Science of Spices and Culinary Herbs - Latest Laboratory, Pre-clinical, and Clinical Studies

Science of Spices and Culinary Herbs - Latest Laboratory, Pre-clinical, and Clinical Studies

Volume: 2

Many herbs and spices, in addition to their culinary use for taste, contain chemical compounds which have medicinal uses. For this reason, herbs and spices have been used for treating various ...
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Biological Activities of Foeniculum vulgare Mill.

Pp. 92-115 (24)

Anitha Rajasekaran

Abstract

In recent years, traditional systems of medicine are widely practiced throughout the world to treat various ailments that have originated due to the rise in population, increase in the cost of the drug, side effects of synthetic drugs and emergence of drug resistance in microbes. Asian food contains various culinary herbs that are used extensively in the traditional systems of medicine. One such important oldest culinary herb is Foeniculum vulgare Mill. It is an annual herb (Apiaceae), cultivated as arid and semiarid crop in the tropics and temperate regions of the world. Today, it finds its application in the healthcare industry, pharmaceutics, food, and cosmetics. Major components of F. vulgare essential oil are trans-anethole, estragole (methyl chavicol), fenchone and phellandrene. They also contain fatty acids, phenylpropanoids, terpene, coumarins, tannins, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides, and saponins. It is reported to possess antimicrobial, antiviral, antimycobacterial, antiprotozoal,anti-infantile, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antimutagenic, antihirsutim, antinociceptive, antispasmodic chemo modulatory, antitumor, antithrombotic, apoptotic hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, hypoglycemic, memory enhancing and oestrogenic properties. It also has antioxidant, cytotoxic, bronchodilatory, diuretic, galactagogue, emmenagogue, hypotensive and gastroprotective activities. Due to its antioxidant properties, it has lesser side effects and also reduce toxicity. Hence, it can be used effectively in combating various diseases. This chapter presents a comprehensive summary of the various biological activities of F. vulgare.

Keywords:

Anethole, Biological activities, Culinary herb, Essential oils, Foeniculum vulgare, Limonene, Pharmacological activities.

Affiliation:

Department of Botany, Bharathi Women’s College, Prakasam Salai, Broadway, Chennai-600108, India.