Fennel:Administration and Indications Guide,Dosages and Safety.
- Basic Botanical Information of Fennel,Fructus Foeniculi.
- What Is It?General Description of the Fennel Seed.
- History,Region and Habitat of Fennel Origin.
- History and Modern Use of Fennel.Traditional and Ethnic Uses of Fennel.
- Fennel Legends,Myths and Stories.
- Constituents and Pharmacology Properties of Fennel.
- Medicinal Properties,Healing with Fennel for common health problems.
- Various Common Uses Of Fennel.
- Fennel:Administration and Indications Guide,Dosages and Safety.
- Research Update:Fennel.Fructus Foeniculi.Foeniculum vulgare Mill.
Fennel:Administration and Indications Guide,Dosages and Safety.
Gather the root in the spring for medicinal purposes:
Infusion: steep 1 tbsp. freshly crushed seeds in 1 cup water for 5 minutes. Sweeten with honey to taste.
Decoction: boil 1/2 tsp. seed in water. Strain. Use as an eye-wash, 3 times per day.
Extract: mix 10 to 20 drops in water. Use warm water and 1 tsp. honey for a soothing drink daily.
Milk decoction: boil 1 tsp. seed in 1/2 cup milk for 5 to 10 minutes. Take for colic.
Tincture: take 10 to 30 drops in water, as required.
Fennel-honey: add 1 to 3 drops fennel oil to 1 tbsp. honey and mix. Take a teaspoon at a time. A natural cough remedy.
Indications and Dosage from CP for Fructus Foeniculi(Xiao Hui Xiang):The CP(Chinese-Pharmacopia) noted the herb Fructus Foeniculi(Xiao Hui Xiang) as dry mature fruit of the Umbelliferae family plant Foeniculum vulgare Mill,and noted its root,leaf,whole herb could be used medicine too.It noted the herb taste hot(pungent) and nature warm.Enter into the liver,kidney,spleen,stomach meridians.Main functions eliminating cold to stop pain,regulating qi-flowing for harmonizing stomach.Indicated for cold hernia abdominal pain,unilateral sagging of the testicles,menalgia(menorrhalgia,dysmenorrhea),abdominal cold pain,abdominal swelling pain,poor appetite eat less vomiting and diarrhoea,hydrocele of testis(hydrocele of tunica vaginalis).Salt prepared fennel seed functions warm kidney,eliminating cold to stop pain,indicated for cold hernia abdominal pain,unilateral sagging of the testicles,channel cold abdominal pain.Suggested dosage 3~6 grams.Store at dry cool place.
Indications and Dosage from CHMM for Fennel Seed(Xiao Hui Xiang):The CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica) defined the herb Fennel Seed(Xiao Hui Xiang) as fruit of the Umbelliferae family plant Foeniculum uulgare Mill.It noted the herb taste hot(pungent) and nature warm.Enter into liver,kidney and gallbladder,stomach meridians.Main functions warm kidney and liver,promoting qi circulation to relieve pain,harmonize the stomach.Indicated for cold hernia abdominal pain,unilateral sagging of the testicles,abdominal cold pain,poor appetite vomiting and diarrhoea,hypochondriac pain,lumbago(osphyalgia,backache) due to kidney deficiency,menalgia(menorrhalgia,dysmenorrhea).Suggested dosage internal as decoction 3~6grams,or into pellets or powder.External proper amount,grained into powder apply,or fried warm and warming.Attention should be paid it Not suggested or should be avoided for cases hyperactivity of fire due to yin deficiency.2
Indications and Dosage from CCHM for Fennel Seed(Xiao Hui Xiang):The CCHM defined the herb Fennel Seed(Xiao Hui Xiang) as fruit of the Umbelliferae family plant Foeniculum uulgare Mill.It noted the herb taste hot(pungent) and nature warm.Main functions promoting qi circulation to relieve pain,benefit stomach and dispelling cold.Indicated for stomach cold pain,lower abdomen cold pain,menalgia(menorrhalgia,dysmenorrhea),colic pain,hydrocele of testis(hydrocele of tunica vaginalis),schistosomiasis.Suggested dosage 1~3 qian.3
Indications and Dosage from APA Guide for FENNEL:The APA Guide book give some guide of indications and dosage for the herb Fennel,it classified 1 species under the title "Fennl",which included "Foeniculum vulgare Mill.Also referred to as Foeniculum officinale All.and Anethum foeniculum L.Family:Umbelliferae(Apiaceae).Common Names:Bitter fennel,carosella,common fennel,finocchio,Florence fennel,garden fennel,large fennel,sweet fennel,wild fennel,xiao hui xiang".The book noted some traditional uses of the herb Fennel since ancient China and middle ages of Europe,and its various applications today around the world,and noted "What it is used for:Since the earliest times,people have relied on fennel as a scent,vegetable,food flavoring,and folk remedy.The seeds were used to help digest food,especially when stomach upset or gas spoiled the enjoyment of a meal.They also have a long-standing reputation for counteracting the effects of poisons,boosting milk production in nursing mothers,promoting menstruation,increasing urination(in the form of a diuretic,or 'water pill'),and suppressing appetite,a use once highly valued by the poor.Demand for fennel was high during the Middle Ages and in the New England colonies.An official drug in the Chinese pharmacopoeia,fennel has been valued there since the sixth century to calm the stomach and treat bleeder ailments,bernia(of the small intestine),nausea,vomiting,painful menstrual periods,and bedwetting.Fennel has long been used externally as well.Loose compresses soaked in fennel tea or water are placed over the eye to treat conjunctivitis and other eye ailments.Sometimes the liquid is used to bathe the eye directly.Certain German experts consider this a gentle approach to reducing inflammation,but value it most for soothing and 'strengthening' the eyes.Chinese healers mix fennel into a poultice for poorly healing snakebites.Today,people around the world continue to use fennel in many of the same ways,both internally and externally.Some even recommend considering the herb for treating prostate cancer,as long as a physician is overseeing care.Manufacturers have added fennel to laxatives to counteract cramping.More recently fennel and its oil have appeared as flavoring agents in candies.",it give a brief dosage suggestion like this:"Dosage Commonly Reported:A decoction is made using 1 to 2 teaspoons bruised seeds per cup of water;weaker infusions made with crushed seeds are given to children under the age of two.A tincture is taken in dosages of 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to three times per day.Fennel in syrup or honey is taken in dosages of 10 to 20 grams.Two to three of the 455-milligram seed capsules are taken three times a day.Take commercial preparations according to package directions."4
Indications and Dosage from PDR for Fennel(Foeniculum vulgare):The PDR 4th edition defined the herb as "the medicinal parts are the Fennel oil extracted from the ripe fruit and the dried ripe fruit and Fennel seeds of Foeniculum vulgare.",it give some indications note of the herb Fennel(Foeniculum vulgare) both their CE suggested and folk medicine indications,it noted its appoved indications and usage as "Cough,Bronchitis,Dyspeptic complaints.Peptic discomforts,such as mild,spastic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract,feeling of fullness,flatulence,catarrh of the upper respiratory tract.",and folk medicine uses that "unproven uses:fennel honey is used for catarrh of the upper respiratory tract in children.In folk medicine,the herb was used for fish tapeworms,skin conditions,and for various eye complaints,including conjunctivitis.",and it also give some dosage suggestions for both oil and seed,that "Fennel Oil.Mode of Administration:Essential oil and galenic preparations for internal use.Note:Diabetics must check the sugar content of available preparations.Daily Dosage:0.1 to 0.6 mL of Fennel oil after each meal.Duration of administration:Maximum of 2 weeks.Fennel Seed.Mode of Administration:Crushed or ground seeds for teas,tea-like products,as well as other galenic preparations for intern al use.Daily Dosage:5 to 7 g of drug;as a tincture,5 to 7.5 g per day,with a single dose being 2.5 g 2 to 3 times a day."5
There are no known drug or nutrient interactions commonly associated with fennel seed preparations.
Cautions,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:
Skin contact with the sap or essential oil is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people. Ingestion of the oil can cause vomiting, seizures and pulmonary edema. It should not be given to pregnant women.
Fennel seeds pose no risk when used as a culinary spice or fragrance.And centuries of use suggest that taking recommended amounts of fennel seeds for healing is safe as well.
While most fennel preparations made from the seeds (teas, syrups, tinctures) pose no apparent health risks, avoid ingesting pure fennel oil because it can cause nausea, breathing problems, and other complications.
Because pure fennel oil contains concentrated levels of a female sex hormone, it's risky for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, or for those who have a hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer.
Contemporary herbalists recommend fennel to aid digestion, and yes, it does help expel gas. It works by relaxing muscles in the digestive and reproductive systems. It's been used traditionally to boost mothers' milk production and promote menstruation.
Studies have shown that fennel is effective in relieving infant colic. However, not all of fennel's uses have been supported by scientific research.
The PDR 4th edition give some suggestions of the herb precautions and noted:"Health risks or side effects following the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages are not recorded.Allergic reactions following intake of fennel have been only very rarely observed.Cross Sensitivity among patients with celery allergy appear to be possible.Pregnancy:Preparations,excluding the drug itself and as infusions are not to be administered during pregnancy.Pediatric Use:Preparations,excluding the drug itself and tea infusions are not to be administered to small children."5
Fennel is included on the Food and Drug Administration's list of herbs generally regarded as safe. But because of its estrogenic effect, pregnant women should avoid medicinal amounts of the herb.Fennel seeds show certain level of mutagenic effects,avoid using large amount orally for long period.
Warning:Don't harvest fennel in the wild;it closely resembles poison hemlock,which can cause death if ingested.
Safety In General:the herb fennel is classified by FDA as GRAS(Generally Recognized As Safe) and suggested to consume as a food,so it is safe enough,the APA Guide book give some evaluation safety with the fennel seed,fennel oil and some its components,"Will It Harm You?What the Studies Say:Neither the research done so far nor years of experience suggest that using fennel seeds in typically recommended amounts poses any health risk.But to be safe,German health authorities recommend that no one take the herb for longer than several weeks without seeing a doctor or consulting a pharmacist.No evidence suggests that fennel interacts negatively with any other remedies.In unusual cases,sensitive individuals have suffered allergic reactions,photodermatitis(sun sensitivity),and contact dermatitis.The risks associated with using pure fennel oil--as oppose to the seeds--are far more considerable.Even small amounts(as little as 1 to 5 milliliters) taken orally have caused nausea,vomiting,seizures,and respiratory problems.German health authorities warn that infants and young children run the risk of shortness of breath,spasms of the larynx,and excitement.One investigator found that when fed to rats,the purified oil worsened liver damage.The mild estrogen-like effects attributed to the estragole in fennel oil raise concerns as well,as studies indicate that estragole can cause tumors in animals.German health authorities have recommended that pregnant women not use fennel preparations that are stronger than an infusion(or the equivalent amount of volatile oil).Women who have had breast cancer or who have been told not to take the birth-control pill should probably avoid fennel in any form,or at least discuss with a doctor using medicinal amounts of the plant.Because of still poorly understood effects on the liver,people with liver disease,hepatitis,or problems with alcoholism may want to avoid medicinal concentrations.Evidence for the effectiveness and safety of treating eye ailments with fennel cannot be found.Keep in mind that introducing anything other than sterilized substances into the eyes raises the risk of infection.In the form of a fragrance,culinary herb,or vegetable,fennel is probably harmless.The FDA categorizes it as Generally Recognized As Safe(GRAS) to consume as a food.Contamination with disease-causing bacteria is a risk,although probably small;investigators surveying samples of fennel in Italy found a number of bacteria as streptococci and salmonella,which can cause stomach and intestinal illness."4
1: Fennel Seed or Xiao HuiXiang,the seed of Foeniculum vulgare Mill,a pungent herb nature warm,its botanical introduction,chemical constituents,history and uses since ancient till today.
2: see CHMM(Zhong Hua Ben Cao,or Chinese Herbal Materia Medica)
3: see CCHM(Quan Guo Zhong Cao Yao Hui Bian,or Compilation of Chinese Herbal Medicine)
4: see The American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines,1st Ed,under title "Fennel",p259~261.
5: see PDR for Herbal Medicines 4th Ed.under title "Fennel(Foeniculum vulgare)",p317~319.
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