Home Medicinal Plants Fennel against gastrointestinal complaints

Fennel against gastrointestinal complaints

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 298 views

Fennel relieves gastrointestinal problems thanks to its antispasmodic ingredients. Because it also contains expectorant agents, it is also suitable for treating inflammation of the upper airways. Read more about the health effects of fennel, the right application and why you shouldn’t drink fennel tea every day!

What are the effects of fennel?

There are different types of fennel: bitter fennel (F. vulgare ssp. vulgare var. vulgare) and sweet or Roman fennel (F. vulgare ssp. vulgare var. dulce). are both used medicinally. The vegetable or onion fennel (F. vulgare ssp. vulgare var. azoricum) is valued as a food.

There is an essential oil (Foeniculi aetheroleum) in the ripe fruits of the medicinally used fennel varieties, which has a healing effect. It contains, among other things, the sweet-tasting trans-anethole and the bitter-tasting fenchone.

Bitter fennel oil has more fenchone and less anethole than sweet fennel oil. Animal and test-tube studies indicate that anethole has anti-cancer, anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, these findings have not yet been sufficiently confirmed in human studies.

Studies have shown that fennel essential oil contains more than 87 powerful phytochemicals and antioxidants , including rosmarinic acid, chlorogenic acid, quercetin and apigenin.

The active ingredients from the fennel fruits can help internally with digestive problems (dyspeptic symptoms). They relieve gastrointestinal spasms and promote movement (peristalsis) of the gastrointestinal tract. This is also beneficial for flatulence and a feeling of fullness.

Fennel tea, for example, soothes an irritated stomach in the event of diarrhea and nausea. It also provides relief from heartburn. Fennel honey is said to have a similar effect to fennel tea.

In addition, fennel can be used internally and externally for inflammation of the airways and coughs caused by colds. An expectorant effect has been proven for its ingredients anethole and fenchone.

Various studies indicate that fennel can alleviate symptoms in women going through menopause – such as hot flashes and insomnia – due to its strong estrogenic properties.

In addition, empirical or folk medicine uses fennel fruits for other purposes, for example to stimulate digestion and appetite, to increase the amount of breast milk during breastfeeding or to relieve mild menstrual abdominal cramps. However, there is still insufficient confirmation from clinical studies.

The fact that fennel has an effect on the psyche has not yet been sufficiently investigated. However, animal studies have shown that fennel extract reduces age-related memory deficits. Further research is necessary.

Fennel tea contains estragole and methyleugenol. According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, the herbal ingredients can have carcinogenic and mutagenic effects in high quantities. Babies and children in particular should therefore only drink it occasionally.

How is fennel used?

The dried ripe fruits are used medicinally mainly from the bitter, but also from the sweet fennel and the essential oil isolated from the fruits. The following applies: the effect of the oil is stronger than that of the fruit.

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