Chronic pain and decreased quality of life are what many people with knee osteoarthritis experience.1 There's a pressing need for safe and effective treatments, which not only alleviate symptoms and restore mobility but also reduce the progression of the disease.
Known as a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic agent, fennel may help relieve knee pain in people with knee osteoarthritis, the evaluation of which was the purpose of this 2020 study.
There were 66 women with osteoarthritis partaking in this Iranian clinical trial. They experienced moderate to severe knee pain at the time of enrollment.
Once women were randomly split into two groups, they received their treatment instructions:
The fennel group was given capsules with powdered fennel extract (an equivalent to 7 grams of dried fennel seeds per day)
The control group received capsules containing the placebo
Before and after the trial, they completed a variety of questionnaires to evaluate their knee pain levels.
Although researchers observed changes in tested variables (e.g., pain, physical function, stiffness etc.) in both groups, the fennel group had more significant improvements than the placebo group.
There were no serious side effects reported throughout the study.
What Does this Mean?
Published in the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice journal, the results of this trial show that fennel can relieve knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Widely available, affordable, and free of side effects, it can serve as an alternative treatment for this type of arthritis.
Since it was the first study evaluating the effects of fennel capsules on knee pain in osteoarthritis patients, more studies are needed to understand the full scope of its potential applications.
- Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, Effect of sweet fennel seed extract capsule on knee pain in women with knee osteoarthritis, 2020
- Aging Clinical and Experimental. (2019). Impact of osteoarthritis on activities of daily living: does joint site matter? Retrieved March 16, 2022 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6661019/