Fennel Seed Health Benefits, Dose, How To Use

Fennel Seed is an ancient Indian spice. Usually spices are hot in nature and are not soothing to the stomach. But fennel seed is an exception to this rule. It is sweet and slightly bitter in nature. It is the spice of choice to chew after food. Usually given at the end of dinner in every Indian hotel.

Botanical name: Foeniculum vulgare
Family: Umbelliferae (Satapushpa kula)

Classical categorization

Charaka – Madhuraskandha – Sweet tasting group of herbs

Medicinal qualities

Guna (qualities) – Laghu (light to digest), Rooksha (dry)
Rasa (taste) – Madhura (sweet), Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter)
Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion) – Madhura (sweet)
Veerya (potency) – Ushna – hot in potency Bhavaprakasha and Kaiyyadeva Nighantu. Cold, as per Dhanvantari Nighantu
Effect on Tridosha: Balances Vata and Kapha.

Fennel seed benefits

Fennel seed benefits - Ayurveda

Durnama Kshayajit – useful in chronic respiratory conditions leading to emaciation. (as in tuberculosis).
Kshataksheenahita – useful in people with injuries
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Pittasradoshajit – useful in bleeding disorders of Pitta origin
Agnikrut – improves digestion strength
Hrudya – good for heart, cardiac tonic
Shukrapaha, Avrushya – It is not an aphrodisiac
Yonishoolanut – useful in relieving pain arising from female reproductive system
Useful in
Krumi – worm infestation
Baddhavit – constipation
Anila – Vata disorders
Daha – burning sensation
Aruchi – Anorexia, lack of interest in food
Chardi – vomiting
Kasa – cough, cold

Part used

Fruits, fruit oil and root

Ayurvedic medicines

Abhayarishta – used to relieve constipation and piles
Brahmi Vati – used to improve intelligence and memory
Panchatikta Guggulu ghrita – used in abscess, sinuses etc.

Fennel side effects

Two of the Ayurvedic text books mention it as Avrushya – hence it is not ideal for people undergoing aphrodisiac therapy. It may decrease sexual interest or performance.
It is safe to use in children, pregnant and lactating mothers.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Fennel seeds for dry mouth and excess thirst

Fennel seeds consist of flavonoids. These will stimulate the flow of saliva and hence get rid of dry mouth.
Fennel seeds have an aromatic flavor. This helps combat the bad breath which often accompanies dry mouth.
You can munch these seeds many times in a day.
You can also mix equal amounts of fenugreek seeds with it and dry roast them in a pan. Grind them and add a little salt. Eat ¼ – ½ teaspoon of this mixture after each meal.

Vernacular names, Sanskrit synonyms

Punjabi, Hindi name: Sounf
Tamil name: Soumbu
Bengali name: Mauri
Marathi name: Badi Shep
Gujarati name: Variyali
Telugu name: Sopu
Kannada name – Badisopu
Malayalam Name:  Perum jeerakam
Arabian name: Rajiyanaj
Farsi name: Rajiyan

Sanskrit synonyms: Mishi, Madhurika, Madhura

Systemic Action (Sthanika Karma)

Nervous system – Improves eyesight, promotes intellect. Its juice can be used for this purpose.

Digestive System – Appetizer, increases digestive fire, Antispasmodic, facilitates movement of vata dosha in normal direction, Root can be used to induce purgation.Circulatory System – Good for Heart, and purifies blood.
Respiratory system – Help to expel out vitiated kapha dosha from the digestive tract. Indicated in cough, and breathing disorders.
Excretory System – Induce urine production. Indicated in conditions like Dysuria, Urinary tract infection etc.
Reproductive System – Aphrodisiac, Improves breast milk production, indicated in conditions like low semen count, Pelvic cramp etc.
Skin – it is indicated in skin disorders.
Satmikarana – Helps to regain body strength. Improve digestion and absorption.
Tapakrama – Indicated in fever associated with burning sensation

20 comments on “Fennel Seed Health Benefits, Dose, How To Use

  • tarun

    09/11/2013 - 6:30 pm

    I take saunf after every meal & it has helped a lot in digestion issues. Didn’t knew this much information about this.

    Sir, would like to know more about various herbs(herbs used in the daily chores) but can you index them with the link as we have to find everything by searching.

    Reply to comment
    • tarun

      12/11/2013 - 7:47 pm

      Thanks for the reply

      Reply to comment
    • Emmett Walsh

      01/02/2015 - 3:35 am

      Why do you not give the Keralyan/Malayalam name of the herbs Doctor. Afterall, Kerala has the most authentic practice of Ayurveda and should be included. !
      Emmett Walsh
      Medical Herbalist/ Physician

      Reply to comment
      • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

        18/04/2015 - 11:06 am

        Hi, thanks for the suggestion. I have just included it in the article.
        I try my best to include as many vernacular names as possible.
        Authentic practice of Ayurveda is not just limited to Kerala.

        Reply to comment
  • Himani

    14/07/2015 - 11:11 am

    Bt as per my knowledge.the too much intake is not good for girls health nd the potency us cold..as per article…is dat really true abt ghe effectiveness of d fennel

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      13/08/2015 - 10:10 pm

      It is hot in potency. Now corrected. Thanks.

      Reply to comment
  • donroy

    28/05/2016 - 3:53 am

    If the Veerya (potency) is Ushna (hot in potency), how is it cooling? could you comment please.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      15/06/2016 - 1:06 pm

      Thanks for pointing out. Corrected.
      It is hot in potency, but not as hot as other spices to cause stomach irritation.

      Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    11/08/2016 - 10:03 pm

    It is not a strong purgative to make the poop semisolid but it will definitely help in constipation.

    Reply to comment
  • Amit

    27/09/2016 - 3:55 pm

    is shatpushpa known as fennel?

    Reply to comment
  • Meena

    08/09/2017 - 9:12 pm

    Does eating too much cause any harm to body?is it okay to eat during trying to become pregnant?

    Reply to comment
  • Anders

    02/05/2018 - 6:11 pm

    Hello sir!
    I have much pitta and my feces “burns” while passing them and are also thick and brown/red. I guess that my high pitta is drying up everything. I am also thirsty all time. Is fennel seeds good for this kind of problems? Can you recommend other herbs?

    Reply to comment
  • Alexander

    15/10/2018 - 11:49 pm

    Thank you for this site, sir!
    So what about fennel dosage? 🙂

    Reply to comment
  • Rahul

    24/08/2020 - 7:50 am

    Just a minor correction:
    Bhavpraksh verse says its ruksha, while you have it as snigdha

    Reply to comment
  • Kelly Parker

    03/04/2021 - 12:37 am

    Yes it is true that fennel seeds can (will) be hot pungent and cold in it’s nature to begin with so it is true that mighty seed is all in one

    Reply to comment
  • Shivanand

    22/08/2022 - 4:31 pm

    Does consuming too much of fennel seeds induce dizziness and nausea?

    Reply to comment

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