Fennel Oil – Licorice Love

Fennel - Foeniculum vulgare

Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare

Fennel is a great oil and the plant itself has many medicinal uses. Back through history there are many references to the plant as being useful for improving eyesight, aiding digestion and also calming hunger, improving the flow of breast milk, helping to breakdown uric acid in the body and stimulating fluid loss through urinating.

Poets and herbalists have praised this wonderful plant, as did the Romans and the Greeks.

In “Paradise Lost” (a poem first published in ten books in 1667) Milton the English poet, refers the aroma of fennel:

A savoury odour blown,

Grateful to appetite, more pleased my sense

Than smell of sweetest Fennel.

A 17th Century herbalist, William Cole, notes in his 1650 book “Nature’s Paradise”:

‘both the seeds, leaves and root of our Garden Fennel are much used in drinks and broths for those that are grown fat, to abate their unwieldiness and cause them to grow more gaunt and lank.’

Illustration of a Roman army

Illustration of a Roman army

It’s interesting that both these English references are around the same time which indicates that fennel was well used in the 17th century in England. But before that there are tales of Roman soldiers chewing on fennel seeds on the march when there was no time for resting, or perhaps not much food available. They also regarded it as a medicine to improve eyesight.

It is claimed that the Greeks used fennel as a slimming agent and it even appears in their mythology with Prometheus using a stalk of fennel to steal fire from the Gods.
In India you may often find these delicious little treats to aid digestion – sugar-coated fennel seeds.
sugar coated fennel seeds

sugar coated fennel seeds

Today in aromatherapy we use the essential oil of fennel which is steam distilled from the seeds in much the same way as our predecessors did. Fennel oil is used for:
* stimulating regularity of menses
* helping digestion
* acting as a diuretic for fluid retention and bloating
* stimulating flow of mother’s milk
* relieving coughs by breaking down mucous and by acting as an expectorant
fennel flower

fennel flower

I use fennel oil for all these things and also for nurturing. It is a soft, rounded sweet oil and it blends well with many others. I call it “licorice love” which describes its energetic action of softness, of self-care and sweetness.
Try these recipes:
1. Scent Your SpaceIn a traditional oil burner with a candle or a diffuser add 25 drops of oil

“Be Kind”

Fennel        10 drops

Orange       10 drops

Geranium     5 drops


“Finally A Moment to Myself!”

Fennel        6 drops

Juniper      10 drops

Lavender    6 drops

Patchouli    3 drops


nourish your skin with oil blends

nourish your skin with oil blends

2. Nourishing Body Oil Blend

For a coat of your body use 3 teaspoons of carrier oil in a little dish and, add 7 – 8 drops of essential oil.

***** Always put the drops of essential oil into the bottle or dish first, then add the carrier oil. It gives the scents time to create a synergistic fusion.

For a 50ml bottle of oil add 25 drops and see my article “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”

“Oh The Pain”

to help relieve menstrual pain –

Fennel          3 drops

Peppermint  2 drops

Lavender      3 drops


“The Silence of Licorice”

To soften your tension and nerves –

Fennel                            2 drops

Bergamot                       3 drops

Roman Chamomile 3%  9 drops *

* see my article for more info on 3% blends in jojoba


Happy mixing and remember to use your intention when you are blending.
See my article about intention.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

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