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.

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

All-Natural Essential Oil Bug Spray

Summer adventures bring lots of bugs, and subsequently, lots of bug bites. Here’s an all-natural bug spray recipe that will keep the bugs away without damaging your health. Our favorite part? It smells so much better than typical bug sprays!

Bug Spray

  • Servings: Yield=4 oz. (100 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) Witch Hazel
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) distilled water
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 7 drops melaleuca essential oil
  • 7 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 7 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 4 oz. Spray Bottle
  • “Bug Spray” vinyl label

Instructions:

  1. Combine the witch hazel and water in the spray bottle.
  2. Add the essential oils, and shake to combine.
  3. Spritz the bug spray on your skin, and rub in.

Just Add Oils to Spring Cleaning

As the weather gets warmer, many people move into spring cleaning mode. Winter clothing gets stored away, windows are opened to air out the house, and lots of deep cleaning takes place as sunshine energizes the soul. A couple weeks ago, we held a contest and gathered many great cleaning recipes from you, our readers. The winner of our contest was Heather Crabill’s Counter and Appliance Spray. Heather says, “I spray my counters and appliances with the solution, and then I wipe with a warm, wet cloth. Friends and family always comment on how lovely the kitchen smells!”

Counter and Appliance Spray

  • Servings: 8 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 8 drops melaleuca essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3/4 cup distilled water
  • 8 oz. Glass Spray Bottle

Instructions:

  1. Carefully pour the vinegar and essential oils in the spray bottle. Swirl to combine, and then fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water.
  2. Spray on counters and appliances; wipe with a warm, wet cloth.

A lot of great cleaning ideas and recipes were submitted to us. Here are just a few:


NON-CITRUS PRODUCE SPRAY

“I’m allergic to citrus oils. So for cleaning produce, I put tea tree [melaleuca] oil (8–10 drops) and cider vinegar (1/2 cup) in an 8 oz. spray bottle. Then I fill the bottle with distilled water and spray on produce to clean!” — Brenda Rupp


CLEAN SHOWER SPRAY

15 drops Protective Blend
5 drops lavender
1 tsp. white vinegar
8 oz. water
“Combine everything in an 8 oz. spray bottle. Spray down the shower and squeegee the glass doors when finished. Looks and smells great!” — Barbara Dittrich


TUB AND SINK CLEANER

“In a glass measuring cup, pour 6 oz. of white vinegar. Microwave to a slight boil. Use a funnel to pour the hot vinegar into an 8 oz. spray bottle, and then add 1 Tbsp. of Protective Blend Cleaner Concentrate and 3 drops of lemon essential oil. Shake well, and spray all around tub. Wait 2 minutes or so and rinse off. If you have stubborn stains, scrub with a brush. Also, I put baking soda into the drain first, so that when I’m finished cleaning, the drain also gets cleared out. This treatment is nice and easy to do, and if you do it weekly, all you need to do is spray and rinse.” — Nancy Jaykka


ANY ESSENTIAL OIL CLEANER

“I save all the dribbles left in my essential oil vials and use them in my cleaning spray bottle. I purchased a cheap bottle of vodka, and I add 1 oz. of that to the 8 oz. spray bottle. Then I put in my leftover EOs and top off the spray bottle with filtered water. This solution works great on counter tops and appliances. It will even kill gnats that get into the kitchen.” — Mickie


Here are some other great recipes to help you spring clean:

Click here for more essential oil cleaning tips!

Make & Take Class Idea: Natural Cleaning Sprays

With the weather turning warmer, you may be getting anxious to start your spring cleaning…or you may be dreading it. Either way, making all-natural cleaners can help you get started on the right foot! But rather than simply making the cleaners on your own, why not turn it into a Make & Take Essential Oil Class?

Prepare a Short Lesson on Essential Oils

Start the class with a little lesson about the basics of essential oils and how they can help boost the effectiveness of your cleaning products. You can find information about these topics in Modern Essentials. Check out the “Introduction to Essential Oils” and “Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaning and Disinfecting” sections of the Science & Application section of Modern Essentials as well as the “Housecleaning” section in the Personal Usage Guide section for help in planning your lesson.

“Many essential oils have demonstrated the ability to inhibit or kill various types of bacteria, mold spores, and even viruses. These disinfectant properties of essential oils make them a natural substitute for the harsh chemicals used in many commercial cleaners. Essential oils can also work as natural deodorizers, without the artificial fragrances used in some products” (Modern Essentials, p. 60).

After presenting your short lesson about essential oils to your class, allow your students time to make their own cleaning spray, ask you questions, or look up conditions in a Modern Essentials book. Continue reading