Essential Oil Spotlight: Fennel


Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) essential oil is steam-distilled from the crushed seeds of this plant. Fennel can be easily identified by its sweet, somewhat spicy, and licorice-like aroma. This essential oil contains the following health properties: antiparasitic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, diuretic, and expectorant.

Fennel was historically used by the ancient Egyptians and Romans when they awarded victorious warriors with garlands of fennel as a sign of praise. They believed that fennel would bestow these warriors with strength, courage, and longevity.

Common uses of fennel essential oil include blood clots, bruises, digestive system support, gastritis, kidney stones, lactation, pancreas support, parasites, skin revitalizing, tissue cleansing, and wrinkles. This essential oil primarily affects the digestive and hormonal systems.

Other possible uses of fennel essential oil include colic, stimulating the cardiovascular system, constipation, digestion (supports the liver), balancing hormones, nausea, obesity, PMS, and stimulating the sympathetic nervous system.

Application of Fennel Essential Oil and Safety Data:

Topical Application: This oil can be applied neat (with no dilution), or dilute 1:1 (1 drop essential oil to at least 1 drop carrier oil) for children and for those with sensitive skin. Apply directly to the area of concern or to reflex points.
Aromatic Application: Fennel increases and influences longevity, courage, and purification. Diffuse, or inhale the aroma directly.
Internal Application: Fennel oil is recognized by the FDA as safe for human consumption and serves as a powerful flavoring agent.
Safety Data: Repeated topical use may lead to contact sensitization. Use with caution if susceptible to epilepsy. Use with caution during pregnancy. This oil should not be taken internally by children under 6 years old, and should be used with caution and in greater dilution for children ages 6 and older.

Ways to Use Fennel Essential Oil:

1. Digestive Problems
Fennel essential oil has beneficial digestive properties. It can quickly alleviate bloating, gas/flatulence, and diarrhea. Combine 5 drops fennel essential oil with 1 tsp. (5 ml) carrier oil in a 5 ml roll-on bottle, and apply over your stomach as needed.
2. Cooking
Fennel has a strong licorice-like flavor and serves as a valuable ingredient in many spices and other recipes. It can be strong, so start small when adding it to your recipes; you can always add more later. Here are a few recipes using fennel essential oil!

3. Bath Oil
This essential oil is known for its ability to revitalize the skin, cleanse tissue, and smooth wrinkles. For this reason, fennel makes a beneficial addition to bath oils and soaps. For a silky-smooth feel after your bath, combine 8 drops jasmine, 8 drops fennel, and 2 Tbsp. (25 ml) jojoba oil in the palm of your hand, and hold under warm running bathwater. Swish the water around with your hand to disperse the oils.
4. Diffuser Blends
With its strong aromatic influence, fennel can serve as a nice addition to a diffuser blend. Its sweet yet spicy aroma can uplift you and fill you with courage. Here are a couple blends for you to try out.

5. Air Freshening Spray
Air fresheners should not only smell great, but also be emotionally uplifting. Combine 10 drops fennel, 8 drops lemon, and 6 drops juniper berry with 1 tsp. (5 ml) carrier oil in a 1 oz. spray bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with distilled water, and shake to combine. Spray the mixture around the room, and breathe in the emotional support.

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 63–64.
Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies by Franzesca Watson
Organic Beauty with Essential Oil by Rebecca Park Totilo

Essential Oils for the Digestive System

After the holiday season, we are all bound to have some sort of digestive problems. Essential oils are a great way to aid our bodies in returning back to normal any time of year! With so many organs involved in the digestive process, it’s easy for things to go wrong; but with these tips, you’ll be feeling better in no time. Let’s go over some of the common problems we all struggle with on occasion:

Bloating

Nothing can get you down more than a bloated stomach! Bloating, or abdominal swelling, is typically caused by overeating, menstruation, constipation, food allergies, and irritable bowel syndrome and can cause a lot of discomfort. The trick to this one is simple: rub Digestive Blend directly on your stomach and the reflex points on your feet, or give this roll-on recipe a try!

Bloating Roll-on:
5 drops fennel essential oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Combine oils in a 5 ml roll-on bottle, and apply on stomach once or twice a day as needed.

Constipation

Constipation is defined as having fewer than 3 bowel movements in a week, or having stools that are hard or difficult to expel. Constipation is caused by lack of fiber, dehydration, ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement, depression, medications, excessive dairy intake, stress, and laxative abuse. Oils that are great for constipation include rosemary, lemon, peppermint, marjoram, and Digestive Blend. These oils can be applied directly to the abdominal area but may need to be diluted depending on which oils you use. Give this roll-on blend a shot!

Constipation Roll-on:
1 drop rosemary essential oil
1 drop lemon essential oil
1 drop peppermint essential oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Add essential oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, and fill the remainder of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil. Massage gently on the stomach and back.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea can be really uncomfortable and extremely inconvenient. Diarrhea is defined as more than 3 bowel movements in a day. Serious cases of diarrhea last more than 2 days and can cause dehydration. These cases should be treated with an oral rehydration solution. Diarrhea is typically caused by viral, parasitic, or bacterial infections. Oils that help with this condition include peppermint, ginger, geranium, and Digestive Blend. Try this roll-on blend to help relieve this issue!

Diarrhea Roll-on:
3 drops peppermint essential oil
2 drops fennel essential oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Add essential oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, and fill the remainder with fractionated coconut oil. Apply over the stomach as needed.

Gas/Flatulence

Gas is always uncomfortable, inconvenient, and unwanted, and it can be caused by just about anything. You can remedy this problem with the use of lavender, ginger, peppermint, cardamom, eucalyptus, and myrrh essential oils. Try this roll-on out!

Gas Relief Roll-on:
1 drop lavender essential oil
1 drop rosemary essential oil
1 drop ginger essential oil
1 drop peppermint essential oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Add essential oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, and fill the remainder with fractionated coconut oil. Apply over the stomach once or twice a day as needed.

Heartburn

Heartburn is a painful burning sensation in the throat or chest. It’s a result of backed-up stomach acid in the esophagus and is often brought on because of certain foods, medication, pregnancy, and alcohol. Oils that help relieve heartburn include lemon, peppermint, and Digestive Blend. Give this remedy a shot!

Heartburn Water:
1 drop peppermint essential oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) honey
1 cup (240 ml) warm water
Add peppermint oil to honey, and dissolve in warm water. Drink slowly.

These are just a few examples of digestive problems that essential oils help combat. See Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils for more information and ideas on how you can have a healthier digestive system today!

Also, don’t forget to check out our post “The Art of Roller Bottle Blending” for more information on safe roller bottle use!

Source:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition.

Week of Wellness: Happy Colon, Happy Brain

Last week, AromaTools™ is hosted a full week of free health classes like this one by Sue Lawton, PhD—“Happy Colon, Happy Brain”—to celebrate the Grand Opening of our AromaTools™ retail store in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Click here to read other posts on classes given during the Week of Wellness. Also, check back with us throughout this week for more blog posts on timely health topics.
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Happy Colon, Happy Brain (and Body)

The better your digestive tract runs, the better your mental and emotional state—not to mention physical health. That was Dr. Sue Lawton’s impactful message at her class, “Happy Colon, Happy Brain.”

Dr. Lawton—a psychologist and biochemist—demonstrated with a larger-than-life intestinal model how a corrupt diet, dehydration, and negative thoughts and feelings sabotage our sense of self worth and shorten our lives. “Only your body can heal itself. Essential oils and everything else can only help—or hinder—the process,” she says.

Happy Colon, Happy Brain Class by Sue Lawton

Brain-Gut Connection

According to Dr. Lawton, the body’s nervous system is divided in two: the central nervous system that reports to the brain and the enteric nervous system than resides in our gut. They are connected by the vagus nerve; so when one system gets upset, the other does too. Nearly every chemical that controls the brain has been identified in the intestinal tract, including hormones and neurotransmitters.

“It shouldn’t surprise us, then, that poor digestion—including constipation in children—is linked to depression,” says Dr. Lawton. “Chronic stress can kink up the colon. And negative states of mind compromise the immune system, 80% of which is contained in the intestinal tract.” Essential oils—ingested, taken topically, or even diffused during dinner—are amazing because they can physically support digestion and promote positive emotions at the same time.

Don’t Eat That!

As taught by Dr. Lawton, artificial ingredients and refined foods confuse the colon. It recognizes them as unnatural and can’t absorb them as readily as food in its natural state. But the enteric nervous system is also “intelligent” and compensates as best it can for a poor diet. Finally, though, irritation can cause perforations in the intestinal lining, allowing partially digested foods into the bloodstream and triggering allergic reactions.

That is why people can “suddenly” become sensitive to certain foods, Dr. Lawton teaches. And it tends to be worse with genetically-modified foods (GMOs)—wheat being chief among them. (Gut bacteria contains the same metabolic pathway found in plants that is targeted and disrupted by the herbicide genetically integrated into wheat.)

Gluten intolerance is a growing epidemic, and white flour’s evil twin—refined sugar—is poison to our bodies and the number one addiction in America. “Sucrose consumption is linked to nearly all our major health problems: cancer, inflammation, diabetes, yeast infection, arthritis, and insomnia, to name a few,” says Dr. Lawton.

According to Dr. Lawton, essential oils have been shown to strengthen our body systems against disease, but they are supplements to our own good self care. Let’s get rid of the bad stuff so healing can happen! Under right conditions, the body can literally rejuvenate itself every 21 days. Essential oils can help ease sugar withdrawal symptoms.

Drink This!

Soda pop is a main culprit for kidney stones and kidney failure. “If you wanted to invest money in medicine, consider dialysis,” says Dr. Lawton. “It is one of the biggest businesses in the United States, since soda-drinking baby boomers are retiring and reaping the consequences of poisoning instead of purifying their bodies.”

Drink water! It is absolutely crucial for replacing dead cells, distributing oxygen, and eliminating waste. Sufficient water ensures proper bulk in stools and keeps the parastaltic (wavy) motion of the intestines going. The body is more than 80% water. Bottom line: the more water you drink, the younger your body stays.

Gut Feelings

Dr. Sue Lawton (far right) demonstrates how the parastaltic motion of digestion can be disrupted by poor diet, dehydration, and negative attitudes.

Dr. Sue Lawton (far right) demonstrates how the parastaltic motion of digestion can be disrupted by poor diet, dehydration, and negative attitudes.

Bad nutrition is not the only thing that can compromise the intestinal lining, allowing toxins to spill through the intestinal wall, into the bloodstream, and throughout your body. “Negative thoughts and self hate will do it,” Dr. Lawton asserts. “Unexpressed frustrations or expectations. Failure to forgive and let go.” Negativity in any form compromises the immune system, down to the cellular level. “Every cell in your body has a memory just like your brain. And your cells react to everything your mind says,” concludes Dr. Lawton. “So stay positive, and you will strengthen your entire body.”

About the Presenter


SueLawtonDr. Sue Lawton is an RN, has two PhDs (the first in clinical physiology and the second in basel chemistry), and has been using essential oils for over 40 years. Between her continued book study and hands-on experience, she’s a perfect example of knowing a good oil and the effects it should create when used properly.

Dr. Sue lives in New Jersey with her wonderful husband, John.