Fennel

Main Chemicals

E anethole, fenchol, alpha-pinene, carvone

Product Description

Wildfire oil helps the health of the lungs and the respiratory system.

Name and description

Fennel is also called Florence fennel or finocchio.
The root is spindle-shaped, fleshy, wrinkled, 1 cm thick, branched at the top, multi-headed. All plants have bluish film. The stem is high up to 90-200 cm, erect, rounded, fine, strongly branched.

The leaves are alternate, three-fold, four-pinnate, oval-triangular, the portions of the last row are linear-filiform. The lower ones are on stems, the upper ones are on the extended receptacle. The receptacle is 36 cm long, narrow, oblong, somewhat enlarged to the top.

The flowers have five petals. Double umbrellaswith 3-20 rays, with diameter of 3-15 cm. Petals are broad and ovate, yellow, about 1 mm long and broad.

Fruits are ovate-oblong, 5-10 mm long, 2-3 mm wide, naked, split into two carpels (mericarp), sweet to taste, similar to anise.

Blooms in July August, its fruits ripen in September.

Fennel is a perennial plant of the celery family reaching a height of up to 90-200 cm. Its appearance is similar to dill, its flavor and aroma is closer to anise, but with a sweeter and more pleasant taste.

Dill has two versions - regular and vegetable one, the latter having a fleshy stem. It is necessary to determine it very carefully: it is possible to be confused with other species that are poisonous! The root of the fennel is wreath-shaped, fleshy, wrinkled.

The color of the stem is bluish, erect, branched. The leaves are three-four-pinned, with long filiform segments. Small yellow flowers are located on the top of the stems in the form of flat, sophisticated umbrellas.

Distribution and habitat

In its wild form, it grows in North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia), Western (Italy, France, England, Spain, Portugal) and Southeast Europe (Albania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece), Central and West Asia, Zealand, North, Central and South America. Grows on dry stony slopes, along ditches, grassy places, as well as near roads and shelters, among weeds. Cultivated in many countries.

Chemical composition

The plant has high content of essential oils. Its fruits contain up to 6.5%, and in the leaves up to 0.5%. Fennel essential oil has a distinctive aroma and a spicy sweet taste. It consists of: anethole, fenchone, methyl chavicol, α-pinene, α-phellandrene, cineol, limonene, terpinol, citral, ronyl acetate, camphor and other substances. Fruits also contain up to 12-18% fatty oils, consisting of petroselinic (60%), oleic (22), linoleic (14), and palmitonic (4%) acids.

The herb of the plant also contains a large amount of flavonoids, glycosides, ascorbic acid, carotene, B group vitamins and various minerals.

Meaning and application

  • The essential oil is used as an aromatic oil in perfumery.
  • After the distillation of the essential oil from the fennel fruit, an oil is obtained which is used in technology.
  • The waste after fat extraction goes to feed the livestock.
  • Fruits and essential oil of dill are used in cooking as a spicy food spice. Green dill has a very pleasant, slightly sweet refreshing taste. It is used raw, added to salads. Dill is used by the peoples of the Mediterranean countries as a vegetable. In the Caucasus, the leaves are also used as a spice in the preparation of national dishes. Canned juicy leaves and young umbrellas. The stems and young umbrellas are used when salting vegetables and for baking of fruits.
  • Fennel seeds are used as a medicine.
  • Dill was used by Hippocrates and Asclepiades of Bithynia (as a diuretic), Dioscorridus and Pliny the Old (as remedy for eyes), Avicenna (as an expectorant).
  • The dill fruits (Lat. Fructus Foeniculi) and essential oil (Oleum Foeniculi) distilled from the fruit are used as medicinal products.
  • The essential oil is a part of a liquorice elixir used as an anti-cough agent. Dill fruits have laxative, carminative, choleretic, chest and sedative action. The oil is used to make dill water used in case of gases, especially in children.
  • The fennels fruits are used to produce the medicine Anetin it has a large amount of active substances. It has antispasmodic action, especially on smooth bowel muscles, and to a lesser degree on coronary vessels. In therapeutic practice, it is used in chronic spastic colitis with abdominal organ cramps, in chronic coronary insufficiency.
  • It has been reported that dill tea taken by babies over a long period of time leads to premature breast development in girls. In all 4 patients studied, serum estradiol levels were 15-20 times higher than normal for their age.

Toxicity

Dill oil has proven to be genotoxin in DNA tests of Bacillus subtilis.

Estragol, which is present in the essential oil, causes tumors in animals. 

Animal studies show the toxic effects of fennel essential oil on the fetal cells. However, no evidence of terratogenicity has been found.

No pathological toxicity was observed in the organs of dead animals, indicating that death may be caused by an imbalance of metabolites or toxic effects on the nervous system. 

Useful properties of fennel (dill)

  • Calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, chromium and aluminum can be found in the fruits of the fennel.
  • Fennel preparations have spasmolytic and carminative action, they increase secretory activity of the digestive glands, promote digestion; they act as a weak diuretic and expectorant.
  • Typically, dill preparations are prescribed for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, accompanied by spasms, gas, intestinal pain (spastic colitis and intestinal colic). Dill is particularly effective for children.
  • Dill is also used for bile stones and kidney stones, bronchitis and pertussis, scarce menstruation and sexual infantilism.
  • The internal use of infusion of fruits in combination with external washing is useful for mycoses (fungal skin lesions). The fruits of the plant are part of many carminative, laxative and calming teas.
  • Dill has an expectorating and disinfecting action. In folk medicine, a decoction of dill seed is used to wash the eyes for conjunctivitis, the skin for purulent diseases, it is also drunk for flatulence, abdominal pain, cough, insomnia, and to improve milk production in nursing mothers.
  • Biological effect of fennel: carminative, improves spasms of the gastrointestinal tract, antimicrobial, expectorant, etc.
  • Fennel is recommended for the treatment of flatulence, spastic gastrointestinal tract conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.
  • Seeds good effect on colds, cough. Many people are familiar with the dill waterthat is given to children with swelling, gas accumulation. The fact is that fennel is usually called pharmaceutical dill because of its similarity to the garden plant and high healing properties.
  • In Indian medicine, fruits are used as a stimulant, and the roots are used as a laxative.
  • Dill essential oil perfectly cleanses the body, removes toxins, especially among those who enjoy plenty of food and alcohol. It has a diuretic and slightly laxative effect. It impacts the digestive system, eliminating constipation, gas, nausea.
  • During menopause, fennel oil is very effective as it stimulates the production of its own estrogen. Encourages lactation. Along with this, the fennel has high antifungal effectiveness.
  • Dill oil has a hepatitis-protective effect in toxic liver damage. Increases appetite and the secretion of digestive and bronchial glands. It has a beneficial effect on skin.
  • Gargling with dill decoction eliminates sore throat and hoarse voice. To use the medicinal properties of dill, it must be ground to powder and, in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening, it must be prepared by placing half a teaspoon in a small glass of boiling water and sweatening the mixture, and then it must be consumed. This mixture helps in the formation of gases and facilitates digestion.
  • Dill leaves are added fresh to salads, fish and meat dishes during cooking. The seeds are placed in spicy soups and marinades, various pickles. Dill sauce is suitable for cold fish. This plant is most widely used in French and Italian cuisine.

Dangerous properties of fennel

Dill, like many medicinal herbs, has both beneficial properties and contraindications. First of all, it must be noted that individual intolerance to the herbs is possible. If you feel nausea or dizziness after using dill, you should give up this plant.

Also, despite the ability to increase the flow of milk, dill is only recommended to nursing mothers and pregnant women if the benefit outweighs the potential harm. A similar approach has been taken when prescribing the product to people with epileptic seizures. Overdose or abuse of drugs based on this plant leads to indigestion and can cause allergic reactions.

In addition, precautions should be taken when applying dill in case of heart rhythm disturbances. Also, doctors note that a large number of plants eaten can even cause bleeding.

Remember that, in any case, the use of dill should start with small doses so that you can notice over time its negative effects on the body.