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