Archive | April 26, 2013

Privatizing Fennel and More!

Privatizing Fennel and More!

By Hwaa Irfan

Since the Monsanto directed FDA paved the way for the patenting of Croton lechleri/Dragon’s Blood Tree, after a period of clamping down on homeopathic and traditional medicines via defamation, more claims have come forth.

Following the upsurge in evidence that marijuana contains more health benefits than dangers, and fobbing of legalization, patent US20130059018 has been filed by UK-based company, GW Pharmaceuticals for the phytochemical in marijuana cannabinoids for the treatment of cancer. In fact they have already produced a by-product, Sativex/Nabiximols  an oral spray that contains this compound derived from the cannabis plant itself and has been approved for use in Canada, the UK and eight other European countries.

As an antioxidant and a protectant of the nervous system, many companies will be itching for a patent as it has been effective in the treatment of “Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, HIV dementia, and oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

GW Pharmaceuticals cultivates its own marijuana from seeds and clones. They have produced 100 tons of medicinal cannabis each year since 2012.


Then there is the family friendly Swiss-based Nestlé who seem to be going for a whole plant. The plant concerned has been used for centuries in many traditions, Fennel, Nigella Sativa and Foeniculum Vulgare.

In fact, Nestlé has been filing patent claims around the world (WO2010133574), and was published in November 2010. This means, if successful, like Monsanto, they will sue anyone for using this God given plant! However, they claim that:

“The patent, which has not yet been approved, would not prevent the use of the fennel flower plant for any other purposes, including in traditional and natural remedies”, but that might be to eliminate resistance to their claim.

Nestlé which previously tried to lay to cow’s milk as a laxative, and currently is claiming water is not a human right, claims to have discovered that Fennel has “nutritional interventions in humans with food allergy” a claim that has been long established in many traditions including published research papers from Egypt and Pakistan.

Known as hubbet al-barakah in Arabic, and frequently called “black seed/black cumin/ “fennel flower (English), has been used medicinally, and in cuisine for over 3,000 years according to records, and its use has not diminished in present times. In herbal medicine, the seeds have been used as a carminative, aromatic, anti-spasmodic, a stimulant, a galactogogue (stimulates mother’s milk), a rubefacient, and as an expectorant. In ancient Egypt, it was used to cure eye ailments, and today it used in the treatment of conjunctivitis, and blepharitis. The essential oil contains over 100 medicinal compounds, and has been used in aromatherapy as an:

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-allergenic
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-depressant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antifungal
  • Antipyretic
  • Anti-rheumatic
  • Anti-viral
  • Anthelmintic
  • Antioxidant
  • Carminative
  • Emmenagogue
  • Galactagogue
  • Hepatic
  • Hypoglycemic
  • Tonic (immune system)

In Chinese traditional medicine, fennel/hui xiang is used to regulate and balance the qi energy, ailments from excess cold like hernias, drooping testicles, pain and cold in the abdomen, as we as nausea. One of the compounds mentioned in Nestlé’s claims is thymoquinone which protects against nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity (pertaining to the liver) induced by either disease or chemicals.

For a corporation to take control of all of the above, the same corporation that claims water is not a human right is quite simply outrageous.

Sign the petition to Nestlé



Hammond, E. “Food giant Nestlé claims to have invented stomach soothing use of habbat al-barakah (Nigella sativa)”

Mao, K. “Who Is Trying To Patent Marijuana?”

“Nestlé is Trying to Patent the Fennel Flower”

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