382. Foeniculum.—Fennel.

Botanical name: 

Fig. 189. Foeniculum capillaceum. The dried nearly ripe fruit of Foenic'ulum vulga're Miller with not more than 4 per cent. of foreign matter.

BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS.—Stem somewhat furrowed, 3 feet high. Leaves much compounded, cut into fringe-like segments. Umbels with 6 to 8 rays, without involucre or involucel.

HABITAT.—Chiefly imported from Germany, although the cultivated plants in the gardens of this country partially supply the market.

DESCRIPTION OF DRUG.—Varying in size, the longest often being 12 mm. (½ in.) in length; oblong, terete, a cross-section showing a nearly circular surface; the mericarps are usually separated, however, and slightly curved, their surface dark brown and smooth, with the exception of the five prominent, filiform, lighter colored ribs, the two lateral ones rather broader; in each depression is one oil tube, and on the flat side or commissure there are two. There are two prominent varieties: Saxon, or German, about 4 mm. (⅙ in.) long, dark brown, usually in half-fruits without foot-stalks. The other (Roman) is about 12 mm. (½ in.) in length, lighter brown, with more prominent ribs, and often in the whole state and furnished with foot-stalk. Both, however, are about the same in aromatic properties, and have a warm, sweet, aromatic taste. Bitter fennel, from a wild plant of Southern France, is a small fruit, bitter and spicy. Indian fennel (6.7 mm. in length), anise-like odor used in the preparation of compound infusion of senna (2 per cent.).

Powder.—Characteristic elements: See Part iv, Chap. I, B.

CONSTITUENTS.—From 2.5 to 4 per cent. of volatile oil, almost chemically identical with that of anise. It contains phellandrene, C10H16. Ash, not exceeding 9 per cent.

ACTION AND USES.—Stimulant, carminative, stomachic, corrective. Dose: 8 to 30 gr. (0.5 to 2 Gm.), in infusion or powder.


Infusum Sennae Compositum Dose: 4 fl. dr. (120 Mils).

382a. OLEUM FOENICULI.—A colorless or pale yellow volatile oil, having a specific gravity of 0.96. It usually solidifies at from 5° to 10°C. (41° to 50°F.). It has essentially the same constituents as the oil of anise. Stimulant and carminative, and a corrective of harsh, purgative preparations. Dose: 1 to 5 drops (0.06 to 0.3 mil)


Aqua Foeniculi (0.2 per cent.) Dose: ¼ to 1 fl. oz, (8 to 30 mils) .
Pulvis Glycyrrhizae Compositus (0.4 per cent.) ½ to 2 dr. (2 to 8 Gm.).
Spiritus Juniperi Compositus (0.05 per cent.) 1 to 4 fl. dr. (4 to 15 mils).

A Manual of Organic Materia Medica and Pharmacognosy, 1917, was written by Lucius E. Sayre, B.S. Ph. M.