Fennel. Fruits and oil
Specification & Spread
Fennel fruis — fructus foeniculi
Fennel oil – oleum foeniculi
Fennel — foeniculum vulgare mill.
Carrot family – apiaceae (umbelliferae)
Other names: common fennel, dill.
It is a perennial (biennial in culture) herbaceous plant up to 150 cm tall, with a bluish bloom.
The stem is erect, branched at the top.
The leaves are alternate, vaginal, the lower - petiolate, the middle and upper - sessile. All leaves are repeatedly pinnate on linear filament segments.
The flowers are small, pentamerous, yellow, gathered into an inflorescence complex umbrella. The covers are missing.
The fruit is a cremocarp, which breaks down into two semi-fetuses (mericarp).
It blooms in July - August, the fruits ripen from September.
Spreading. In the wild form it grows in the Mediterranean, as the wild is found in the Crimea, Central Asia and the Caucasus. It has long been cultivated in the Krasnodar Territory (Russia), Moldova and Ukraine.
Habitat. In the steppe areas, on rocky slopes, near roads and shelter. It is cultivated mainly on fertile soils, heat and light-loving plant. It is drought resistant.
The chemical composition of fennel
The fruits of fennel contain:
- 4-6% of essential oil.
The main component of it is:
- anethole (50-60%),
- anise aldehyde,
- anis acid,
- alpha pinen and other terpenoids.
In the seeds - up to 18% of fatty oil.
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
Harvesting. The fruits are ripen non-simultaneous, so the harvesting is carried out at ripening 50% of umbrellas in two stages, which reduces crop losses. The plants are mowed with combines and tied into sheaves for ripening and drying.
Drying. It is dryied in sheaves under sheds, then the raw material is threshed, cleaned of impurities, sorted and veiled.
Storage. According to the rules of storage of essential oil raw materials, in bags, boxes.
External signs of raw materials
The fruits are cremocarps, disintegrating into two semi-fetuses (mericarp).
Merikarp is oblong, almost cylindrical, bare.
At the apex there are remnants of a five-toothed calyx and an adrenal disc with two diverging columns.
The outer side of the mericarp is convex, the inner one is flat.
Each mericarp has five strongly protruding longitudinal ribs: three of it are on the convex side and two more developed ones are on the sides.
The seed in mericarp is one, fused with the pericarp.
The length of the fruit is 6-10 mm, the width is 2-4 mm.
The colour of the fruit is greenish-brown.
The smell is strong, fragrant.
The taste is sweet and spicy.
Properties and application
Pharmacotherapeutic group. Expectorant agent.
The pharmacological properties of fennel
The fruits of fennel have:
- expectorant and
- carminative action.
Carminative action is mainly due to the antispasmodic effect on the muscular layer of the intestine.
In addition, there are also found:
- sedative effect.
Application of fennel
Fennel fruits and fennel oil are used:
- with flatulence and
- as an expectorant,
- sometimes to improve the taste of mixtures.
The chemical composition and pharmacological properties of the fruits of fennel are very close to the fruits of anise, also have:
- antispasmodic and
- diuretic action.