Fennel (Sweet) essential oil information
Fennel (sweet) essential oil is extracted from Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce, which is sweet fennel (also known as F. officinale, F. capillaceum and Anethum foeniculum) of the Umbelliferae (Apiaceae) family and is also known as fenkel and Roman fennel.
Fennel (Sweet) Essential oil is used in aromatherapy to boost your courage, resolve and strength in the face of adversity, while helping a huge array of digestive problems, fighting obesity, clearing an oily skin and fighting wrinkles
Fennel sweet essential oil has a herby, slightly spicy smell, much like aniseed and it is clear in viscosity.
The name is from the Latin word ‘foenum’ which means ‘hay’. It grows up to 2 meters (6 feet) in height and is a biennial or perennial herb, with green feathery leaves and golden yellow flowers, that bees like.
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 off of spirits. Not only did they use it to strengthen eyesight, but they also used it for snakebites, colic and to rid dogs of fleas.
Sweet fennel oil is extracted from crushed seeds by steam distillation and yield 2 – 4 %.
Bitter fennel oil, not used for aromatherapy, is extracted from the crushed seeds and/or the whole herb of the Foeniculum vulgare var. amara plant.
Some of the main chemical components of fennel oil are (E)-Anethole, (+)-Limonene, Fenchone, Estragole.
Sweet fennel oil is powerful and shouldn’t be used in large doses, as it may have a narcotic effect. It should be avoided altogether in pregnancy and when breast feeding. It contains high amounts of trans-anethole and for that reason people with estrogen linked cancers, as well as breast-feeding mothers, pregnant women and women suffering from endometriosis should rather avoid it.
The topical application of Fennel essential oil should be avoided in children under the age of 5 years (we suggest 6 years in our dilution listing below).
Warnings are found that Sweet Fennel essential oil may interfere with the clotting of blood if you drink it (avoid use in haemophilia, any condition that effects clotting of the blood, when using anti-coagulants and before major surgery for example). It may also influence the effect of medication for diabetes if it is consumed.
With the above-mentioned paragraph in mind, we suggest that Sweet Fennel essential oil should only be used on unbroken skin when used topically, even at a low dilution rate.
Bitter fennel (not sold by us) is not used in aromatherapy and should not applied to the skin at all.
Please read our page with heading: Safety with Essential Oils before using this oil.
We recommend the following book as an excellent resource regarding safety:
Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals by Robert Tisserand & Rodney Young (#ad)
The therapeutic properties of fennel sweet essential oil are aperitif, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, galactagogue, laxative, stimulant, stomachic, splenic, tonic and vermifuge.
Fennel Sweet Essential 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.
For the mind, it adds courage and strength in the face of adversity.
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).
It has a toning effect on the spleen and liver, that helps with the results of excess drink and food. The herb (not the essential oil) is 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 potentially toxic trans-anethole.
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 Sweet Essential Oil can be used as a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath 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.
Blended in a Cream
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.
Suggested Dilution Rates
On the skin
Face: 0.5% to 1.5%
Body: 1.5% to 2.5%
Bath: 1.5% to 2.5%
3 to 24 months:
2 to 6 years:
6 to 15 years
Face: Maximum of 0.25%
Body: Maximum of 0.25%
Bath: Maximum of 0.25%
This essential oil should not be applied topically.
- When in doubt consult your doctor / medical professional before use.
- Most professionals and/or Aromatherapists will always err on the side of safety when giving advice regarding the use of essential oils and oleo resins during pregnancy.
- Quite a number of Aromatherapists advise that you should avoid essential oils completely while pregnant, specifically during the first trimester. This is a very safe approach with regards to this essential oil.
Diffusers and Vaporisers
4 to 8 drops
- When using for the first time – Always use the lowest dilution rate and build up slowly to the maximum. Stop using all essential oils on the skin if irritation or allergy occurs.
- Any advice or instruction received from a medical professional ALWAYS supersedes recommendations or advice found on this website. When in doubt consult your doctor / medical professional.
Fennel oil’s greatest benefits lie in its easing of the digestive system, helping with obesity and toning the skin. Restrictions of use apply when this oil is used on the skin. Sweet Fennel essential oil should not be used on the skin if pregnant or breast feeding , This essential oil should not be used on children under the age of 5 years.