Botanical name: Foeniculum vulgare
Other names: Fennel, Shatapushpa
Part used: seed
Taste (rasa): sweet (madhur), pungent (katuk), bitter (tikta)
Characteristic (guna): light (laghu), unctuous (snigdha), penetrating (tikshna)
Energy (veerya): heating (ushna)
Post digestive effect (vipak): sweet (madhur)
Dosha effect: balancing vatta, pitta, kapha.
Action (karma): Appetizer, digestive, brain and eye tonic, sattvic, redirects the flow of vata downwards, antiemetic, antispasmodic, calmantive, aromatic, diuretic, galactagogue, antitussive, expectorant, antiasthmatic.
Dose: Up to 9 grams per day.
Contraindications: None known.
Use in flatulence, gurgling, digestive discomfort, nausea and low agni (digestive fire). It benefits digestion without aggravating pitta. Use in cystitis and dysuria. Use fennel in nervous tension. All spasms are relieved by fennel, especially in the gastrointestinal tract, lungs and uterus. Tones the brain and nervous system, helps to clear phlegm. Induces menstruation and increases breast milk secretion. Useful in dysmenorrhoea, menstrual obstruction and mastitis.
Ref: ‘Ayurvedic Medicine’ by Sebastian Pole; ‘Ayurvedic Pharmacology & Therapeutic Uses of Medicinal Plants’ by Vaidya V.M. Gogte; ‘Yogi of Herbs’ by V. Lad & D. Frawley; ‘Herbs Are Special’ by Isabel Shipard.