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Fennel By Melissa Farris
Fennel is a Mediterranean culinary herb whose leaves are dill, the base of the plant is a delicious bulb, and the seeds contain essential oil that is herbaceous and sweet with licorice notes. Fennel essential oil is great for relieving gas and digestive upset when applied topically or as a flavoring in food. It is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, detoxifying and stimulating. Fennel essential oil is used in soap, food, soft drinks and in the liquor industry as a flavoring. It adds a licorice like taste which is sweet and herbal. It can be used in compresses, foods, perfume, inhalation, massage oil, and for skin care. Avoid Fennel essential oil during pregnancy, breastfeeding and with children under 6. Fennel essential oil is best used diluted less than 12%. Fennel essential oil can have estrogenic effects and is best used in moderation.
Fennel has a healing bond to the digestive system of the body and can help reduce nausea, gas, constipation, decrease appetite, colitis, IBS and is detoxifying. Fennel is used in the Constipation / IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) blend. To help IBS and Constipation or general digestive upset add 1-2 drops to lotion or sesame oil and rub into the abdomen. When rubbing it in it is best to massage in the direction of the large intestine by starting with the hand on the lower right side of the abdomen sliding the hand up then across the upper abdomen to the left and down the left side and repeat. 1 drop Fennel can also be drank in a cup of water as well.
On a mental and emotional level it promotes courage, self-expression, helps release creative blocks and expands our inner light. It blends well with Bergamot, Black Pepper, Ginger, Marjoram, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lavender, Grapefruit, Lemon, Ylang Ylang and more.
Fennel is a medicinal herb, vegetable and seasoning which has been in use since at least 3000 BC. The Fennel seeds were used to improve digestion, relieve gas, decrease appetite, and quell obesity. It was believed to bring strength, courage and longevity and was often used in teas, foods, and herbal medicine. In the middle ages it was combined with St. John’s wart as protection.
Fennel comes in many varieties but just Sweet and Bitter Fennel are cultivated for the essential oils. The essential oil is derived from the crushed seeds through steam distillation.