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Fennel Oil
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Home » Essential Oils » Fennel oil

Fennel oil (Foeniculum vulgare)

Fennel oil
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Origin of Fennel essential oil:
The name is derived from the Latin word 'foenum' which means 'hay'. In Medieval times it was known as 'Fenkle' and was a very popular herb with the ancient Chinese, Egyptians and Romans who believed it conveyed longevity, courage and strength as well as warding of spirits.

Description of Fennel oil:
Fennel grows up to 2 meters (6 feet) in height, the ultimate leaves very numerous, filiform, the superior leaves with sheaths longer than the blade. It is closely related to sweet and bitter fennel commercially produced for either the seed which is used as a spice or the essential oil extracted from the seed. The essential oil of sweet fennel is used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, perfumery and as a food additive. Extensive research has been conducted on the chemical composition of volatile oils of sweet fennel.

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Appearance: Thin liquid

Aroma : : Sweet, somewhat spicy, licorice-like (Anise) aroma

ColorColorless to pale yellow

Chemical constituents: Fennel oil has various chemical compounds that include trans-anethole, a-pinene, myrcene, fenchone, methyl chavicol, limonene, cineole and anisic aldehyde.

Extraction: It is extracted by the steam distillation of squashed seeds.

Therapeutic Effects:
It is gentle but effective for the same conditions and has a more appealing scent, also used for respiratory ailments, bronchitis, feverish conditions, the flu and skin problems such as burns, ulcers and wounds. It has a toning effect on the spleen and liver. It has a cleansing and toning effect on the skin, helping with bruises, sorting out overly oily skin and to fight wrinkles in more mature complexions (possibly due to the estrogenic properties of the oil).

As a digestive aid chew a handful of the seeds or take an infusion or tincture. When used as an infusion or tincture it can bring on menstruation, help with abdominal cramps and as a possible aid in the treatment of prostrate cancer.

To use as a tea to help digestion use 1 to 2 teaspoons of crushed seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes and then drink.

Pharmaceutical uses :
It is beneficial in conditions of excess fluid such as bleeding, nosebleeds, heavy menstruation, heavy perspiration, cough and bronchitis, haemorrhages and fluid retention. Furthermore, cypress oil helps to regulate the menstrual cycle, helps to ease arthritis and rheumatic pain and it is also beneficial to oily as well as congested skin and wounds. It acts as an antiperspirant and as massaging for abdominal pains.

Aromatherapy Uses :
Fennel oil is a remedy for digestive complaints such as flatulence, constipation, colic, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, dyspepsia and hiccups. It is also used in cases of obesity as it promotes that 'full feeling' and has a diuretic effect that helps to disperse cellulite. It is also used for increasing insufficient milk in nursing mothers but for boosting breast milk rather use the fresh herb, since the oil contains very high concentrations of trans-anethole.

Flavor industry :
Cypress oil mostly used in flavor industry in making following flavoured food items:

Culinary :
  • Nibble seeds for a breath freshener.
  • Grind it and add to meat mixture for meatballs with spaghetti sauce. The entire fennel plant is edible. Fennel contains these nutrients: Calcium Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Folic-acid, Vitamin C, Potassium, and Phytoestrogens. Used as a spice for flavoring these food additiuves.
  • Widely used in Italian sausages, baked goods and sweet-pickles.
  • In cookies and some bread (Stir into yeast dough and sprinkle on baked goods before baking).
  • In some beverages.
  • Use seeds in a hearty fish soup.
  • Rub on pork before roasting.
  • Sprinkle lightly on pepperoni pizza.
  • Before cooking, all leaves and any very tuff outer stalks should be removed for the Florence variety.

Cosmetics and toiletries :
When added to body lotions fennel acts as a moisturizer.Used in the bath or aroma lamp, fennel oil has a great calming affect.

For a great stress relieving scent by mixing alongwith fennel, rose and sandalwood oils. Fennel oil helps neutralize toxicity in the body so it is great for use after drinking too much alcohol or in smoking.

Specialised applications:

As Burners and vaporizers
In vapor therapy, fennel oil is used as an appetite stimulant in cases of anorexia, and to boost courage and strength in the face of adversity.

Blended massage oil or in the bath
Fennel oil can be used as a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath for helping to fix a bloated stomach, excess wind, colic, constipation and other digestive problems. It also acts as a diuretic, to remove excess water and to start breaking down cellulite.

Creams and lotions
Used in a base cream or lotion, fennel oil can be helpful for general skin care and especially for dispersing bruises, livening a dull complexion, clearing an oily skin and fighting wrinkles in mature skins. It is also useful for removing cellulite, to fight rheumatism and helps with edema.

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