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The fennel seed is used in herbal medicine as remedy for colic (in combination with chamomile, vervain, licorice and lemon balm) , gastrointestinal pains, bronchitis, and heart burn.
The major chemical compound found in fennel, terpenoid anethole, is believed responsible for fennel's ability to inhibit spasms in smooth muscles such as those in the intestinal tract. This is thought to contribute to fennel's use as a carminative, a gas-relieving and gastrointestinal tract cramp-relieving agent.
When combined, peppermint, fennel, caraway, and wormwood appear to have a soothing effect on the intestines. This combination of herbs may also be useful when used in connection with: indigestion, heartburn, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) .