Fructus Foeniculi

Fructus Foeniculi is also named Xiao Hui Xiang, 小茴香, Fennel, Hui Xiang, 茴香
Xiao Hui Xiang
Xiao Hui Xiang

Naming

Xiao Hui Xiang (Fructus Foeniculi)——Xin Xiu Ben Cao (Newly Revised Materia Medica)

Origin

The mature fruit of the perennial herbaceous plant Foeniculum vulgare Mill. of family Umbelliferae.

Location

All parts in China.

Harvest

Collected in autumn when the fruits begin to be ripe.

The true smell and taste

Special aroma, slightly sweet, pungent.

Best quality

Big, yellow-greenish, thick aroma.

Processing

Unprocessed or stir-baked with salty water.

Property

Pungent, warm; liver, kidney, spleen and stomach meridians entered.

Actions

Dispel cold and alleviate pain, regulate qi and harmonize stomach.

Indications

A. Hernia with abdominal pain

It is the essential herbs for hernia of cold type with abdominal pain because of its actions of warming kidney and liver, promoting qi flow to alleviate pain. For hernia due to congealing cold and qi stagnation, it can be stir-baked alone and wrapped in cloth for local iron, or decocted with other qi-moving and cold-dispersing and pain-alleviating herbs. For instance it is combined with Wu Yao, Qing Pi, Mu Xiang and Gao Liang Jiang in Tian Tai Wu Yao San from Yi Xue Fa Ming. For orchidoptosis due to liver-qi stagnation, it is usually combined with the qi-moving, nodulation-dissipating and pain-alleviating herbs. For instance it is combined with Ju He and Li Zhi He in Xiang Ju San from Zhang Shi Yi Tong.

B. Dysmenorrhea

It has the actions of dispersing cold from liver meridian and promoting qi flow to alleviate pain and is indicated for abdominal cold pain due to cold in liver meridian or dysmenorrhea due to deficiency-cold of thoroughfare and conception vessels, qi stagnation and blood stasis. It is usually combined with the meridian-warming and blood-activating, qi-moving and pain-alleviating herbs. For instance it is combined with Dang Gui, Chuan Xiong, Rou Gui and Yan Hu Suo in Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang from Yi Lin Gai Cuo.

C. Congealing cold and qi stagnation in middle energizer

It has the actions of warming middle energizer and alleviating pain, regulating spleen-stomach qi to increase appetite and arrest vomiting. For gastro-abdominal distending pain due to stomach cold and qi stagnation, it is usually combined with the middle-energizer warming herbs and qi-moving analgesics such as Gao Liang Jiang, Xiang Fu and Wu Yao. For gastro-abdominal distension, poor appetite and vomiting due to deficiency-cold of spleen-stomach, it is combined with the middle-energizer-warming, spleen-invigorating and vomiting-arresting herbs such as Bai Zhu, Chen Pi and Sheng Jiang.

Dosage and Administrations

Decoct 3~6 g. Proper dosage is for external application.