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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Food therapy - Fennel anti microbial activities

By Kyle J. Norton

Fennel is a species of Foeniculum Vulgare, belonging to the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), native to the shores of the Mediterranean. It is now widely cultivated all around the globe to use as food and herb.
Nutritients
1. Carbohydrates
2. Fiber
3. Protein
4. Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
5. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
6. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
7. Pantothenic acid (B5)
8. Vitamin B6
9. Folate (Vitamin B9)
10. Vitamin C
11. Calcium
12. Copper
13. Iron
14. Magnesium
15. Molybdenum
16. Phosphorus
17. Potassium
18. Zinc

Chemical constituents(1)(2)
1. 1,3-benzenediol
2. 1-methoxycyclohexene
3. O-cymene
4. Sorbic acid,
5. 2-hydroxy-3-methyl-2-cyclopenten-1-one
6. Estragole
7. Limonene-10-ol
8. 3-methyl-2-cyclopenten-1-one
9. Linoleic acid
10. Oleic acid
11. Undecanal
12. 2,4-undecadienal
13. trans-Anethole
14. Fenchone
15. Limonene

The immune system is the set of cells and their activity against antigens or infectious agents that comprises of the body's defense system against diseases. The immune system does a great job of keeping people healthy and preventing infections. Beside foods and nutritional supplements, herbs also play a important role in helping the immune system defend against viruses and bacteria attacks.
According to the study by the Ataturk University, chemical constituents from the inflorescence, leaf stems, and whole aerial parts of fennel, including anethole, and hexane extract showed effectively against most of the foodborne pathogenic, saprophytic, probiotic, and mycotoxigenic microorganisms tested(2). In comparison of essential oil from 3 different species of fennels, such as Essential oils of the fruits of three organically grown cultivars of Egyptian fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum, Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce and Foeniculum vulgare var. vulgare, researched indicated that all three cultivars showed similar antimicrobial activity(3). Unfortunately, the 1Universidade do Algarve study, suggested that essential oils of fennel showed a very low antimicrobial activity, but exerted a pro-oxidant activity(4).


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References
(1) Antimycobacterial activity of constituents from Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce grown in Mexico.by Esquivel-Ferriño PC1, Favela-Hernández JM, Garza-González E, Waksman N, Ríos MY, del Rayo Camacho-Corona M.(PubMed)
(2) Chemical composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of essential oils from organically cultivated fennel cultivars by Shahat AA1, Ibrahim AY, Hendawy SF, Omer EA, Hammouda FM, Abdel-Rahman FH, Saleh MA.(PubMed)
(3) Chemical composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of essential oils from organically cultivated fennel cultivars by Shahat AA1, Ibrahim AY, Hendawy SF, Omer EA, Hammouda FM, Abdel-Rahman FH, Saleh MA.(PubMed)
(4) Foeniculum vulgare essential oils: chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities by Miguel MG1, Cruz C, Faleiro L, Simões MT, Figueiredo AC, Barroso JG, Pedro LG.(PubMed)