf
Peninsula, Spain Hinojo
Persian Razianeh
Polish Fenkuł, koper włoski
Portuguese Funcho
Rajasthan, India Sanuf
Sanskrit (Indian language) Madhurika, shatapushpa
Slovenian Sladki komarˇ
cek
Somali Region, Ethiopia Kamon
South Europe Fennel
South Africa Vinkel, fennel
Spanish Hinojo, hinojo amargo, fenoll,
ollo, millua
Swedish F¨
ank˚
al
Tamil (Indian language) Perun siragum, shombu, sohikire
Telugu (Indian language) Peddajilakurra, sopu
ai Phak chi, phak chi duen ha, phak
chi lom, thian klaep, yira
Uttarakhand, India Badesoppu
growing upto .. ( m) tall. is plant looks similar to
dill. It is typically grown in vegetable and herb gardens
(Figure (f)) for its anise-avored foliage and seeds, both of
whicharecommonlyharvestedforuseincooking.Itiserect
andcylindrical,brightgreen,andsmoothastoseempolished,
with multiple branched leaves (Figure (c)) cut into the nest
of segments. e leaves grow upto  cm long; they are nely
dissected, with the ultimate segments liform (threadlike),
about . mm wide. e bright golden owers, produced
in large, at terminal umbels, with thirteen to twenty rays,
bloom in July and August (Figure (d)).
Foliage. Stem striate, leaves - pinnate, segments liform,
upto . in. ( cm) long; leaf bases sheathing. It has a green,
sleek, and slippery stem with upright sti branches and much
divided leaves in linear segments (Figure (b)). Rays are –
numberswith..inches(cm)long.Flowers
are small, yellow, and found in large at-topped umbels
(Figure (d)). Fruits are oblong to ovoid with .–. inches
(– mm) long and .–. mm broad (Figure (e)). e
stylopodium persists on the fruit. e fruits are elongated
and have strong ribs. e most esteemed fennel seeds vary
from three to ve lines in length and are elliptical, slightly
curved, and somewhat obtuse at the ends (Figure (a)).
0 50 100 150
4
25
30
59
27
33
31
91
Ethnobotany
Phytopharmacology
Tot a l
201113
200610
200105
F : Research papers in dierent aspects especially traditional
or ethnobotanical knowledge, phytochemistry, pharmacological,
and various biological activities of Foeniculum vulgare.(Papers
were collected via electronic databases such as Academic Journals,
Ethnobotany, Google Scholar, PubMed, and Science Direct.)
ey are greenish-yellow, the colour of hay, from which the
term fennel is derived. Wild fruits are short, dark coloured
andbluntattheirends,andhavealessagreeableavour
and odour than those of sweet fennel. Seeds ripen from
September to October. is plant can reproduce from crown
or root fragments but freely reproduces from seed.
1.3. Chemical Composition and Nutritional Value of Fennel.
Foeniculum vulgare is widely grown for its edible fruit or
seeds.esearesweetanddry;afullyripespecimenis
an exquisite fruit. e fruit is oen dried for later use and
this dried fruit called fennel is a major item of commerce.
Table  lists the nutrient composition of fennel (USDA data).
Fennelsareoneofthehighestplantsourcesofpotassium,
sodium, phosphorus, and calcium. According to USDA data
for the Mission variety, fennels are richest in dietary ber
andvitamins,relativetohumanneeds.eyhavesmaller
amounts of many other nutrients.
Table  summarizes the chemical composition and
the nutritional value [] of dierent parts of fennel,
namely, shoots, leaves, stems, and inorescence. Leaves
andstemsshowthehighestmoisturecontent(.and
. g/ g, resp.), while inorescence exhibits the lowest
content (.g/ g). Carbohydrates are the most abundant
macronutrients in all the parts and range from . to
. g/ g. Proteins, reducing sugars, and fats are the
less abundant macronutrients; proteins varied between
. g/ g in stems and . g/ g in inorescences. e
inorescences and stems revealed the highest fat content
(. g/ g) and reducing sugar content (. g/ g),
respectively, amongst all the parts of fennel. On the basis
oftheproximateanalysis,itcanbecalculatedthatafresh
portionofgofthesepartsyields,onaverage,Kcalof
BioMed Research International
(a) (b) (d)
(e)(c) (f)
F : Foeniculum vulgare Mill (a) in its natural habitat; (b) stem; (c) leaves; (d) inorescences and owers; (e) fruits; and (f) population
of F. vu l g a r e Mill.
(a) (b)
F : Normal fennel seeds (a) and sugar coated and uncoated fennel seeds (b) used in mukhwas.
energy. e highest values were obtained for inorescences,
while leaves and stems gave the lowest energy contribution.
About twenty-one fatty acids were identied and quanti-
edfromtheabovementionedpartsoffennel(Tab l e ). ese
are caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, undecanoic acid,
lauric acid, myristic acid, myristoleic acid, pentadecanoic
acid, palmitic acid, heptadecanoic acid, stearic acid, oleic
acid, linoleic acid, 𝛼-linolenic acid, arachidic acid, eicosanoic
acid, cis-,-eicosadienoic acid, cis-,,-eicosatrienoic
acid + heneicosanoic acid, behenic acid, tricosanoic acid,
and lignoceric acid. us, Barros and his coworker conclude
polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) to be the main group
of fatty acids present in all the fennel parts. On the other
hand Vardavas and his coworker reported monounsaturated
fatty acids (MUFA) as the main group of fatty acids in
fennel []. Nevertheless, unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) range
from % to % and predominate over saturated fatty acids
[]. e highest concentration of n- fatty acids was found
in fennel leaves, while the lowest concentration was found
in inorescences. e ratio of 𝜔to𝜔fattyacidshasan
important role in the human diet. e highest levels of n-
fatty acids found in leaves contributed to its lowest ratio of
𝜔to𝜔 fatty acids. e lowest levels of n- fatty acids found
in inorescences contributed to its highest ratio of 𝜔to𝜔
fatty acids.
Fennels have smaller amounts of many other nutrients.
On a weight basis, fennels contain more calcium (mg/
 g) as compared with apples (. mg/ g), bananas
(. mg/ g), dates (. mg/ g), grapes (. mg/
 g), orange (. mg/ g), prunes (. mg/ g), rais-
ins (. mg/ g), and strawberries (. mg/ g). Phe-
nolicsareanimportantconstituentoffruitqualitybecause
of their contribution to the taste, colour, and nutritional
properties of fruit. Amongst the phenolics analyzed in the
fruit of this plant are neochlorogenic acid (.%), chloro-
genic acid (.%), gallic acid (.%), chlorogenic acid
(.%), caeic acid (.%), p-coumaric acid (.%),
ferulic acid--o-glucoside (.%), quercetin--o-glucoside
BioMed Research International
T : Nutrients found in dried fennel (USDA, USA).
Composition Quantity (Per  g)
Proximates
Moisture . g
Energy  kcal
Protein . g
Total lipid (fat) . g
Carbohydrate . g
Total dietary ber . g
Sugars . g
Minerals
Calcium, Ca  mg
Iron, Fe . mg
Magnesium, Mg  mg
Phosphorus, P  mg
Potassium, K  mg
Sodium, Na  mg
Zinc, Z n . mg
Vitamins
Vitamin C  mg
iamin B- . mg
Riboavin B- . mg
Niacin B- . mg
Vitamin B- . mg
Folate  𝜇g
Vitamin A  𝜇g
Vitamin E . mg
Vitamin K . 𝜇g
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturated . g
Fatty acids, tota l monounsaturated . g
Fatty acids, tota l polyunsaturated . g
Essential amino acids
Leucine . g
Isoleucine . g
Phenylalanine . g
Tryptophane . g
Nonessential amino acid
Glycine . g
Proline . g
(.%), ferulic acid (.%), , dicaeoylquinic acid
(.%), hesperidin (.%), cinnamic acid (.%), ros-
marinic acid (.%), quercetin (.%), and apigenin
(.%) [].
us, as a typical, seasonal fresh fruit, fennels are an
important constituent of the regional diet of Europe and other
regions. Dierent varieties of fennel parts are widely used in
many of the cooking dishes all over world (Table  ). Shoots,
tender leaves, and stems are chewed and sucked due to their
exquisite aniseed avor. All these parts are also commonly
used as vegetables. ey are added raw to salads, stewed
with beans and chickpeas, used to stu sh for grilling,
and placed in soups and bread bouillons. Besides seasoning,
fennel is used to preserve food. Flowering stems, sugar, and
honey macerating in brandy produce a highly valorized spirit.
Herbal teas prepared with fresh tender or dried owering
stems are consumed chilled or hot, depending on the season.
F. vu l g are is famous for its essential oil. e characteristic
anise odour of F. vu l g are, which is due to its essential oil,
makes it an excellent avoring agent in baked goods, meat
and sh dishes, ice-cream, and alcoholic beverages. e
culinary uses of fennel are so diverse/widespread that it has
been exported from country to country for centuries [].
2. Traditional and Contemporary Uses
Foeniculum vulgare has been extensively used in traditional
medicine for a wide range of ailments. Fennel is used in
various traditional systems of medicine like in the Ayurveda,
Unani, Siddha, in the Indian, and Iranian traditional systems
of alternative and balancing medicine []. Its stem, fruit,
leaves, seeds, and whole plant itself are medicinally used
in dierent forms in the treatment of a variety of diseased
conditions. e preparation methods, uses, and application
of F. vu l g are are well documented in the common ethnob-
otanical literature []. Tab l e  lists the ethnomedicinal
uses of F. vu l g are for  dierent types of ailments in Bolivia,
Brazil, Ecuador, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Mexico,
Pakistan,Portugal,Serbia,SouthAfrica,Spain,Turkey,and
USA [,,]. It is used to treat simple ailments (e.g.,
cough/cold, cuts) to very complicated ailments (e.g., kidney
ailments, cancer). It also has a wide range of veterinary uses
([,]seeTable).F. v ul g are is used in many parts of the
worldforthetreatmentofanumberofdiseases,forexample,
abdominal pains, antiemetic, aperitif, arthritis, cancer, colic
in children, conjunctivitis, constipation, depurative, diarrhea,
dieresis, emmenagogue, fever, atulence, gastralgia, gastritis,
insomnia,irritablecolon,kidneyailments,laxative,leucor-
rhoea, liver pain, mouth ulcer, and stomachache (Tab l e ).
In addition to its medicinal uses, aerial parts, namely,
leaf, stem, and fruit/seed of F. vu l g are , are extensively used as
galactagogues not only for increasing the quantity and quality
of milk but also for improving the milk ow of breastfeeding
mothers [,,,]. From ancient times, fennel seeds
have been used as an ingredient for removing any foul smell
of the mouth []. e natural light green dye obtained from
leaves is used in cosmetics, for coloring of textiles/wooden
materials and as food colorant. Yellow and brown color dyes
are obtained by combining the owers and leaves of fennel
[].InPortugal,Italy,Spain,andIndia,thestem,fruit,
leaves, seeds, and whole plant are used as a vegetable [,,
,,]. Sugar coated and uncoated fennel seeds are used
in mukhwas (Mouth freshener) (Figure (b)). In many parts
of India and Pakistan, roasted fennel seeds are consumed as
mukhwas (Mouth freshener). Mukhwasisacolorfulaer-
meal mouth freshener or digestive aid. It can be made of
various seeds and nuts but oen found with fennel seeds,
anise seeds, coconut, and sesame seeds. ey are sweet in
avor and highly aromatic due to the presence of sugar and
the addition of various essential oils. e seeds can be savory,
coated in sugar, and brightly colored.
BioMed Research International
T : Nutrient content of dierent parts of Foeniculum vulgare.
Composition Contents
Leaves Inorescences Stems Shoots
Moisturea. ±. . ±. .±. . ±.
Asha. ±. .±. . ±. . ±.
Fata. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
Proteina. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
Carbohydratesa. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
Fructosea. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
Glucosea. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
Sucrosea.±. . ±. nd . ±.
Reducing sugarsa. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
𝜔 fatty acidb. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
𝜔 fatty acidb. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
𝜔/𝜔 . ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. .±. . ±.
C:ncb. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:ncb. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:nb. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:cbnd . ±. . ±. nd
C:cb. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:n + C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. .±.
C:b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
Tota l SFA b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
Tota l M U FA b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
Tota l P U FA b. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
Energyc. ±. . ±. . ±. . ±.
aNutrients composition (g/ g), b𝜔and𝜔 and fatty acid content(p ercent), and cenergetic value (Kcal/ g) of the dierentp arts offennel. nd: not detected.
Values are expressed as mean ±SD, 𝑛=3experiments in each group [].
3. Phytochemistry
PhytochemicalresearchcarriedoutonFoeniculum vulgare
has led to the isolation of fatty acids, phenolic components,
hydrocarbons, volatile components, and few other classes
of secondary metabolites from its dierent parts (Figure ).
Mostly these phytochemicals are found in essential oil
(Table ). Some of the phytoconstituents of F. v u lgare were
nd application as coloring and antiaging agents [,].
eyalsohavenoteworthybiologicalandpharmacological
activities (Tab l e  ).
3.1. Volatile Compounds. Tab l e  summarizes the volatile
compounds present in the essential oil of F. vu lgare .eanise
odor of F. v u lga r e is due to its essential oil content. It makes
an excellent avoring agent in various types of food and food
related products. e essential oil of fennel has been reported
to contain more than  volatile compounds []. e
accumulation of these volatile compounds inside the plant
is variable, appearing practically in any of its parts, namely,
roots, stem, shoots, owers, and fruits [,]. e molecular
structures of major volatile components of F. v u lgare seed
essential oil have been illustrated in Figure .
BioMed Research International
T : Us es of Foeniculum vulgare as a food ingredient as reported in the literature.
Sr. number Region/Nation Local name Part used and edible application. References
Campania, Italy
Finucchio,
nucchiello,
nochietto
Stem is used as an aromatizer for pickled olives. []
Campania, Italy Finocchiella,
fen`
ucciu Seed is employed in preparation of salted meats. []
Spain Hinojo, Fenoll Tender leaves and stems, raw as a snack, are used in
salads or stewed. []
Spain Fiallo, millau
Aerial part or seeds used for seasoning olives, as
preservative for dry gs, and for preparing herbal tea or
liqueur.
[]
Tr´
as-os-Montes
(Northeast
Portuguese)
Fialho, onho,
erva-doce
Shoots, tender leaves, and stems used in snacks, salads,
soups, stews, and spices.
Flowering stems used in beverages, spirits, and spices.
Stems used as brochettes and herbal teas.
Seedsusedasspices,avourforcakes,biscuits,and
sweets, and chestnuts.
[]
Arr´
abida and
Ac¸or (Center
Portuguese)
Funcho, erva-doce Seedsusedasavourforcakesandpastriesandfor
cooking chestnuts. []
Alentejo and
Algarve (South
Portuguese)
Funcho, alho,
funcho-doce,
funcho-amargo
Shoots, tender leaves, and stems are fried with eggs,
used in omelettes, used in sh stu, stewed with
dierent kinds of beans and chickpeas, and used in sh
and bread bouillons, soups, and sauces.
Tender leafy stems are used in grilled sh and sh
dishes in general.
Seeds are used as spices, avour for cakes, bread, and
biscuits, and chestnuts.
Whole plant used in olives brines, gs preserves, and
for aromatizing brandy.
[]
Jammu and
Kashmir, India Saunf e fruits with other ingredients are given to the animal
if it stops taking food during diarrhea. []
Liguria, Italy Fenuc´
ettu-sarv`
egu Aerial parts of plant mixed with shoots of Clematis and
Rubus used as food integrator for sheep. []
Guill´
en and Manzanos []investigatedtheyieldand
composition of the volatile components found in the pentane
extracts of leaves, stems, and seeds of F. vu lgar e .ey
identied a total of  volatile compounds from pentane
extracts of above mentioned parts of fennel by using gas
chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-mass spec-
trometry (GC-MS) techniques. In the supercritical CO2(SC-
CO2) seed extracts of fennel, a total of  compounds
were identied with major compounds being trans-anethole
(.–.%), fenchone (.–.%), and methylchavicol
(.–.%) whereas only  compounds were detected from
hydrodistilled oil of fennel []. Fang et al. [] characterizes
 volatile components in the essential oil of F. vu lg a r e with
the help of three advanced techniques, namely, headspace sol-
vent microextraction followed by gas chromatography-mass
spectrometry (HSME-GC-MS), solid phase microextraction-
(SPME-) GC-MS, and steam distillation- (SD-) GC-MS
methods. In  Tognolini et al.investigatedthe chemical
composition of essential oil of fennel. GC/MS study revealed
a total of  compounds present in it with anethole being
themostabundant[]. A comparative prole of occurrence
of monoterpene hydrocarbons, oxygenated monoterpenes,
and phenylpropanoids with respect to various maturity stages
(immature, premature, mature, and fully mature) of the
fruit of F. vu lgare was reported by Telci et al. []. ey
concluded that the content of essential oil decreases with
increasing maturity. A total of  components of the essential
oil were identied, accounting for .% of the total oil. e
principal compound in the essential oil was trans-anethole
(.%) followed by estragole (.%), d-limonene (.%),
and fenchone, that is, .% []. Overall,  compounds
representing .–.% of the essential oil were identied
by GC and GC/MS in the two cultivars of fennel, namely,
Aurelio and Sparta cocultivars. e major constituent of
the essential oils is trans-anethole (.–.%). In addition,
the fennel essential oils also contains minor amounts of
various constituents as limonene (.–.%), neophytadiene
(–.%), (E)-phytol (.–.%), exo-fenchyl acetate (.–
.%), estragole (.–.%), and fenchone, that is, .–.%
[]. In addition, Zoubiri et al. []summarizedthecompar-
ativeproleofvolatilecompoundsfoundindierentvarieties
of fennel from dierent countries such as Estonia, Norway,
Austria, Moldova, and Turkey. e chemical composition of
the Algerian F. vu l g are seed oil was dierent as compared with
BioMed Research International
T : Traditional and contemporary applications of Foeniculum vulgare.
Sr. number Ailment/use Part/preparation used Locality References
Mouth ulcer Tender leaves, chewed and stuck on ulcer Basilicata, Italy []
Aperitif Tender parts-raw or boiled Rome, Italy []
Gum disorder Fruit and seed, used as a mouth wash for gum
disorder Central Serbia []
Insomnia Infusion of tea leaf Brazil []
Constipation Seeds, decoction South Europe []
Seeds mixed with sugar Jammu and
Kashmir, India []
Cancer Leaf and ower, aqueous infusion, drink Loja, Ecuador []
Conjunctivitis Leaf and ower, aqueous infusion, drink Loja, Ecuador []
Gastritis Leaf, ower, aqueous infusion, drink Loja, Ecuador []
Diuresis Root and seed, decoction Miami, Florida,
USA []
 Abdominal pains
Each plant part, decoction Rome, Italy []
Leaf and seeds, infusion Northern Badia,
Jordan, []
Leaves, paste Manisa, Turkey []
 Cold Fruits and oral tops, decoction Rome, Italy []
 Refreshing Roots/whole plant, decoction Rome, Italy []
 Swollen stomach Leaves, decoction with a little honey Rome, Italy []
 Hair grow Seed oil Middle Navarra []
 Antiemetic Fruit, simple powder Northeastern
Majorcan area []

Antihypertensive
and Anti-
cholesterolemic
Leaf directly chewed north-eastern
Majorcan area []
 Depurative Leaf and stem, comestible Iberian Peninsula,
Spain []
 Hypnotic Seed, leaf, and stem, infusion and edible North Iran []
 Diarrhoea Seeds, roots, and fresh leaves Northern Portugal []
Seeds grounded with Root tubers of Hemidesmus
indicus and the paste taken with jaggery twice a day
for three days
Bhandara,
Maharashtra, India []
 Kidney ailments Aerial part, infusion Alto, Bolivia []
Seed, decoction Gujranwala,
Pakistan []
 Colic in children Leaf and fruit, infusion Brazil []
 Irritable colon Leaf and seeds, infusion Northern Badia,
Jordan, []
 Gastralgia Leaf, decoction southern Spain []
 Purgative Seed, infusion and edible Gujranwala,
Pakistan []
 Laxative Seed, infusion and edible Gujranwala,
Pakistan []
 Liver pain Seed Pernambuco,
Northeast Brazil []
 Mosquitocidal Root boiled and drunk as tea Somali Region,
Ethiopia []
 Arthritis Leaf, an infusion made from the leaves is drunk South Africa []
 Fever Leaf, an infusion made from the leaves is drunk South Africa []
BioMed Research International
T : C o n t i n u e d .
Sr. number Ailment/use Part/preparation used Locality References
 Fat deduction Green fruit is chewed to reduce fat South Africa []
 Leucorrhoea
A mixture of its  g seed powder,  g seed
powder of Papaver somniferum,  g fruit powder of
Coriander sativum, and  g of sugar is prepared
and  g of this mixture is taken by the tribal ladies
early in the morning
Rajasthan, India []
 Problem of
repeated abortions
Mixture of its  g s eed powder,  g fruit p owder of
Trapa nat ans , andgsugarisgivendailyto
pregnant ladies
Rajasthan, India []
 Digestive system
Fruits, decoction Basilicata, Italy []
Seed, decoction (drink one tea cup aer food) Balikesir, Turkey []
Whole plant Wester n c a p e o f
South Africa []
Fruit, powder for digestive ailments Middle, West, and
South Bosnia []
Seeds, decoction South Europe []
Seeds, roots, and fresh leaves Northern Portugal. []
Seed, decoction Southern Spain []
 Carminative
Tender parts, raw or boiled Rome, Italy []
Whole plant Wester n c a p e o f
South Africa []
Seeds, decoction South Europe []
Seed, leaf, and stem, infusion and edible North Iran []
Leaves and/or fruits South Africa []
 Diuretic
Tender parts, raw or boiled Rome, Italy []
Whole plant Wester n c a p e o f
South Africa []
Seeds, decoction South-Europe []
Seeds, roots, and fresh leaves Northern Portugal. []
Leaf, an infusion made from the leaves is drunk South Africa []
 Emmenagogue
Aerial part, raw with carrot Rome, Italy []
Fruit, simple powder North-eastern
Majorcan area []
Seed Haryana, India []

Milk stimulant in
pregnant women
(Galactagogue)
Leaf, an infusion made from the leaves is drunk South Africa []
Fruits, as condiment or chewed Rome, Italy []
Fruit, simple powder north-eastern
Majorcan area []
Aerial part-infusion Alto, Bolivia []
 Gingival wound Fruit-paste Uttarakhand, India []
Whole plant, decoction Andalusia, Spain []
 Eye blurr y and
itching
Aerial parts, inhaled into eyes Balikesir, Turkey []
Seeds, roots, and leaves Northern Portugal []
Seed, infusion, edible Gujranwala,
Pakistan []
Leaves and/or fruits South Africa []
 Cough
Whole plant, oral infusion Guerrero, Mexico []
Whole plant, decoction Southern Spain []
Whole plant Wester n c a p e o f
South Africa []
 BioMed Research International
T : C o n t i n u e d .
Sr. number Ailment/use Part/preparation used Locality References
 Stomachache
Whole plant, oral infusion Guerrero, Mexico []
Fruit Middle Navarra []
Seed decoction is used against stomach ache Liguria, Italy []
Seed, leaf, and stem-infusion, edible North Iran []
 Stress removal Apical shoots is used as sedative for children Liguria, Italy []
Southern Punjab,
Pakistan []
 Flatulence
Leaf and fruit, infusion Brazil []
Leaf and seeds, infusion Northern Badia,
Jordan, []
Fresh fruit, decoction North Bengal,
India []
Turk i s h [,], Serbian [], Indian [], and Chinese []
fennels. e hexane extracts of fennel were analyzed by GC-
MS and  compounds were identied from these extracts;
the major compounds were identied as ,-benzenediol, -
methoxycyclohexene, o-cymene, sorbic acid, -hydroxy--
methyl--cyclopenten--one, estragole, limonene--ol, and
-methyl--cyclopenten--one []. Diao et al. [] identify
a total of  components by GC and GC/MS from fennel
oil, representing .% of the total amount. Trans-Anethole
(.%), a phenylpropanoid, was found to be the main
component, followed by estragole (.%) with limonene
(.%), fenchone (.%), and others as minor components.
3.2. Flavonoids. Flavonoids are generally considered as an
important category of antioxidants in the human diet.
Flavonoids are abundant in the plants of Apiaceae family. It
has been reported that the presence of avonol glycosides
in fennel species is related to its morphological hetero-
geneity and variation. Total avonoid content of hydroal-
coholicextractsisabout12.3 ± 0.18mg/g. Flavonoids like
eriodictyol--rutinoside, quercetin--rutinoside, and ros-
marinicacidhavebeenisolatedfromF. v u lga r e [].
Amongst the avonoids present in F. vu l g are,themostpreva-
lent are quercetin--glucuronide, isoquercitrin, quercetin-
-arabinoside, kaempferol--glucuronide and kaempferol--
arabinoside, and isorhamnetin glucoside []. Quercetin--
O-galactoside, kaempferol--O-rutinoside, and kaempferol-
-O-glucoside have also been reported to occur in the aque-
ous extract of F. vu l g are []. e avonoids like isorham-
netin -O-𝛼-rhamnoside, quercetin, and kaempferol were
also isolated from the ethyl acetate extract, whereas quercetin
-O-rutinoside, kaempferol -O-rutinoside, and quercetin
-O-𝛽-glucoside were isolated from the methanol extract.
ese avonoids exhibit remarkable antinociceptive and anti-
inammatoryactivity[]. Further, quercetin, rutin, and
isoquercitrinwerereportedtohavetheimmunomodulatory
activities [].
3.3. Phenolic Compounds. ere has been a growing interest
in phenolic components of fruits and vegetables, which may
promote human health or lower the risk of disease. Aqueous
extract of fennel fruits are rich in phenolic compounds.
Many of them have antioxidant activities and hepatopro-
tective properties. e phenolic compounds present in F.
vulgare are considered to be associated with the prevention
of diseases possibly induced by oxidative stress such as
cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and inammation. ese
phenolic compounds have received tremendous attention
among nutritionists, food scientists, and consumers due
to their role in human health. Fennel has been reported
to contain hydroxyl cinnamic acid derivatives, avonoid
glycosides, and avonoid aglycones []. e methanolic
extract of fennel seeds contains rosmarinic acid, chlorogenic
acids as major phenolic compounds (.% and .%, resp.),
and quercetin and apigenin as the major avonoids (.% and
.%, resp.). Also, the total phenolic compounds in fennel
methanol extract were higher than the avonoid compounds
[]. F. vu l g are has been reported to contain phenolic acids
like -O-caeoylquinic acid, -O-caeoylquinic acid, -O-
caeoylquinic acid, ,-O-di-caeoylquinic acid, ,-O-di-
caeoylquinic acid, and ,-O-di-caeoylquinic acid [].
TwocompoundsAandBwereisolatedandcharacter-
ized for the rst time from the wild fennel and identi-
ed as ,-dihydroxyphenethylalchohol--O-caeoyl-𝛽-D-
glucopyranoside and 󸀠,󸀠-binaringenin, respectively. e
total phenolic and avonoid contents of wild fennel (.% and
.% resp.) were less as compared to cultivated fennel (.%
and .%, resp.) [].
4. Pharmacological Activities
Foeniculum vulgare is ocially noted in Ay u r vedic Pharma-
copoeia as an important part of polyherbal formulations in
the treatment of dierent diseases and disorders. A number
of biological-pharmacological studies have been undertaken
to evaluate the indigenous uses of F. vu l g are. Few extracts of F.
vulgare andisolatedcompoundshavebeenevaluatedforsev-
eral activities, namely, antiaging, antiallergic, anticolitic, anti-
hirsutism, anti-inammatory, antimicrobial and antiviral,
antimutagenic, antinociceptive, antipyretic, antispasmodic,
BioMed Research International 
OO
OH OOOOOO
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
CHO
OO O
O
O
O
HO
O
O
O
O
O
H
H
O
OO
O
O
O
Scopoletin (1) Bergapten (2) Psoralen (3)
Fenchone (4) para-Anisaldehyde (5) (z)-9-Octadecenoic (6)
Dillapional (7) Imperatorin (8) Dillapiol (9)
Beta-myrcene (14)
5-Methoxypsoralen (15) para-Anisaldehyde (16)
Dianethole (19)
trans-Anethole (18)
Photoanethole (17)
Limonene (10) Terpineol (11) Fenchone (12) 1,8-Cineole (13)
H3
OCH3
CO
OCH3
OCH3
OCH3
OCH3
CH3
CH3
CH3
OCH3
H3CO
(a)
F : Continued.
 BioMed Research International
OH
O
HH
O
O
O
O
OH
O
OH
OH
OH
O
O
O
O
O
OH
O
O
OO
HO
HO
HO
HO
HO
HO
HO
HO
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH O
OCOOH
O
O
(E)-Phytol (20) Phenylpropanoid (21)
2-Hydroxy-3-methyl-
2-cyclopenten-1-one (24)
o-Cymene (23)
2,4-Undecadienal (22)
Neophytadiene (25)
1,3-Benzenediol (26)
Anethole (28)
Methylchavicol (27)
Linoleic acid (29)
Sorbic acid (32)
3-Methyl-2-
cyclopenten-1-one (33)
Rosmarinic acid (35)
Isoquercetin (36)
1-Methoxycyclohexene (30) Estragole (31)
CH3
CH3
CH3
CH3
CH3
CH2
CH3
CH3
3,4-Dihydroxyphenethylalchohol-6-O-caeoyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside (34)
H3C
H3C
H3C
H3C
H3C
CH3Oleic acid (37)
(b)
F : Continued.
BioMed Research International 
O
1
2
3
4
5
6
OH
HO
HO
HO
HO
HO
HO
HO
OH
OH
OH
HO
OOHO
HO
O
OOH
O
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
COOH
OH
O
O
R
O
O
R
O
O
O
O
OH
OH
OH
OH
H
H
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
H
H
H
OR1
OR2
OR3
OR1
R4O
Caeoyl
3-O-Caeoylquinic acid (38)
4-O-Caeoylquinic acid (39)
5-O-Caeoylquinic acid (40)
1,3-O-Di-caeoylquinic acid (41)
1,4-O-Di-caeoylquinic acid (42)
1,5-O-Di-caeoylquinic acid (43)
Quinic acid
CH3
Exo-fenchyl acetate (55) Dillapional (56)
CH3
H3C
H3C
cis-Miyabenol C (57)
3󳰀,8󳰀-Binaringenin (44)
Undecanal (54)
Quercetin-3-glucuronide (52)
Kaempferol-3-glucuronide (53)
Quercetin-3-O-glucoside (45)
Quercetin-3-O-galactoside (46)
Quercetin-3-O-arabinoside (47)
Quercetin-3-O-rutinoside (48)
Kaempferol-3-O-glucoside (49)
Kaempferol-3-O-arabinoside (50)
Kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside (51)
H3C
R1=R3=R4=H;R2=caeoyl
R1=R2=R4=H;R3=caeoyl
R1=R2=R3=H;R4=caeoyl
R3=R4=H;= R1=R2=caeoyl
R2=R4=H;= R1=R3=caeoyl
R2=R3=H;= R1=R4=caeoyl
R=OH;R1=glucose
R=OH;R1=glucose
R=OH;R1=arabinose
R=OH;R1=glucose-rhamnose
R=OH
R=H
R=H;R1=glucose
R=H;R1=arabinose
R=H;R1=glucose-rhamnose
(c)
F : Continued.
 BioMed Research International
O
O
O
O
OO
HO
HO
HO
HO
HO
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
OH
O
O
O
O
O
O
CH3
CH3
CH3
H3C
H2C
Eriodictyol-7-rutinoside (58) Limonene-10-ol (59) Isorhamnetin-3-O-glucoside (60)
(d)
F : Chemical structures of various phytoconstituents isolated from Foeniculum vulgare.
antistress, antithrombotic, anxiolytic, apoptotic, cardiovas-
cular, chemomodulatory action, cytoprotection and antitu-
mor, cytotoxicity, diuretic, estrogenic properties, expecto-
rant, galactogenic, gastrointestinal eect, hepatoprotective,
human liver cytochrome P A inhibitory, hypoglycemic,
hypolipidemic, memory-enhancing property, nootropic, and
oculohypotensive activities [,,,,,]. Tabl e 
summarizes the pharmacological studies undertaken on F.
vulgare andreportedintheliterature.Abriefreviewofthe
same is as follows.
4.1. Antimicrobial and Antiviral Activities. Foeniculum vul-
gare hasbeenusedasanethnicremedyforthecureof
numerous infectious disorders of bacterial, fungal, viral, and
mycobacterial origin. Several studies have been carried out
in the past validating its antimicrobial, antimycobacterial,,
and antiviral potential (summarized in the Tab l e ). Duˇ
sko
et al.[] investigated the antibacterial eect of the aqueous
extract of  medicinal plants of Apiaceae family including
F. vu l g are. An aqueous extract of the aerial part of F.
vulgare inhibited the growth of Agrobacterium radiobacter
pv. tumefaciens,Erwinia carotovora,Pseudomonas uorescens,
and Pseudomonas glycinea (Tabl e  ). An aqueous extract of
seed sample inhibited the growth of Enterococcus faecalis,
Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumo-
nia, Pseudomona aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella
typhimurium, Shigella exneri, and Bacillus cereus with –
, –, –, -, –, -, –, –, and –
 mm zone of inhibition, respectively [,]. Gulfraz et al.
[] investigated the antibacterial eect of the essential oil as
well as ethanolic and methanolic fruit extracts of F. vu l g are
against Bacillus cereus,Bacillus megaterium,Bacillus pumilus,
Bacillus subtilis,Escherichia coli,Klebsiella pneumonia,Micro-
coccus luteus,Pseudomonas putida,Pseudomonas syringae,
and Candida albicans. According to the results reported by
Gulfraz et al.[], essential oil of F. vul a g e had signicant
antimicrobial activities against some of microorganisms as
compared to the methanolic and ethanolic extracts. e
diameters of growth inhibition zone ranged from  to  mm
(including the diameter of the disc  mm) with the highest
inhibition zone values observed against Bacillus megaterium
( mm) and Bacillus subtilis ( mm). Roby et al. []
investigated antimicrobial eect of the methanol, ethanol,
diethyl ether, and hexane extracts of seed of F. v u lgare against
two species of Gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and
Salmonella typhi), two species of Gram positive bacteria
(Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus), one species of
yeast (Candida albicans), and one species of mold (Aspergillus
avus). e methanolic extract showed more eective antimi-
crobial activity than the other extracts. e results from
the disc diusion method, followed by measurement of
minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), indicated that
Bacillus cereus and Aspergillus avus were the most sensitive
microorganisms tested, showing the largest inhibition zones
and the lowest MIC values. Least activity was exhibited
against Escherichia coli, with the smallest inhibition zones and
the highest MIC value []. Shrivastava and Bhargava []
investigated the antibacterial eect of the crude, chloroform,
and methanol extract of leaves and owers of F. vu l g are
along with Raphanus sativus and Brassica nigrum against
Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Methanol extract
of ower of F. vu lga r e showed signicant activity against
Escherichia coli, whereas crude and chloroform extracts
failed to exhibit antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus
aureus (Tab l e  ). Among dierent tested bacterial strains, the
BioMed Research International 
T : Volatile compounds present in essential oil of Foeniculum
vulgare.
Sr. number Compounds
𝛼-uj ene
 ,-Cineol
𝛽-Ocimene
 Linalool
Germacrene D
 Anisketone
Apiol
𝑛-Hexadecanoic acid
Cubebene
 Benzene--methyl--(-methylethyl)-𝑝-cymene
 ,,-Octatriene, ,-dimethyl-, (E)--carene
 -Heptene
 -Methyl-butanal
 𝛽-Pinene
 Camphene
 Hexanal
 𝛼-Pinene
 𝛽-Phellandrene
 𝛼-Phellanrrene
 𝛽-Myrcene
 -Carene
 -Heptanohe
 Limonene
 -Methyl-bicyclo[..]hex--ene
 Eucalyptol
 𝛼-Pinene
 𝛾-Terpinene
 -Dimethyl-,,-octriene
 ,-Dimethyl-benzenamine
 -Carene
 Cathine
 -Heptanol
 -Propyn--ol
 ,-Dimethyl-,,-octatriene
 Fenchone
 -Methyl--(-methylethyl)-benzene
 cis-Limonene oxide
 trans-Limonene oxide
 -Methylene-bicyclo[..]hexane
 Sabinene hydrate
 Fenchyl acetate
 Camphor
 Benzaldehyde
 ,-Butanediol
 Dicyclopropyl carbinol
 Fenchol
 -Octanol
 -Methyl--heptanol
T : C o n t i n u e d .
Sr. number Compounds
 Tetradecyl-oxirane
 Estragole
 Trans-𝑝-,-menthadien--ol
 𝛽-Terp inol
 cis-p-,-Menthadien
 -Methyl--(methylethyl)--cyclohexen
 -Methyl--(-methylethyl)--cyclohexen--one
 Phenylmethyl-formic ester
 ,-Cyclohexen--methanol
 Epi-bicyclosesquiphellardrene
 cis-𝑝-Menth-,-dienol
 ,-Dimethoxy-benzene
 -Methoxy--(-propenyl)-benzene
 ,,a,,,a-Hexadehyde-naphthalene
 -Methyl-bicyclo[..]hept--en--ol
 trans-Anethole . . .
 Allantoic acid
 -Methyl--(-methylethyl)-phenol
 Mannoheptulose
 -Methyl--(-methylethyl)--cyclohexen--ol
 -Undecanol
 Benzothiazole
 E-Pinane
 -Cyclohexen--ol
 -Methyl-bezenemethanol
 -Methoxy-benzaldehyde
 ,-Hexanediol
 -Methoxycyclohexanone
 𝛽-Elemenone
 Mephenesin
 󸀠-Methoxy-acetophenone
 -Methyl--methylethyl-butanoic acid
 Folic acid
 -(Methoxyphenyl)--propanone
 -Methyl--(-methylethyl)-benzene
 -Fluorohistamine
 ,-Dimethoxy--(-propenyl)-benzene
 (E)--Hydroxy--cyano-stilbene
 -(-Methoxyphenyl)--propanone
methanolic fruit extract of F. vu l g are inhibited the growth
of Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus pumilus with . and
. mm zone of inhibition, respectively [].
Several studies indicating the antifungal eect of F.
vulgare along with antibacterial eect are also reported in
the literature. Martins et al. [] investigated the antibacterial
and antifungal eects of three essential oils of Portuguese
plants, namely, Foeniculum vulgare,Mentha spicata, and Ros-
marinus ocinalis against Staphylococcus aureus,Escherichia
coli,Klebsiella pneumonia,Pseudomona aeruginosa,Staphy-
lococcus epidermidis, Candida albicans, and phytopathogenic
 BioMed Research International
T : Biological activities of some phytoconstituents reported in dierent parts of Foeniculum vulgare.
Sr. number Biological activities Part usedaPhytochemicals Reference
Oestrogenic SDEO Dianethole,
photoanethole []
Hepatoprotective SDEO 𝛽-Myrcene,
Limonene []
Antithrombotic SDEO trans-Ane thole []
Human liver c ytochrome
P-A inhibitory SD -Methoxypsoralen []
Antiradical scavenging FW
-Caeoylquinic acid,
quercetin--O-galactoside,
kaempferol--O-glucoside,
kaempferol--O-rutinoside,
rosmarinic acid
[]
AP
,-Dihydroxyphenethyl-
alchohol--O-caeoyl-𝛽-D-
glucopyranoside,
󸀠,󸀠-binaringenin
[]
Antioxidant FT cis-Miyabenol C []
Anticancer SDEO Anethole []
Antibacterial ST
Dillapiol,
psoralen,
bergapten,
scopoletin,
imperatorin,
dillapional,
[]
Antimycobacterial ST, LF
,-Undecadienal,
linoleic acid,
oleic acid,
,-benzenediol,
undecanal
[]
 Repellent FT (z)--Octadecanoic acid,
fenchone []
 Acaricidal SDEO para-Anisaldehyde []
 Insecticidal SDEO ,-Cineole,
terpineol []
aAP: aerial part, FT: fruit, LF: leaf, SD: seed, SDEO: seed essential oil, ST: stem, and FW: fennel waste.
molds, Aspergillus niger and Fusarium oxysporum. Essen-
tial oil of F. vulg a r e showed signicant antifungal activity
against the food spoilage fungi Aspergillus niger and Fusar-
ium oxysporum and may have important applications as
food additives. e MIC values of F. vul g a r e essential oil
were 𝜇g/mL for Fusarium oxysporum and  𝜇g/mL
for Aspergillus niger [].e oils extracted from F. v ul g a re
exhibit varying levels of antifungal eects on the experi-
mental mycelial growth of Alternaria alternata,Fusarium
oxysporum,andRhizoctonia solani []. Essential oil of F.
vulgare showed appreciable antifungal activity against strains
of pathogenic fungi, namely, Aspergillus niger,Fusarium
solani, and Rhizopus solani [].Dichloromethane extracts
and essential oils from F. v ulg a r e showed antifungal activity
against Candida albicans. It could be a potential candidate
for a new antifungal agent for candidiasis and other fungal
diseases []. In an in vitro study, aqueous and alcoholic
seed extracts of F. vul g a r e exhibited inhibitory eect against
Alternaria alternata, Mucor rouxii, and Aspergillus avus
[]. Interestingly, aqueous seed extract of F. vu l g are showed
strongest antifungal activity as compared to reference fungi-
cidal agent, that is, griseofulvin [].
All of the above mentioned studies were carried out
on the crude extracts and it is dicult to pinpoint the
active antimicrobial metabolite. A phenylpropanoid deriva-
tive called dillapional, characterized from F. vu lgar e stem, was
found to be an antimicrobial constituent with MIC values of
, , and  against Bacillus subtilis,Aspergillus niger,
and Cladosporium cladosporioides, respectively. A coumarin
derivative, scopoletin, was also isolated as a marginally
antimicrobial agent []. e characterization of seven
dierent types of oxygenated monoterpenes, from methylene
BioMed Research International 
T : Details of pharmacological/biological activities reported from Foeniculum vulgare.
Activity Plant part used Dosage form/type of
extract Concentration/dosages Tested living system/organ/cell/type of
study Results References
Antiinammatory Fruit Methanolic
Extract
 mg/kg: oral
administration
Invivo, male ICR mice, BALB/c mice,
and Sprague-Dawley rats
Inhibitory eects against acute and
subacute inammatory diseases and
type IV allergic reactions
[]
Hepatoprotective Seed Essential oil . mL/kg
Invivo, carbon tetrachloride induced
liver injury model in male
Sprague-Dawley rats
Decreases the level of serum enzymes,
namely, aspartate aminotransferase
(AST), alanine aminotransferase
(ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP),
and bilirubin
[]
Hypoglycaemic Seed Essential oil  mg/kg Invivo, streptozotocin induced diabetic
rats
Ingestionofessentialoiltodiabetic
rats corrected the hyperglycemia and
the activity of serum glutathione
peroxidase and also improved the
pathological changes noticed in their
kidney and pancreas
[]
Antihirsutism Seed Fennel extract
Creams containing %,
% of fennel extract and
placebo
 female patients aged – years
with mild to moderate forms of
idiopathic hirsutism
Cream containing % fennel is better
than the cream containing % fennel
andthesetwoweremorepotentthan
placebo
[]
Cytoprotective Fruit Methanolic
extract  𝜇g/mL Normal human blood lymphocyte
Provides more cytoprotection for
normal human lymphocytes as
compared with standard sample, that
is, doxorubicin
[]
Antitumor Fruit Methanolic
extract  to  𝜇g/mL BF melanoma cell line
% methanolic extract shows good
antitumour activity at the
concentration of  𝜇g/mL.
[]
Antioxidant Seed Ethanol and water
extract
 𝜇g of ethanol and
water extract Invitro,notstated
.%and.%inhibitionof
peroxidation in linoleic acid system,
respectively.
[]
Oestrogenic Seed Acetone extract Not stated Invivo, female rats
Weight of mammary glands increases
also increases the weight of oviduct,
endometrium, myometrium, cervix,
and vagina
[]
Vasc u l ar ee c t s Leaf Aqueous extracts . to . mL injection Invivo, pentobarbital-anaesthetised
Sprague-Dawley rats
Signicant dose-related reduction in
arterial blood pressure, without
aecting the heart rate or respiratory
rate
[]
Antistress Fruit Aqueous extracts ,   and  mg/kg Invivo, scopolamine-induced amnesic
rats
Signicant inhibition of the stress
induced biochemical changes in
vanillyl mandelic acid and ascorbic
acid.
[]
 BioMed Research International
T : C o n t i n u e d .
Activity Plant part used Dosage form/type of
extract Concentration/dosages Tested living system/organ/cell/type of
study Results References
Memory-enhancing Fruit Aqueous extracts , , and  mg/kg Invivo, scopolamine-induced amnesic
rats
e signicant reduction is achieved in
amnesia in extract-treated groups as
compared with the control group of
animals
[]
Chemopreventive Seed Test diet of fennel % and % test diets of
Fennel
In-v ivo, DMBA-induced skin and
B(a)P-induced forestomach
papillomagenesis in Swiss albino mice
Signicant reduction in the skin and
the forestomach tumor incidence and
tumor multiplicity as compared to the
control group of animal
[]
Oculohypotensive Seed Aqueous extract .%, .%, and .%
(w/v) Invivo, rabbits
It exhibits ., ., and .%
reduction of intraocular pressure
(IOP) in normotensive rabbits at .%,
.%, and .% (w/v) concentrations of
extract
[]
Anticarcinogenic Seed Methanolic extract  mg/kg Invivo, Swiss albino mice
Signicant increase in
malondialdehyde levels and the
signicant decrease in catalase activity
and glutathione content in liver and
tumor tissue in mice bearing Ehrlich
ascites carcinoma
[]
Antiaging Seed Fennel extract Formulation containing
% extract
Male volunteers with mean age of 
years
Formulation showed signicant eects
on skin moisture and transepidermal
water loss
[]
Apoptotic Fruit Ethanol extract  to  𝜇g/mL
Nine human cell lines: ML-, J-.,
HL-, , U-B, WICL, C-,
EOL, and H-—human T cell
Highest mortality in Trypan blue test
for J cell line, % of viable cells and
for C cell line, % of mortality
[]
Antiulcerogenic Aerial parts Aqueous extract , ,   mg/kg Invivo, ethanol induced gastric lesions
in Sprague-Dawley rats
Pretreatment with extracts
signicantly reduced ethanol induced
gastric damage.
[]
Cytotoxic Root (ground part)
Dichloromethane and
methanol ( : )
extract
 𝜇g/mL
Murine brosarcoma LsA cells and
on the human breast cancer cells
MDA-MB and MCF
Cytotoxic activity may act via
inhibition of the NFkB pathway. []
Antimycobacterial Aerial parts
Chloroform, hexane,
methanol, and
aqueous extracts
to𝜇g/mL Invitro,M. tuberculosis HRv ()
Hexane extract is active against pan
sensitive strain of M. tuberculosis
HRV
[]
BioMed Research International 
T : Antibacterial, antimycobacterial, antifungal, and antiviral studies carried out on Foeniculum vulgare.
Sr. number Part usedaType of extract Active strainsbMethod Reference standard Eective concentration Reference
SD
Essential oil
S.a.,Enterococcus sp.,
P. a . ,E.c., and
Salmonella sp.
Filter paper disc diusion
method
. Mac Farland’s Standard
(. × CFU/mL)  𝜇L/disk []
FT
Essential oil
E.c., B.m.,and 
phytopathogenic
bacterial species
Agar diusion method Rifampicin . mg/mL []
AP
Aqueous, ethanol
and ethyl-acetate
extracts
A.r.t.,Er.c.,P. f . , and
P. g .
Filter paper disc diusion
method
Chloramphenicol,
streptomycin, and
tetracycline
 mg per disc. []
SD
Essential oil E.a.,S.t.,S.a.,St.e.,
E.c.,P. a . , and C.a.
Filter paper disc diusion
method Amoxicillin and cefazolin  𝜇L/disk []
FL, FT Essential oil A.a.,F.o. , and R.s. Filter paper disc diusion
method NS  and  ppm []
FL, LF, TW Essential oil
Bacilli sp., P.a . ,
Acinetobacter sp., and
A.f.
Agar diusion method Fleroxacin ,,,and𝜇Lperwell []
SD,ST,LF,RT
Essential oil
S.a.,B.s.,E.c.,P. a . ,
C.a., C.t., M.s.,M.c.,
and M.x.
Agar dilution method NS NM []
SD
Essential oil E.c.,B.s.,A.n.,F.s .,and
Rh.s.
Filter paper disc diusion
method
Amoxycillin and
umequine  𝜇g/disc []
FT
Essential oil and
ethanolic and
methanolic
extracts
B.c.,B.m.,B.p.,B.s.,
E.c.,K.p.,M.l.,P. p. ,
P. s . ,andC.a.
Filter paper disc diusion
method
Cefoperazone, sulbactam,
ooxacin, and netilmicin  mg/mL []
 SD Aqueous/organic
extracts
E.f.,S.a.,E.c.,K.p.,
P. a . ,Sa.t.,S.t., and S.f.
Agar well and disc diusion
method
Chloramphenicol,
gentamicin, and ampicillin NM []
 SD Essential oil E.c.,P. a . ,S.a.,B.s.,
A.n., and C.a.
Filter paper disc diusion
technique
Ampicillin and miconazole
nitrate  𝜇L/disk []
 SD
Ethanol, methanol,
and aqueous
extracts
E.c.,K.p.,P. v. ,E.a.,
Sa.t., B.c.,and S.a.
Agar well and disc diusion
method Streptomycin NM []
 SD Essential oil E.c., P.a., S.a.,
C.a.,and A.n.
Cylinder-plate diusion
method NS . to .% []
 BioMed Research International
T : C o n t i n u e d .
Sr. number Part usedaType of extract Active strainsbMethod Reference standard Eective concentration Reference
 FT Essential oils S.a.,B.c.,P. a . ,E.c.,and
C.a.
Disc paper and broth
microdilution methods NS NM []
 SD
Methanol, ethanol,
diethyl ether, and
hexane extract
E.c.,Sa.t.,B.c.,S.a.,
C.a.,and As.f.
Filter paper disc diusion
technique NS ., , ., ,  𝜇g/disk []
 LF, FL
Crude, chloroform,
and methanol
extract
E.c. and S.a. Filter paper disc diusion
method NS NM [