Many of us have used fennel for cooking without giving much regard to just how many benefits this extraordinary plant offers. It may look like celery and taste like anise, but that’s where the comparison ends. As a young girl, I couldn’t deal with the smell of fennel, let alone the taste, it was too strong for me, but now I love how I can enjoy the essential oil without any issues. I prefer the smell from the essential oil over the original source!
Fennel essential oil is my go-to for calming myself down through the small intestine. Picture your small intestine expanding out with a surface area of a small tennis court. Now imagine that as your catchment area, the area where you absorb nutrients. The small intestine is like a receiving antenna for all your thoughts and feelings and of course directly linked to the way you handle and distribute food and nutrients. So much can go wrong when it comes to digestion, I’ll touch on that more in this article but for the purpose of exploring Fennel more, I’d like to mention the antioxidant properties within fennel essential oil, which are effective at killing several different types of bacteria and fungi.
According to the prestigious Langone Medical Center at New York University, the herb fennel has a long history of use as both food and medicine. Traditionally it is said to act as a carminative, a term that means that it helps the body expel wind or gas. Other traditional uses include increasing breast milk production, easing childbirth, soothing cough, promoting menstrual flow, soothing indigestion, and enhancing libido. Fennel is also a common ingredient in ‘gripe water’, a traditional preparation used for treating infant colic.
There are numerous plants known to help with digestion and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with common characteristics, such as being bitter, aromatic, and pungent. Plants like Ginger, peppermint, anise, and chamomile all available in essential oil form are good buddies to Fennel.
Fennel goes a bit deeper in this category because it’s a volatile oil, which means it evaporates rapidly, passing off readily in the form of vapour and, therefore, possibly providing relief sooner than later. This process is part of what helps with digestion and IBS symptoms. As noted above, fennel essential oil helps relieve gas, bloating, and constipation, but it can also help eliminate diarrhea. Fennel essential oil, just a drop along with Lime essential oil directly and indirectly soothes the gut, thus helping the body deal with blocked pipes, and whenever you are helping your body to deal with blockages you are reducing the potential for an inflammatory response, in other words, you are reducing the bodies heat and decreasing the discomfort!
Specifically, fennel’s main volatile oil is known as anethole. Anethole is pretty amazing, even serving as a possible cancer fighter. It does this by preventing the activation of a “gene-altering inflammation-triggering molecule associated with cancer known as NF-kappaB.”
- You can simply rub two drops of fennel oil combined with a carrier oil onto your tummy for quick relief.
Rub fennel essential oil on your stomach or the bottom of your feet for digestive relief. Using carrier oil helps prevent it from evaporating too quickly.
- Try Annies Fennel and Lime Tonic for relief from internal worry and tension.
- Place one drop of fennel essential oil on your toothbrush when brushing to help fight sweet tooth cravings and provide antimicrobial benefits for the gums.
Add one to two drops in a glass of warm water or chamomile tea for an upset stomach. Remember to always add the oil to an empty glass first, then add your water.
- For relaxation, combine one drop of fennel essential oil with one to two drops of lavender oil and carrier oil, rub on your neck, and chest, and cup your hands over your mouth while taking slow, deep breaths.
As with all essential oils, a little bit of caution is warranted. Allergic reactions to fennel are possible but rarely occur. Fennel essential oil is generally recognized as safe — however pregnant women and young children should avoid using it as it can affect estrogen levels.
I also want to mention that the organic element known as trans-anethole boosts the production of the estrogen hormone. This may be harmful to pregnant women and women with breast cancer, uterine cancer or tumors. If too much is consumed, it may cause convulsions, hallucinations and mental imbalance.
It has been suggested that anyone suffering from epilepsy should avoid using fennel essential oil. Fennel essential oil may cause nausea and vomiting, so use it with caution.
TUMMY RUB RECIPE:
You can use this rub for your belly, and or apply to the bottoms of your feet or neck. Useful as a relaxation blend and to help with digestion.
Heres what you will need:
- ¼ cup of coconut oil
- ¼ cup of almond oil
- 1/4 cup shea butter
- 10 drops of fennel essential oil
- 20 drops of lavender essential oil
- 1 drop of lime essential oil
- Using a heat-safe bowl sitting in a pan with water, heat the coconut oil, almond oil, and shea butter until well blended.
- Remove from heat and add the fennel and lavender and lime essential oils. Whip until thick.
- Store in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Keep in the pantry in dark area.
Have fun with fennel, and remember you can diffuse it too. Here’s my blend suggestion.
- 4 drops of fennel essential oil
- 2 drops of ginger essential oil
- 1 drop of spearmint essential oil
Have your diffuser going while enjoying your evening meal.
ONE MORE awesome hint: Add 1 drop to Miso Soup….mmmm and serve.