Essential oil of the month - Sweet Fennel

Essential oil of the month - Sweet FennelSweet Fennel essential oil (Foeniculum vulgare) is steam distilled from the crushed seeds of the Fennel herb, which grows wild in many parts of Europe and the Mediterranean (from where it originates).

Fennel comes from the same plant family (Umbelliferae or Apiaceae) as Aniseed, Caraway and Coriander. It is a highly aromatic herb, with all parts being used in cooking. Traditionally it has had many uses - some more relevant than others! It was reputedly used by snakes to rub themselves against to improve their eyesight, and was thought to improve human sight too. Fennel was also hung over doors to help protect against witch-craft, and was used as an anti-venom for snakes bites, poisonous plants and mushrooms!

Sweet Fennel oil has a fresh, sweet, aniseedy aroma with earthy undertones. It is considered safer to use than Aniseed oil and has many different uses in modern day aromatherapy:-

  • Female hormonal issues – specifically to help regulate the menstrual cycle and to help ease cramps, water retention and other menopausal symptoms.

  • Digestive aid - can help to relieve bloating, indigestion, colic, constipation, wind and inflammation. Can also act as an appetite normaliser/suppressant.

  • Detox aid – can help to stimulate the release of toxins causing cellulite, arthritis, oedema, urinary tract infections and urine retention.

  • As an oral tonic and mouthwash for oral thrush (when used in conjunction with Tea Tree essential oil) and gum inflammation.

Safety note: Fennel should not be used with children under 6 due to active constituent Melantine. It should also be avoided by those with epilepsy and during pregnancy - due to its oestrogenic actions.

Aromatherapy blends using Sweet Fennel essential oil:

Digestive Massage Oil: 

10ml Sweet Almond Oil, 3 drops Sweet Fennel essential oil, 3 Sweet Orange and 1 Peppermint.

Use after heavy meal if bloated, uncomfortable/constipated. Massage into the tummy with a clockwise rotation to help relieve wind and to stimulate digestion.

Anti-Cellulite Cream:

120ml Moisturising Lotion, 5ml Red Carrot Oil, 10ml Jojoba Oil, 20 drops Geranium essential oil, 10 Juniper, 10 Cypress, 10 Sweet Fennel and 5 Lemon. Massage into the affected areas after a bath or shower.

Arthritis Massage Gel (for when joint inflammation is hot or sore):

70ml Aloe Vera & Seaweed Gel, 5ml St John's Wort Oil, 5ml Argan Oil, 3 drops German Chamomile essential oil, 6 Juniper, 6 Sweet Fennel, 20 Lavender and 2 Peppermint. Stir well, keep in fridge and apply regularly.

Joannah Metcalfe
Consultant Aromatherapist

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