Fennel Essential Oil

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What about Fennel Essential Oil?

Latin Name:

Foeniculum vulgare is also frequently known as “sweet fennel”. The essential oil is steam distilled from the crushed seeds of the plant.

Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander. It has a distinctive anise or licorice fragrance and many people either love or hate it, but even the haters admit that it has properties that are highly beneficial!

All parts of the plant are edible.

Where does it grow indigenously?

Fennel is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks. Fennel has been grown throughout Europe, especially areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, and the Near East since ancient times. Today, the United States, France , India and Russia are among the leading cultivators of fennel.

What has been the historical use?

Fennel is considered one of the oldest medicinal plants and culinary herbs. It is mentioned in the famous Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian collection of medical writings made around 1500 BC. There it is referred to principally as a remedy for flatulence. Later authors of herbals, such as Pliny (AD 23-79), also describe fennel primarily as an aid to digestion.

In the Middle Ages, it was praised for coughs.” It was considered a snake bite remedy in ancient China. The ancient Greeks knew fennel by the name "marathron"; it grew in the field in which one of the great ancient battles was fought and which was subsequently named the Battle of Marathon after this revered plant.

The ancient Egyptians and Romans used fennel for spiritual and emotional support.

Roman soldiers took advantage of Fennel’s appetite suppressing properties during long periods of travel and religious fasts. Fennel was also believed to enhance strength and longevity, which is why athletes often used the seeds as a supplement while training for Olympic games.

During the Middle Ages, fennel was hung over doorways to drive away evil spirits. Fennel has been used since ancient times to treat menstrual disorders, dyspepsia, flatulence and cough, and to reduce the griping effect of laxatives. It was also recommended for bronchitis, chronic coughs, kidney stones, dysmenorrhea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Fennel seeds have been in use in culinary applications and as a mouth freshener since ancient times. In many parts of India and Pakistan, roasted fennel seeds are consumed after a meal to aid digestion and to freshen breath.

Currently, the cosmetic industry also utilizes fennel oil as a primary ingredient in lotions, creams, and astringents to help soothe, tone and cleanse the skin. In India Fennel seeds are often offered after a meal to ease digestion. Fennel seeds are the main flavoring in Italian Sausage.

Main Chemical Component:

E-anethole, fenchol, α-pinene

What are the benefits of this essential oil?

  • Fennel essential oil has a relaxing effect on nerves, muscles, intestines and the respiratory system and soothes spasmodic attacks, giving quick relief.
  • Promotes healthy digestion
  • Supports a healthy respiratory system
  • May help promote healthy metabolism, liver function, and circulation

How do I use this essential oil?


Fennel has a place in your skin care routines. As it is both astringent and cleansing, it is helpful in addressing mature skin and in balancing dry or oily skin types. Fennel can be used on most skin types, as well as throughout the year on skin that has needs changing with the seasons.

  • Fennel is also considered a beneficial oil for maintaining or promoting youthful skin and is also helpful when skin is troubled, for example in the case of reddened teenage skin.
  • Fennel can rejuvenate dull skin. Add 2-4 drops of fennel oil to a steaming bowl of hot water and use as a steam facial for cleansing.
  • Blend with unscented facial cream to enliven a dull complexion and to balance oily skin.
  • Rub Fennel on your stomach or on the bottom of your feet to help ease menstrual or digestive discomfort.
  • Topical application in a carrier oil to the breasts of a lactating woman will increase milk supply. Ingested milk will help soothe babies’ occasional GI upset.

Fennel Body Butter:

Combine 1/4 each of coconut and jojoba oil with 1/2 cup shea butter and heat until combined. Whip hot mixture in mixer and add 10 drops each of fennel, lemon, and helichrysum essential oils. Whip until stiff peaks form and store out of the heat.

Fennel Cuticle Balm:

In double boiler, melt 1 Tbsp each coconut oil, almond oil, hemp oil, and shea butter.

Once melted, remove from heat and stir in

10 drops lavender

5 drops peppermint

5 drops eucalyptus

5 drops fennel

5 drops clary sage

Pour into small containers

Let cool completely before sealing.

Apply to cuticles 3-4 times a day after hand washing or as needed.

Fennel Lotion Bar:


¼ cup coconut oil

¼ cup almond oil

¼ cup beeswax

Melt until combined then add

10 drops fennel essential oil

10 drops lemon essential oil

Pour into a silicone mold and let set for 24 hours.

Labor Massage:

As soon as contractions set in, ask your partner or friend to help you with a firm massage onto your lower back. The combination of aromatherapy and massage will help ease muscular pain and impart a feeling of confidence and reassurance.

Have this blend of oils ready at least one week before your due date.

8 drops lavender

8 drops clary sage

8 drops geranium

5 drops fennel

5 drops grapefruit

4 oz of carrier oil

Pour ½ teaspoon of your LABOR BLEND on the palm of the hand and massage the lower back as often as needed.

Aromatically: add a couple of drops to a diffuser or breathe in the aroma from the bottle.

  • To control feelings of overwhelm, place a drop in your hands and cup over the nose and mouth while you breathe.
  • Place 1 drop on your hands, cup over the nose and mouth, and breathe deeply as desired for strength.
  • For responsibility, place 1-2 drops on a cotton ball to stick in your car, home, or office vents. Diffuse as desired or add a drop to your shirt collar.

Fruit Punch Diffuser Blend

2 drops Fennel
2-3 drops Eucalyptus

7 drops Grapefruit
3 drops Balsam Fir

Spice of Life Diffuser Blend

2 drops Fennel

2 drops Clove

2 drops Cinnamon

Blends Well With:

Fennel Oil blends well with Geranium, Basil, Lemon, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Lavender, Geranium and Rose oils.

Internally: Be sure the essential oil you choose has a label that indicates it is safe enough to be taken internally!

  • Put a drop of Fennel under your tongue to help fight sweet tooth cravings.
  • Add to desserts for an additional depth of flavor.
  • Add 1–2 drops in a glass of warm water or tea to help settle digestive upset.
  • Take internally to support healthy respiratory function.
  • Put a drop of Fennel in water or tea to help fight sweet tooth cravings.
  • Add to desserts for an additional depth of flavor.
  • Add 1–2 drops in a veggie capsule to promote digestion.

Delicious Orange Fennel Almond Cake with Orange Glaze

For the cake:

2 whole oranges

6 eggs

1/3 cup raw honey (or preferred sweetener)

1 1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup arrowroot powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla essence

1 drop Fennel (sweet) essential oil

For the glaze:

1 orange

1/4 cup raw honey (or preferred sweetener)

1 cup filtered water

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

zest of 1 orange

additional fennel seeds for garnishing


1. Place the whole oranges in a deep pot and fill with enough water to cover them completely.

2. Over low to medium heat, cook for about 1 hour. Set aside to cool.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).

4. Grease a cake tin with some coconut oil. Set aside.

5. When the oranges are cool, cut into quarters, remove any seeds and any inside white parts. Place into the food processor bowl. Pulse until smooth.

6. Add the eggs, sweetener (honey), vanilla, fennel essential oil and sea salt. Pulse until smooth.

7. Add the almond flour, arrowroot powder and baking soda and pulse again until well blended.

8. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45-50 minutes.

9. Remove from heat and allow to cool before glazing.

For the glaze:

1. Grate the orange and reserve the zest.

2. Peel off what is left of the skin of the orange, and cut the flesh into small chunks.

3. Place the orange pieces and the rest of the ingredients in a small pot, over low heat, and cook about 20-25 minutes until the orange pieces are caramelised. Allow to cool at room temperature.

4. With an immersion blender, slightly puree. (Alternatively, you can leave with the chunks for a more rustic look.)

5. Pour over the top of the cake and drizzle with some additional fennel seeds.

6. Serve plain or with yogurt!

Fish marinade

Add 1 drop each of Fennel & Lime essential oils to 1 Tbsp olive oil and brush on fish.
Add oiled fish to this marinade - Soak for at least 3 hours.
1 cup white wine
1 crushed clove garlic
1 small onion diced
Salt & Pepper to taste

Emotional Benefits:

Fennel enhances peoples’ ability to embrace and accept themselves, and acknowledge the root cause of weight issues, thus contributing towards better self-image and confidence.

Fennel is also known to encourage positive qualities like perseverance and motivation, which are necessary to overcome weight issues. Fennel is also very beneficial for people who tend to bottle up their feelings, which often manifest as physical problems such as nervous spasm or indigestion.

Fennel helps open up channels of communication and gives people courage to express themselves without fear or inhibition.


An organic component called Trans Anethole, which present in fennel essential oil, boosts the production of the estrogen hormone. Although this is beneficial for lactating mothers, and stimulates milk production, it is harmful for pregnant women and women with breast cancer or uterine cancer or tumor, since excess estrogen is the main cause of such cancers. In heavy doses,

it may have narcotic effects and can result in convulsions, hallucinations and mental imbalance.

People suffering from epilepsy or with a history of that condition should avoid using fennel essential oil.


Pubmed.gov has 155 listings for fennel essential oil.


* PubMed comprises over 25 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLiNE, life science journals, and online books. PubMed citations and abstracts include the fields of biomedicine and health, covering portions of the life sciences, behavioral sciences, chemical sciences, and bioengineering. PubMed also provides access to additional relevant web sites and links to the other NCBI molecular biology resources.

An Important Message about Quality!

Many companies sell this essential oil under the generic name Frankincense and offer their oils at a significantly lower price than companies that offer genuine pure essential Frankincense. The companies with inexpensive bottles of Frankincense essential oil even label them "pure", but some of those oils have been shown to be diluted with inferior oils and even with turpentine!

Because of a lack of industry standards and a lack of regulation for terms such as "natural" or "pure", much of what you find at the drug store is NOT a therapeutic grade essential oil and may lack real quality or even contain contaminants or adulterants (way more common than you'd think).

A LOT goes into creating a high quality essential oil.

A good brand should follow these guidelines:

· Proper plant varieties

· Each plant grown indigenously for the healthiest plant

· Grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc.

· Harvested with precise timing to ensure peak properties

· Extracted with proper temp and pressure to preserve oil molecules

· Third-party testing of every batch

· Stand behind the internal use of their oils

The largest organ in your body is your skin.

Anything applied to your skin is absorbed into your body.

Anything inhaled, is also absorbed into your body.

If a bottle of essential oil states “external use only”, do you really want that impacting the cells of your body through absorption?

About me...

Hi! My name is Pamela Swamy and in August of 2015, it will be 2 years since I was first introduced to essential oils.

As a registered nurse, I was initially highly skeptical of essential oils but over time have personally experienced amazing responses from using them. Essential oils can be used for so much more than their fragrance and there are many online resources where you can find more information. Some of that information I will be sharing here.

It is important to note that before using any essential oils, you want to know for sure they are safe and pure enough to be taken internally. There are NO regulatory standards and the labels don't always state what is actually inside the bottles.

If you want more help in knowing how to determine if oils you want to try are safe and pure, please contact me by email or phone.