Oenanthe aquatica (L.) Poiret - syn.Phellandrium aquaticum L., Oenanthe phellandrium Lam. - Apiaceae
water fennel, fine-leaved water dropwort, Großer Wasserfenchel, Wasser-Pferdesaat
Annual or biennel herb, 0.30-1.2m high, native to Europe and West Asia, naturalized in North America. Fruits 3.5-4.5mm long.
The plant is to be distinguished from Oenanthe fluviatilis (extinct in Germany) and the even more toxic Oenanthe conioides (endemic to the Elbe floodplain in Germany) which are 1-2m high and have 4.5-6mm long fruits.
[Exkursionsflora, Werner Rothmaler, Berlin 1986]
Settles various wetlands, landscapes with ponds and pools, in reeds at water depths up to 1 m. It tolerates large fluctuations of the water level and preferably lime-and nutrient-rich waters. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oenanthe_aquatica
The fruits own a bitter taste and unpleasant spicy scent. Umbels are harvested before fully ripeness, dried, and processed into tincture or fruits are used to made infusions. The essential oil seeme to have expectorant and soothing effects on the upper airways, aiding the treatment of tuberculosis and asthma. The drug has been used externally to treat mastitis and ulcus cruris.
[Kosch, A., Handbuch der Deutschen Arzneipflanzen, Springer Berlin, 1939, 239-240]
Main constituents of the essential oil from the fruits collected by steam distillation (1-2.5%, Phellandri aetheroleum, Oleum Phellandri), were β-phellandrene (80%), β-pinene, androl and some acetylenic compounds. Minor components were α-pinene, myrcene, sabinene, p-cymene, octanal, androl formate, 1,5-nonadiene-3-ol formate, cryptone, α-terpineol, and phellandral e.g.
[Composition of the Oenanthe aquatica essential oil., Vincieri, F.F., Coran, S.A., Bambagiotti, M., Planta medica, 29(02), 1976, 101-112]
Phellandri aetheroleum (Oleum Phellandri) contains β-phellandrene (80%), phellandral, apiol, camphene, isopropyl cyclohexen-2-ol, myristicin, n-nonen-1-ol, n-nonen-2-ol, n-undecen-4-ol and is formerly used in folk medicine to treat diseases of the respiratory system and digestive organs.
[Hagers Handbuch 2010]
Oenanthe aquatica (L.) Poiret as Oenanthe phellandrium Lam.
Kohl, F.G., Die officinellen Pflanzen der Pharmacopoea Germanica, t.80 (1891-1895)