Life Extension Magazine®

Three fennel bulbs a rich source of polyphenols and other beneficial compounds


The herb fennel is rich in polyphenols and other compounds that show anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, anti-thrombotic, hypoglycemic, and stress-relieving properties.

Scientifically reviewed by: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N, in August 2023. Written by: Laurie Mathena.

Fennel is an herb that originated from the Mediterranean region. It is commonly used in Greek cooking for its licorice-like flavor, and its favorable effects on digestive, endocrine, reproductive, and respiratory issues.1

Benefits can be derived from both the fennel bulb and the seeds.

Fennel is a rich source of health- promoting plant compounds, including the polyphenols rosmarinic acid, quercetin, and apigenin.

In-vitro and in-vivo studies show that these compounds have antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, anti-spasmodic, anti-thrombotic, hypoglycemic, memory-enhancing, and stress-relieving properties.1

People in many cultures chew fennel seeds after meals to help with digestion and eliminate bad breath. And in Ayurvedic medicine, fennel seeds are used as a laxative, because they help move food through the intestines and promote excretion.

Fennel may be eaten raw in salads and snacks, and it can be stewed, boiled, grilled, or baked. It can also be used in the preparation of herbal teas or as an essential oil.


  1. Badgujar SB, Patel VV, Bandivdekar AH. Foeniculum vulgare Mill: a review of its botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology, contemporary application, and toxicology. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:842674.