Used by different ancient civilizations – from the Egyptians for medicine and food to the people in India and the Chinese as a snake bite’s cure to a staple food in the 1300s in England – fennel’s history is rich and diverse. The Middle Ages saw it being used to chase away evil spirits as it was hung over the door. The warriors of ancient Rome consumed fennel before battles to make them sturdier and more resilient.
Today, the sweet fennel oil is mostly a component of different medicine drugs – from a no-side-effects laxative to medicines that eliminate parasitic worms in the excretory tracts and the intestines.
Foeniculum vulgare is fennel’s scientific name and the essential oil is the outcome of crushing fennel seeds. The perennial herb finds its origins in the southern part of Europe and the Mediterranean, but it is also cultivated in regions of Australia, Northern Europe, and North America.
Description of the flower
The resilient, perennial plant belongs to the Apiaceae family and possesses feathery leaves and yellow flower blossoms. The herbaceous plant can reach a height of up to six feet and it has a somewhat pungent, aniseed-resembling smell.
Description of the oil
Steam distilling the crushed plant seeds is the method used for obtaining fennel oil. The oil’s aroma, which bears a resemblance to anise, is a bit spicy.
Alpha Pinene, Limonene, Anisic Aldehyde, Methyl Chavicol, Cineole, Myrcene Fenchone, and Trans Anethole are some of the main components. The contest of anethole in sweet fennel oil is between 84% and 90% while in bitter fennel oil this proportion is from 61% to 70%.
Bear in mind that under aged children and individuals with sensitive skin are advised to stay away from fennel oil in an effort to shun any allergic reactions. The sweet fennel oil should not be made excessive use of since that may lead to dermatitis or photosensitivity.
Combines well with
The oil of fennel blends quite well with sandalwood, basil, lavender, rosemary, geranium, and lemon essential oils. Depending on what you need it for, substitutes can be: Cardamom, Juniper Berry, Rosemary, or Lemon oils.
Uses / effects
Lactating mothers derive great benefit from fennel oil as it can be used as a galactagogue agent.
Fennel oil not only boosts every system in the body, such as the excretory, digestive, respiratory, and digestive systems, but it also aids the nutrient absorption in our bodies which further tones us and greatly enhances our immune systems.
The oil is testified to increase libido, alleviate female climacteric symptoms, promote menstruation, and exhibit strong estrogenic activity. It is also shown to effectively inhibit prostaglandin E2.
Fennel oil not only greatly benefits women who experience obstructed, irregular, or painful menstruation cycles but it also relieves other symptoms related to mood swings, dizziness, and headaches. It is quite effective in preventing premature or untimely menopause.
If you are experiencing acute or chronic constipation and you are really tired of using synthetic laxatives, fennel oil is a much better idea as it has no side effects whatsoever and can be used on a regular basis.
Furthermore, the oil of the seasonal plant Foeniculum vulgare maintains a properly working and healthy stomach and is beneficial for the normal functioning of the bile and the digestive acids’ secretions. Besides, it shields the stomach against ulcers and infections, which further guarantees the general wellness of our stomachs.
In addition to having a stomachic benefit, it also possesses splenic advantage – which means that it is vital for the proper functioning of the spleen and keeping it toned.
Use in the perfume industry and for massages
The oil of Foeniculum vulgare finds use in perfumes and cosmetic products (toothpastes, soaps), and it is an important massage oil ingredient.
Use in beauty and skin products
Thanks to its active constituents, called (E)-9-octadecenoic acid and fenchone, fennel oil when applied to the skin exhibits a moderate repellent effect.
Fennel has demonstrated that it is a significant medicinal plant which is used in a wide array of ethnomedical cures, especially for colic in children, constipation, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, insomnia, stomachache, fever, emmenagogue, and abdominal pains. It is also a great laxative with no proven adverse or side effects.