Fennel oil (Foeniculi aetheroleum)

Published April 19, 1991.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Foeniculi aetheroleum, fennel oil

Composition of Drug

Fennel oil is the essential oil obtained from the dried, ripe fruits of the Foeniculum vulgare Miller var. vulgare (Miller) Thellung [Fam. Apiaceae], by water steam distillation, as well as its preparations in effective dosage.

Fennel oil contains anethole, fenchone, and not more than 5 percent estragon.


Peptic discomforts, such as mild, spastic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, feeling of fullness, flatulence.

Catarrhs of the upper respiratory tract.

Fennel honey:

Catarrhs of the upper respiratory tract in children. Contraindications Fennel honey:

None known. Other preparations:

Pregnancy. Not to be used for infants and toddlers. Side Effects In rare cases, allergic reactions affecting skin and respiratory system.

Interactions with Other Drugs

None known.


Unless otherwise prescribed:

Daily dosage:

0.1 - 0.6 ml, equivalent to 0.1 - 0.6 g of herb; equivalent preparations. Fennel honey syrup with 0.5 g fennel oil/kg:

10 - 20 g; equivalent preparations. Mode of Administration Essential oil and galenical preparations for internal use.

Duration of Administration

Unless otherwise advised by a physician or pharmacist, one should not consume fennel oil for an extended period (several weeks).

Note: Fennel syrup, fennel honey: Diabetics must consider sugar content of bread exchange units according to manufacturer's information.


Stimulation of gastrointestinal motility.
In higher concentrations, antispasmodic.
Experimentally, anethole and fenchone have shown a secretolytic action on the respiratory tract.
In vitro, antimicrobial.