Xiao Hui Xiang (Fructus Foeniculi)

Xiao Hui Xiang is also known as Fructus Foeniculi and is the mature fruit of Fennel, which is the Perennial herb belonging to the family Umbelliferae. It has a medicinal history of more than 1,500 years.

This plant originated in countries around the Mediterranean and is now cultivated in many countries around the world. The main ingredients of Xiao Hui Xiang are protein, fat, dietary fiber, fennel brain, anisyl ether, fenchone, and anisaldehyde.

Each year, the world’s total output of Xiao Hui Xiang is about 30,000 tons and Its trade volume is about 6,000 tons.

Xiao Hui Xiang is a kind of food flavor with high value and is the main component of many daily necessities and food additives. Some toothpaste, tooth powder, soap, perfume, and cosmetics all contain its extracts.

In the countries on the Mediterranean coast, fennel is made into anisette. The stems and leaves of fennel are made into tobacco. Fennel has a strong aroma and contains no nicotine, so it may become a substitute for cigarettes in the future.

In Chinese medicine, the whole part of fennel can be made into Chinese herbal medicine.

After the fruits of fennel mature each fall, people pick whole fennel plants, dry them in the sun, and remove their impurities. When fennel is made into Chinese herbal medicine, its fruits, stems, and leaves need to be treated separately. There are some differences in their efficacy.

The best Xiao Hui Xiang is plump and has a fragrance. Its color is yellow-green.

According to <Tang Ben Cao>, the medicinal property of Xiao Hui Xiang is relatively warm, with a sweet and bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of liver, kidney, spleen and stomach meridians.

Clinically, Xiao Hui Xiang is used to treat diseases such as hernia, bloating, abdominal pain and dysmenorrhea. It is a commonly used medicine in the treatment of gastropathy in traditional Chinese Medicine.

There are about 50 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine formulas containing Xiao Hui Xiang, such as Tian Tai Wu Yao San, Qian Jin Zhi Dai Wan, and Tiao Jing Wan.

Health benefits of Xiao Hui Xiang

  • Scavenging active oxygen and free radicals and anti-mutation.
  • Enhancing immunity, reducing the side effects of anticancer drugs, and anti-tumor.
  • Promoting bile secretion and digestion, increasing gastrointestinal motility, eliminating gas accumulated in the gastrointestinal tract, and treating abdominal distension.
  • Paralyzing the central nervous system, weakening muscle excitability, relaxing tracheal and uterine smooth muscles, and relieving cough and uterine spasms.
  • Warming the spleen and stomach, treating vomiting, anorexia, and stomachache caused by deficiency cold of the spleen and stomach.
  • Treating acute abdominal pain, hernia, dysmenorrhea, cold pain in the lower abdomen, and irregular menstruation caused by cold-dampness.
  • Warming the kidney, treating frequent urination, enuresis, hydrocele, and ache of waist and knee caused by the deficiency of kidney yang.
  • Nourishing the liver and improving the regeneration function of liver tissue. Treating testicular hematoma caused by liver depression and qi stagnation.
  • Inhibiting fungi, avian tuberculosis, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, and dysentery.
  • It has diuretic and detoxification effects and can lose weight.
  • It contains phytoestrogens, which can promote the growth of the breast, fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries.
  • The topical application of its powder can treat snake bites.

Xiao Hui Xiang is used with other Chinese herbs

  • It with Sheng Jiang (Fresh Ginger) and Mu Xiang (Radix Aucklandiae) can treat vomiting, anorexia, and stomachache caused by stomach cold.
  • It with Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis) and Zhi Qiao (Fructus Aurantii) can treat dysmenorrhea and amenorrhea and have the effect of expelling cold and warming the uterus.
  • It with Xiang Fu (Rhizoma Cyperi), Bai Zhi (Radix Angelicae Dahuricae), Hai Piao Xiao (Os Sepiae), San Qi (Panax notoginseng), Yan Hu Suo (Rhizoma Corydalis), and Da Huang (Radix et Rhizoma Rhei) can treat a chronic ulcer.
  • It with Wu Yao (Radix Linderae), Ba Yue Zha (Akebia Fruit), Hu Zhang (Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati), Ji Nei Jin (Endothelium Corneum Gigeriae Galli), Jin Qian Cao (Lysimachia), and Gan Cao (Licorice Root) can remove ureteral stones, bladder stones.
  • It with Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Chuanxiong), Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis), Xiang Fu (Rhizoma Cyperi), Wu Zhu Yu (Fructus Evodiae), Jiang Ban Xia (Ginger-processed Rhizoma Pinelliae), Bai Shao (White Peony Root), Yan Hu Suo (Rhizoma Corydalis), Dang Shen (Radix Codonopsis), Zhi Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae Preparata) can relieve the cold pain in the lower abdomen in menstruation.

Side effects of Xiao Hui Xiang

It has been used as a spice for many years with almost no side effects.

A small number of people take it may cause chest distress, shortness of breath, dyspnea, pale complexion, increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure and other allergic reactions.

Taking it in excess or taking it for a long time may damage eyesight.

Precautions of Xiao Hui Xiang

  • The dosage of Xiao Hui Xiang should be controlled at 3-6g.
  • It contains volatile oil, so it is not suitable for long-term decocting.
  • It can be made into teas or ground into powder for external use.
  • It’s perishable. It should be stored in a cool and dry place. It should not be taken after deterioration.
  • Pregnant women should not take it.
  • People with heat diseases or yin deficiency should not take it.
  • People with Sjogren’s syndrome, tuberculosis, diabetes, or menopausal syndrome should not take it.