Fennel Essential Oil
- Distillation Method:
- Country of Origin:
- Plant Part:
- Latin Name:
- Foeniculum vulgare
- Naturally Grown
About the Oil: Sweet Fennel essential oil has a slightly spicy and green aroma with a distinctly anise-like note. It is wonderful for brightening the skin, aiding digestion, detoxifying, and clearing out the lungs.
Drops per mlBlending Tips
ABOUT THE PLANT
Sweet Fennel essential oil is a wonderful aromatic from the crushed seeds of this common spice. Sweet fennel is a biennial or perennial herb growing up to 6 feet high with feathery leaves and brilliant crowns of gold flowers. Of unknown origin, it was planted on the island of Malta by monks or crusaders a few thousand years ago. Currently, Sweet Fennel is principally grown in France, Italy and Greece.
ABOUT THE OIL
This essential oil is predominantly clear with a slight blue tint. It is steam-distilled from the seeds of naturally-grown Egyptian Sweet Fennel.
It is an herb with a long history in traditional medicine, thought to bring longevity, courage and strength. Fennel's 'magical' use includes the warding off of evil spirits and the countering of poisons.
THERAPEUTICS DESCRIBED BY AROMATHERAPY SPECIALISTS
From Salvatore Battaglia’s The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy1:
- Traditionally used for digestive disorders
- Assists detoxification
- “closely related to the earth element and the intellect”
- Warming & drying
From Peter & Kate Damian’s Aromatherapy: Scent and Psyche2:
- Recommended for oral & gum health
- Antispasmodic – recommended for coughs
- Liver detoxifier
PROPERTIES OF FENNEL REPORTED IN PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH
- Soothes colic5
SUMMARY OF RESEARCH STUDIES
- Fennel essential oil was found to have antioxidant potential comparable to that of the commonly-used preservative antioxidant butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Fennel oil was also found to have significant antibacterial activity in vitro.3
- Fennel extract was shown to have significant anti-inflammatory effects in multiple tests of inflammation in rats.4
- A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in colicky infants found that a supplement containing chamomile, melissa, and fennel significantly reduce infant crying time after one week.5
- A study in rats reported that fennel essential oil was effective in protecting against chemically induced liver damage.6
- Administration of fennel extract in rats was shown to have significant protective effects against induced damage to the stomach lining.7
1 Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, 2003.
2 Damian, Peter, and Kate Damian. Aromatherapy: Scent and Psyche. Inner Traditions/Bear & Co, 1995.
3 Ruberto, Giuseppe, et al. “Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity of Foeniculum Vulgare and Crithmum Maritimum Essential Oils.” Planta Medica, vol. 66, no. 8, 2000, pp. 687–693., doi:10.1055/s-2000-9773.
4 Choi, Eun-Mi, and Jae-Kwan Hwang. “Antiinflammatory, Analgesic and Antioxidant Activities of the Fruit of Foeniculum Vulgare.” Fitoterapia, vol. 75, no. 6, 2004, pp. 557–565., doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2004.05.005.
5 Savino, Francesco, et al. “A Randomized DoubleâBlind PlaceboâControlled Trial of a Standardized Extract of Matricariae Recutita, Foeniculum Vulgare and Melissa Officinalis (ColiMil®) in the Treatment of Breastfed Colicky Infants.” Phytotherapy Research, vol. 19, no. 4, 2005, pp. 335–340., doi:10.1002/ptr.1668.
6 Özbek, H., et al. “Hepatoprotective Effect of Foeniculum Vulgare Essential Oil.” Fitoterapia, vol. 74, no. 3, Apr. 2003, pp. 317–319., doi:10.1016/s0367-326x(03)00028-5.
7 Birdane, Fatih Mehmet, et al. “Beneficial Effects of Foeniculum Vulgareon Ethanol-Induced Acute Gastric Mucosal Injury in Rats.” World Journal of Gastroenterology, vol. 13, no. 4, 28 Jan. 2007, pp. 607–611., doi:10.3748/wjg.v13.i4.607.
As with other members of the Umbelliferae family, Sweet Fennel has long been used as both a carminative (to reduce intestinal gas) and an expectorant (to loosen and expel respiratory congestion).
- direct inhalation, diffuser, oil vaporizer
- massage, compress, bath, skincare
- Dilute in carrier oil and apply topically. May be rubbed over the stomach area to improve digestion.
- The essential oil may be helpful in assisting digestion – the seeds are offered in Indian tradition after meals. It can be used for indigestion; a drop taken by mouth brings a nice feeling to the digestive system.
Sweet Fennel essential oil is a honeysuckle-like floral top note followed by a deeply sweet, anise-like middle note and an earthy, slightly woody and spiced undertone. In perfumery it is considered a middle-top note.
Sweet Fennel mixes well with: Geranium Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Lavender Oil, Rose Oil and Lemon Oil.
For accurately measuring oils, see our Drops per mL page.
Non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising. Always test a small amount first for sensitivity or allergic reaction.
Fennel essential oil is a narcotic when ingested in larger doses and therefore it is recommended to use in very low concentrations. For internal use, we recommend consulting a physician.
DO NOT USE if you are pregnant or epileptic.
Fennel essential oil may stimulate estrogen production and increase lactation, as well as act as a stimulant to the lymphatic, circulatory and digestive systems. It may also act to break up and flush out toxins, cleansing the tissues. Therefore, it is CONTRAINDICATED FOR ESTROGEN-MEDIATED CANCERS.
Note that there is a Bitter fennel oil which causes sensitization and should not be used on the skin at all.