Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Herbal Therapy: Fennel, A Potent Functional Food for Treatment of Infantile Colic

Kyle J. Norton

Fennel may have a profound and positive effect in reduced risk of infantile colic, some scientists suggest.

Infantile colic is a reaction of the infant if episodes of crying for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week, for three weeks in an otherwise healthy child. The condition has strong impacted in psychological, emotional, and physical burden to parents.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a plant species of genus, belongings to Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), native to the Mediterranean, used in traditional and herbal medicine as warming, carminative, antispasmodic, antidepressant agent and to stimulate the appetite, ease indigestion, soothe coughing, reduce intestinal spasms, to regulate the menstrual cycle and relieve PMS,...

1. Carbohydrates
2. Fiber
3. Protein
4. Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
5. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
6. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
7. Pantothenic acid (B5)

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to investigate the effectiveness and side effects of phytotherapeutic agent with Matricariae recutita, Foeniculum vulgare and Melissa officinalis in treatment of infantile colic in a total of the 93 breastfed colicky infants conducted by the John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, after a 3 day observation period, the infants randomly assigned to groups treated with phytotherapeutic agent (PA) and group received placebo twice a day for 1 week, researchers found that crying time in group received PA was reduced substantially in 85.4%  of subjects in compared to 48.9% subjects in placebo group against baseline.

PA treatment group exerted no side effect during the period of experiment.

Base on the result, researchers suggested that PA  demonstrated a significant activity within one weeks of application in infantile colic.

Furthermore, the St. Petersburg Medical Academy of Postdoctoral Education in the concerns of the side effects of 5% of infants treated with dicyclomine hydrochloride, the only pharmacological treatment for infantile colic, with substantial side effects, including death, conducted a randomized placebo-controlled trial of 125 infants, 2 to 12 weeks of age from 2 large multi-specialty clinics by assigned them to either group treated with fennel or placebo, indicated that fennel treatment group improves the crying time episodes and frequency sidnificantly in compared to the placebo group.

According to the Wessel assay, infantile colic was reduced by 65% (40/62) in the treatment group in compared to only 23.7% (14/59) in placebo.

Further analysis also found that application of fennel induced a risk reduction of 41% in compared to placebo without causing any side effects.

Although the causes of infantile colic is unknown, some researchers suggested that the results of fennel in treatment of infantile colic may be attributed to its efficacy in the hypothetical conditions catalyzed by 
*Abnormal gastro-intestinal function caused by imbalanced of bacterial ratio
According to the literature reported by the Swansea University, application of fennel essential oil have a sustainable effect in inhibited E. coli growth, observed by disc diffusion assays and in liquid culture.

These results were illustrated by the effect of an aqueous extract of the aerial part and aqueous extract of seed sample of fennel.

Fennel inhibited overgrowth of Agrobacterium radiobacter pv. tumefaciens, Erwinia carotovora, Pseudomonas fluorescens, andPseudomonas glycinea,  Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Pseudomona aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella typhimurium, Shigella flexneri, and Bacillus cereus in maintenance integrity of digestive function.

Further differentiation also suggested that fennel has a strong impact in protected the gastric damage through significantly increased nitrite, nitrate, ascorbic acid, retinol, and beta-carotene levels.

Dr. Shamkant B. Badgujar, the lead author, in the differentiation of fennel, in regard to the gastrointestinal effect, said, "Foeniculum vulgare is indicated in the treatment of spastic gastrointestinal disturbances, in some forms of chronic colitis (which resist other treatments), in dyspepsias from gastrointestinal atony, in dyspepsias with the sensation of heaviness in the stomach, and so forth.The addition of fennel to preparations containing anthraquinonic components reduces the occurrence of abdominal pain often associated with this type of laxative"

* In Psychological aspect of mother such as mother’s depression, anxiety and dis-tress during pregnancy in induction of infantile colic, although there are no direct literature to confirm the efficacy of fennel in treating syndromes of these group of women, but in the study of psychological symptoms in women with premenstrual syndrome, application of fennel seed was associated in deceased depression and anxiety.

Also, in stress induced maternal anxiety and depression, application of fennel extract (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight) showed a significant improvement of urinary levels of vanillyl mandelic acid(VMA) and ascorbic acid excretion levels in measurement of potentially psychological stress in fennel treatment group in compared to the normal group.

These results indicated that the extract of entire plant of F. vulgare pay have a potential effect by acting as an anti-stress agent in reduced depression and anxiety in maternity.

* In food allergic aspect, although there are no direct study in expression of fennel improved immune response against food allergy,.

Some researchers postulated that anethole, a bioactive compound from fennel inhibited food allergy probably through enhacing immune system food hypersensitivity response by modulating the expression of Foxp3+ in regulated the development and function T cells and inhibition of Th2 cytokines in promoted antibodies production of immunoglobulin E (IgE), thus reducing immune system overreacts to an allergen.

Taken together, the findings suggested that fennel may be considered as a function food for treatment of infantile colic, however, a large sample size and study by multi centers are necessary to reconfirm the viability.

Reprint of this article is welcome with name of the author and link back to sources intact

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrients, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published on line, including world wide health, ezine articles, article base, healthblogs, selfgrowth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bio science, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of a standardized extract of Matricariae recutita, Foeniculum vulgare and Melissa officinalis (ColiMil) in the treatment of breastfed colicky infants by Savino F1, Cresi F, Castagno E, Silvestro L, Oggero R.(PubMed)
(2) The effect of fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare) seed oil emulsion in infantile colic: a randomized, placebo-controlled study by Alexandrovich I1, Rakovitskaya O, Kolmo E, Sidorova T, Shushunov S.(PubMed)
(3) Illicium verum Extract and Trans-Anethole Attenuate Ovalbumin-Induced Airway Inflammation via Enhancement of Foxp3+ Regulatory T Cells and Inhibition of Th2 Cytokines in Mice by Yoon-Young Sung,1 Seung-Hyung Kim,2 Dong-Seon Kim,3 Ji-eun Lee,2 and Ho Kyoung Kim1(Hidawi)
(4) Comparison of the antibacterial activity of essential oils and extracts of medicinal and culinary herbs to investigate potential new treatments for irritable bowel syndrome by Thompson A1, Meah D, Ahmed N, Conniff-Jenkins R, Chileshe E, Phillips CO, Claypole TC, Forman DW, Row PE.(PubMed)
(5) Comparing the Effects of Echinophora-platyloba, Fennel and Placebo on Pre-menstrual Syndrome by Masoumeh Delaram,1,* Soleiman Kheiri,2 and Mohammad Reza Hodjati(PMC)

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