Saunf, Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare)

Other names for Foeniculum vulgare, or fennel, include Saunf and Mishreya. Historically, this herb was used to treat a wide range of illnesses. Within the genus, Foeniculum vulgare is a fairly old term. The plant, Mishreya, is a member of the Umbelliferae family. People use this plant for its flavor. This plant develops erect. It is a perennial herb with soft, feathery leaves that resemble hair. This plant has several branching leaves and is smooth, cylindrical, and upright. The lacy leaves have enlarged petioles that cling to the stalk to form an eatable structure. The leaves can reach lengths of 40 cm and widths of 0.5 mm. The structure they make that is edible is called a bulb. In its first season, this plant can reach a height of two feet.  Mishreya yields foot-tall flowering stems that hold up ostentatious flat-topped umbels of tiny golden flowers. July and August bring the second season. The root resembles a carrot and is very elongated. This plant has a scent to it. Every portion smells wonderful.

General Description

It is well known that the sweet and fragrant plant Foeniculum vulgare is used as a spice in cooking. Although it is grown throughout the world, India is the primary producer of its seeds. They add flavor to pastries, bread, liqueurs, and other items. Although this plant goes by numerous names, saunf is the most common name in India.

There are two primary types of this plant. These are the varieties: vulgare and piperitum. Vulgare possesses sweet, flavor-enhancing seeds, whereas Piperitum has bitter ones. Similar to the other one, sweet mishreya has a firm perennial that can reach a height of six feet and doesn't generate swelling leaf bases or bulbs.

Antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, hepatoprotective, diuretic, antioxidant, and anticancer properties are reported to be present in this plant.

Like anethole, the primary component of mishreya, the plant contains numerous other significant active chemical components. Additional components include camphene, limonene, estragiole, alpha pinene, safrole, bitter fenchone, p-cymen, and beta-myrcene.

Mishreya is rich in metal cations, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, and vitamin C.


  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Subkingdom - Tracheobionta
  • Superdivision - Spermatophyta
  • Division - Magnoliophyta
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Subclass - Rosidae
  • Order - Apiales
  • Family - Apiaceae
  • Genus - Foeniculum
  • Species - Foeniculum vulgare


Mishreya is a native of the Mediterranean region, which includes Western Asia, North Africa, and Europe. A large portion of North America, Central America, Hawaii, Australia, Fiji, Queensland, and Austria are home to them.

Names of the Misreya

  • Latin name - Foeniculum vulgare
  • Sanskrit name - Mishreya, Madhurika
  • Hindi name - bari saunf, badi, sonp, sont, saunf, Badi, badishep
  • English name - common fennel, sweet fennel, wild fennel, Bitter fennel
  • Gujarati - Hariyal, variyali
  • Haryana - Saunf
  • Jammu and Kashmir - Saunf
  • Marathi - Badishep, shoap
  • Tamil - shombu, sohikire, Perun siragum 
  • Telugu - Peddajilakurra, sopu
  • Uttarakhand - Badesoppu
  • Slovenian - Sladki komarcek
  • Somali - Ethiopia Kamon
  • South Europe - Fennel
  • South Africa - Vinkel, fennel
  • Spanish - fenoll, fiollo, hinojo amargo, millua, Hinojo
  • Swedish - Fank
  • Nepalese - Madesi, sauf
  • North Iran - Badian
  • North Portugal - Funcho
  • Norway - Fenikkel
  • Norwegian - Fennikel
  • Pakistan - Sonef, saunf
  • Peninsula, Spain - Hinojo
  • Italy - Finucchio, finucchiello,
  • Japanese - uikyou, uikyou, shouikya, Fenneru
  • Java, Indonesia - Adas
  • Jordan - Shomar
  • Kallawaya - Jinuchchu
  • Kannada - sabbasige, dodda sopu, dodda jirige, Badi sopu, badisepu
  • Korea - Sohoehyang

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)

Madhura, Katu, Tikta

Sweet, Pungent, Bitter

Guna (Physical Property)

Laghu, Snigdha

Light, Unctuous

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Classical Categorization

Charak Samhita

Sushrut Samhita

  • Madhuraskandha - group of herbs with a sweet taste


Practical Uses

  • Can be Oestrogenic - Mishreya is a recognized oestrogenic substance. It promotes libido, menstruation, milk secretion, male climacteric, and easier childbirth. Active components are the primary ingredients in Mishreya oil, such as anethole.

  • Hepatoprotective activity - Hepatic protection is a feature of plant essential oils. In order to lessen liver damage, it lowers the levels of bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in the serum.

  • Shows Antibacterial properties - This fruit extract has the ability to inhibit foodborne pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and S. aureus. When it comes to human pathogenic microorganisms, the essential oil from seeds exhibits antibacterial activity. Water and ethanol extracts have Helicobacter pylori-fighting properties.

  • Shows Antioxidant activity - It has a reputation for being a free radical scavenger. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.

  • Has Anticoagulant effects - The plant known as ferrula communis, or gigantic fennel, contains coumarin, which inhibits vitamin K and interferes with blood coagulation.

  • Anti-diabetic properties - The plant seeds' essential oil has the ability to increase insulin secretion and pancreatic alpha cells.

  • Muscle relaxant effects - Plant essential oils possess favorable inotropic effects. The smooth muscles of the bladder that contract in response to acetylcholine are often inhibited by sweet oil.

Parts Used

  • Fruits
  • Fruit oil
  • Roots
  • Stems
  • Leaves


500 mg to 2 gms.

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