Foeniculum vulgare Mill., commonly called fennel is one of the most popular perennial herbaceous plants used as herbal medicine and spices worldwide. It belongs to the family Umbelliferae or Apiaceae and is characterized by a distinct floral arrangement with an umbrella-like shape. In addition to other well-known Umbelliferae plants, such as carrot, celery, and angelica, fennel has been utilized ethnobotanically to cure various ailments, including gastrointestinal issues, hormonal disorders, reproductive, and respiratory diseases. This review aims to update the information on conventional usage, cultivation, phytopharmacological properties, and other applications of F. vulgare Mill. in animal husbandry. Ethnobotanical studies have shown its medicinal uses worldwide; some tribes have reported its medicinal uses and how they use different parts of the plant. Alkaloids, essential oils, phenols, fatty acids, and amino acids are examples of natural phytochemicals that have been characterized and biologically tested for their medicinal potential. Fennel has been used to treat ten categories of diseases over the last two decades. Pharmacological studies revealed that the Umbelliferae plant has antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, gastro-protective, estrogenic-like, cardiovascular, lipid, anti-mutagenic, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer activity, hepatoprotective, and memory-protective properties. Fennel extract is used as a potential phytogenic agent to enhance the productivity and quality of animal husbandry. Finally, the present study may provide up-to-date information on the medicinal application of F. vulgare from ethnobotanical and phytopharmacological perspectives and could be further explored to provide a broader benefit to humankind.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104541
JournalArabian Journal of Chemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Ethnobotany
  • Foeniculum vulgare
  • Health
  • Herbal medicine
  • Natural compounds
  • Traditional uses


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