Fennel Essential Oil
Fennel essential oil has been used for years as a potent and effective aid for digestive health. The strong licorice aroma and flavor of this oil is gained from the steam distillation of the crushed seeds of the fennel plant. In addition to digestive system support, fennel essential oil is also useful for aiding with balancing hormones, soothing irritated skin and more.
Primary Physical Benefits
Fennel essential oil comes with a range of physical health benefits. These include:
- Aiding with healthy digestion and supporting a healthy digestive system;
- Easing the symptoms of the monthly menstrual cycle in women;
- Supporting a healthy lymphatic system, and
- Calming minor skin irritation.
Primary Emotional Benefits
Fennel essential oil is also widely believed to have a number of emotional and psychological benefits. Emotionally and spiritually, this oil is said to support a person’s responsibility and their confidence in their ability to respond.
Because of this, fennel essential oil is a useful aid for those struggling with low self-esteem, self-doubt, or a lack of motivation and help them to live in alignment with their integrity and values. Historically, this essential oil was believed to support stamina and longevity in humans by strengthening the solar plexus and was often given to warriors in order to bestow courage and strength.
Just as we can absorb the harmful properties of chemical substances and gases into our bloodstream through inhalation, the positive, healthy and healing properties of fennel essential oil can also be inhaled and absorbed into the body where they benefit our overall health. Aromatically, fennel essential oil can be used to help clear feelings of overwhelm or promote and encourage motivation.
There are a range of different ways in which you can use fennel essential oil aromatically either whilst at home or elsewhere. These include:
- Diffusion: Placing the oil into a diffuser is one of the best ways to ensure that you are inhaling the goodness of fennel essential oil for the majority of the time. A good diffuser will use a cool temperature or ultrasonic vibrations to release the oil molecules, allowing them to stay air-bound for as long as possible where you can inhale them.
- Direct Inhalation: One of the easiest ways to get the goodness of fennel essential oil is to inhale it directly. Do this by simply holding the bottle of oil a few inches from your nose and breathing in deeply. Or, add a few drops to the palms of your hands and cup them over your mouth and nose.
- Indirect Inhalation: If you don’t want to carry the bottle of oil around with you, you can add it to an object such as a handkerchief which you can inhale it from. Placing a few drops of the oil of your pillowcase as you sleep is also a good way to use this oil aromatically.
- Steam Tent: Clear your airways and benefit from the healing properties of fennel essential oil at the same time by using a steam tent. In order to do this, simply place a few drops of the oil into a bowl of warm (not boiling) water. Place a towel over your head and lean over the water to breathe in the steam.
- Vents and Fans: Instead of using a diffuser, place a few drops of the oil onto a cloth and place it in front of a fan or vent into your room. The air will cause the oil molecules to become air-borne where you can inhale them.
Fennel essential oil is an oil which is safe for undiluted topical use. To help with menstrual or digestive discomfort, use this oil topically by rubbing a few drops onto the stomach area.
Additionally, fennel essential oil can also be used topically to soothe symptoms of mild irritation on the skin. This could include insect bites, rashes or dry, itchy skin. Rubbing a small amount of fennel essential oil over the affected area will help to sooth irritation and discomfort.
For additional relief with menstrual or digestive discomfort or pain, add a few drops of fennel essential oil to your bathwater. Whether you add only fennel oil or add a few drops of another favorite oil, this can help to soothe your symptoms and promote relaxation.
Fennel essential oil can also be used as an ingredient for making soap, body butter, lotions and other natural body cleansing products. To make a refreshing, rejuvenating and moisturizing body butter from this product you can combine with jojoba oil, coconut oil and shea butter. Or, create a lotion bar by adding ten drops of fennel and another favorite essential oil to a quarter cup each of beeswax, almond oil and coconut oil.
Internal use of fennel essential oil is generally safe; however, care should be taken when first doing so. Fennel essential oil is often used by those endeavoring to eat healthier; placing a drop of the essential oil under the tongue to help fight sweet cravings.
Internal use of fennel essential oil can also be a useful aid for digestion. Adding a few drops to hot water or tea, or placing a couple of drops in an empty veggie capsule can help to relieve any digestive problems that you may be experiencing. Taking fennel essential oil after eating can help your food to digest easier and with less issues. For those suffering with digestive pain or menstrual symptoms, internal use of fennel essential oil can help to quickly and effectively relieve discomfort.
When cooking, fennel essential oil is commonly added to deserts for an extra depth of flavor. When adding to deserts, a general rule of thumb to go by is that less is more – start by adding a very small amount, and increase if needed.
Using Around the Home
Fennel essential oil can be used on its own or around the home as a method of purifying and cleaning the air, or in cleaning products for a natural, fresh smell.
Fennel essential oil is most commonly used around the home as an air freshening product, either in a diffuser, reed diffuser or as a spray. You can also blend it with other essential oils to create unique and fresh scents for your home. Lemon, rosemary, lavender, sandalwood, basil and geranium essential oils each compliment fennel essential oil extremely well when it comes to blending. Create a blend with one or more of these oils along with fennel essential oil and add to a diffuser for a constant fresh scent in your home.
As a spray, you can mix fennel essential oil either on its own or with other essential oils and distilled water. Place in a spray bottle and spray around the home to freshen and purify the air. Or, spray onto clothing before drying to scent the clothes and also as a handy way to use the oil aromatically whilst you are out and about.
As with all essential oils, fennel essential oil must be used with a range of precautions. As it is not a potent oil there is generally no need to dilute before use aromatically, topically or internally. Avoid this oil if you have a history of seizures.
Before topical use, you should conduct a skin patch test. This will allow you to determine how your skin will react to the oil and rule out any adverse reactions or allergies. To conduct a patch test, rub a small amount of fennel essential oil on an area of your inner arm, and leave for around twenty-four hours. If you have sensitive skin, take care when using this oil. Dilution of the oil with one-part oil and three-parts water may be necessary in the case of sensitive skin. For use with children, dilution is always essential (for any type of use). Bear in mind that excessive use of this oil can lead to skin sensitization.
If you are pregnant, you should take extra care than usual when using fennel essential oil. It is advisable to seek the advice of your doctor, midwife or OBGYN before using this oil during pregnancy. You should always dilute fennel essential oil before using aromatically, topically or internally when pregnant.
Keep out of the eyes, ears and nose. If irritation occurs, wash the area with clean water and seek medical attention if needed. You should stop using this oil if you experience any adverse reactions.