Exploring fennel (Foeniculum vulgare): Composition, functional properties, potential health benefits, and safety

Rafieian F., Amani R., Rezaei A., Karaça A. C., Jafari S. M.

Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/10408398.2023.2176817
  • Journal Name: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Metadex, SportDiscus, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare Mill, pharmacological properties, safety
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill), a member of the Apiaceae family (Umbelliferaceae), is a hardy and perennial herb, with grooved stems, intermittent leaves, petiole with sheath, usually bisexual flower and yellow umbrella. Although fennel is a typical aromatic plant generally considered native to the Mediterranean shores, it has become widespread in many regions of the world and has long been used as a medicinal and culinary herb. The aim of this review is to collect recent information from the literature on the chemical composition, functional properties and toxicology of fennel. Collected data show the efficacy of this plant in various in vitro and in vivo pharmacological studies including antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antinociceptive, hepatoprotective, bronchodilatory, and memory enhancing activities. It has also been shown to be effective on infantile colic, dysmenorrhea, polycystic ovarian syndrome and milk production. This review also aims to identify gaps in the literature that require to be filled by future research.