Fennel, scientifically known as Foeniculum vulgare, is a perennial herb belonging in the carrot, parsley, and celery family. It is now widely cultivated in many parts of the world, but it is native to the Mediterranean [R].
1. May Help with Abdominal Pain
One study involving 121 individuals with IBS or irritable bowel syndrome showed that a combination of treatment of curcumin and fennel oils alleviated abdominal pain and increased the overall quality of the individuals’ lives [R].
2. Relieves Menstrual Pain
In a study with 40 adult women, fennel capsules were found to reduce menstruation cycle length and menstruation-induced nausea compared to the placebo group. The personal well-being of these women also improved significantly [R].
A blend of vitamin E and fennel extract was found to result in better alleviation of menstrual pain than ibuprofen in 68 female students [R].
Additionally, 30 women who experience dysmenorrhea noted alleviation in their menstrual pain after 30 to 120 minutes of fennel intake [R].
3. Beneficial in Menopause
In a triple-blind, placebo-controlled study with 90 menopausal women, fennel significantly improved symptoms without causing any serious adverse reactions [R].
4. May Help Avoid Unwanted Hair Growth in Women
5. May Promote Breast Milk Production
A study involving 46 women also noted that fennel capsules can increase prolactin levels in the blood [R].
6. May Alleviate Anxiety and Depression
Fennel resulted in marginal significant improvement for anxiety and depression in 60 post-menopausal women during a double-blind random-controlled trial [R].
7. May Help Reduce Appetite
Fennel tea helped 9 healthy overweight women reduce the feeling of hunger and feel fuller for longer [R].
Clinical trials found fennel to be generally safe with only a few minor side effects. In infant studies, it was also found safe for a short period of use [R].
Side Effect and Risk
Fennel also has estragole, a cancer-causing compound that is also found in other herbs and essential oils [R]. Research shows, however, that the effects of this cancer-causing compound are deactivated by various other substances in these plants [R].
We strongly advise you to have regular check-ups with your doctor and lab tests (blood, kidney, and liver) at least once every six months if you decide to take any herbal medicine or supplements for long-term.