The name fennel comes from the Latin “foenum” or “hay “, a popular herb that the ancient Chinese, Egyptians and Romans believed to convey longevity, courage, strength and that it could ward off spirits.
They used it as a remedy to improve eyesight, help fight gas and bloating, and promote healthy respiratory functions.
What is fennel oil?
Fennel oil is known as an aperitif because it supports good digestive health. Like the root of its plant, it has a licorice flavor and aroma that develops from crushing the seeds of the fennel plant.
This oil has been given several health benefits dating back to ancient Rome, for both digestion and respiratory function.
Origin of fennel oil
The origin of fennel essential oil dates back to the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea and southern Europe. This essential oil is widely used for medicinal purposes thanks to its healing properties. Although its growth is wild, this plant is found mostly in the gutters of the European continent, in uncultivated areas and near the coast.
Currently, its cultivation is very popular and has spread to South American countries and the United States.
Fennel oil history
According to Greek legend, man received knowledge of Mount Olympus in the form of a burning coal encased in a fennel stalk. The herb was known to ancient Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, and Greek civilizations, and was recommended by the Roman scholar Pliny (AD 61-113) to improve eyesight.
During the Middle Ages, wealthy people routinely added the seed to fish and vegetable dishes, while the poor reserved its use for fasting days to suppress appetite.
In Egyptian times, approximately 3,000 years ago, it was used primarily to treat digestive problems.
There is an ancient Indian legend that it was called the “pearl of aphrodisiacs”, because it was part of potions or elixirs that were exciting.
In Mediterranean Europe, the belief that fennel was an aphrodisiac was continued, however, it was combined with other species such as pepper, ginger, star anise, coriander, saffron, cardamom, among others, started to be used as food.
Likewise, in Roman times it was included in a list of substances that were smoked in a pipe.
The fennel plant was introduced to North America by Spanish priests, and the English brought it to its first settlements in Virginia.
The Greeks used this oil to treat various eye problems, with varied results, but in most cases positive. In addition, the Romans attributed rejuvenating powers to it, which is why it was used throughout the empire by women and men who sought to take care of their physical appearance.
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Fennel oil characteristics
Fennel oil is clean, floral, herbal, slightly spicy, with a slightly aniseed flavor.
Its strong flavor and aroma of licorice is obtained from the steam distillation of the crushed seeds of the plant.
Fennel oil scientific name
This fennel oil is known by the name of Foeniculum vulgare , which means ” foeniculum ” which comes from the Latin word “hay” fragrant and is known to be a powerful and powerful aid for digestive health.
Fennel oil chemical composition
Fennel oil contains phenols-methyl-ethers: Trans-anethole (E-anethole) 75% to 78%, Estragol (methyl-chavicol) 3%, Monoterpenes (limonene) 15% to 16%, Ketones (fenchone) that contribute to soothing properties, up to 6%, Terpenic Alcohols 3%, invigorating and inspiring aromatic properties, as well as promoting healthy respiratory and digestive function.
Trans anethole, the monoterpene phenylpropene that is the primary chemical component in fennel oil, is clearly sweet, 13 times sweeter than table sugar.
How is fennel oil extracted?
Fennel essential oil is extracted from crushed fennel seeds through steam distillation.
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Active ingredient of fennel oil
Among the most prominent active principles of fennel oil is estragole and anethole, monoterpenes, phenols-methyl-esters, aldehydes, ketones, Oxides: 1,8 cineole, Coumarins and furancoumarins, flavonoids, itosterols, which provide spasmolytic, depressant central nervous system, anti-inflammatory, estrogenic, hypotensive, babiturate enhancer and antibiotic.
Fennel oil cultivation
The cultivation of fennel is carried out in order to extract the bulb, an edible part of the plant, it is used raw or cooked.
In the case of seeds, their cultivation is simpler because they are at human height and the flowers are abundant, facilitating the collection, to extract the anethole, which gives it the aniseed smell and is widely used in the production of drinks and liquors widely distributed in the Mediterranean area.
To cultivate the fennel plant it is important to locate a suitable space so that it grows freely; it tends to tolerate changes in temperature and tends to do better in temperate climates. It reacts favorably to sunlight, because it favors its growth.
The soil can be between sandy and clayey, with good drainage, it must have proteins (manure), it must be reinforced in summer with a mineral fertilizer; at this time irrigation should be more often.
Spring is the best time to plant fennel, a very favorable way of planting is in the form of rows to increase production.
After two and a half months we can begin to harvest the fennel leaves.
The fruits can be harvested even if they are not completely ripe, the best time to harvest them is in the morning.
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Uses and benefits of fennel oil
What are the benefits for the eyes?
Fennel essential oil is effective in preventing and smoothing wrinkles in mature skin, it is ideal for treating bags under the eyes, related to skin aging. Helps tone and tighten the skin, reducing puffiness under the eyes.
Fennel oil is good for the breasts, how is it used?
Fennel oil has certain interesting properties that help to significantly increase bust size, since it stimulates the production of the hormone estrogen, thanks to its flavonoid component.
It is used as an ingredient in the manufacture of lotions or creams intended to increase the size of the breasts.
Fennel oil is good for losing weight
There is some evidence that fennel oil can aid in weight loss, especially when used as part of a general diet plan.
Being a metabolic booster, it contributes to weight loss, as well as helping to suppress the appetite.
In a German study it was determined that overweight participants used fennel oil, they consumed less food with evident benefit on weight.
Another Korean study published in 2006 found that inhaling fennel oil improves the digestion of food and reduces caloric intake.
Losing weight and keeping it off requires healthy dietary and lifestyle changes, however fennel oil can be a contributing factor that helps you reach your goal more quickly.
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It has many properties for the hair
Fennel oil for hair provides antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help protect the scalp from any condition that intervenes in good health.
Helps prevent and reduce hair loss, strengthen the roots, prevents the formation of dandruff and maintains moisture in hair follicles.
Applying a few drops of fennel oil to your daily shampoo will help remove chemical build-up and impurities, as well as give your hair a better shine.
Uses of fennel oil for cellulite
Fennel oil, thanks to its diuretic properties, helps the body eliminate toxins and fluid retention, through urine.
It also increases estrogen, which contributes to greater collagen production and thus strengthens the tissue under the skin and better supports fat cells.
It is good for wrinkles, how is it used?
Among the properties of fennel oil, it is to be an antioxidant, tones the skin, strengthens connective tissues and acts effectively against wrinkles and other signs of aging, which makes you feel younger from within and shine with natural beauty.
Mix 2 drops of fennel oil together with 1 ml of virgin olive oil or jojoba oil and massage gently on wrinkles, this activates better blood circulation and in turn, promotes cell regeneration.
Fennel oil and pregnant women
One of the benefits that fennel oil offers is its galactagogue effect, since it promotes greater milk production in the mammary glands, beneficial for pregnant women.
However, due to its high anethole and estragole content, it is not highly recommended to take it during pregnancy, if it is, it should be under medical supervision.
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Can it be used during breastfeeding? Why? How?
This fennel oil, as indicated above, has galactogogue properties, which can help in the lactation period, but it has a high content of estragole and anethole that its consumption in lactation period is not advisable.
You can dilute it and use a minimal amount, as there are no known beneficial effects, its use is not recommended.
How to make homemade fennel oil?
- Fennel seeds
- A suitable carrier oil of your choice: olive, coconut, sweet almond and jojoba
- A food processor
- A glass jar
- A cheesecloth
- Grind or mash the fennel seeds in the food processor
- Place the ground seeds in a glass container.
- Pour the chosen carrier oil into the container containing the seeds.
- Cover the container with the gauze.
- Place the container in the sun for at least two weeks, making sure to stir the contents every day.
- At the end of the time, extract the finished oil with the help of a strainer.
- Store the finished product in a cool, dark area. Provided it is stored properly, it can be used for up to two years.
Cosmetic properties of fennel oil
Fennel oil is used by the cosmetic industry in a number of ways.
In fragrance blends and in mouthwashes as an aromatic agent.
In medicinal toothpastes, soaps, creams and lotions, especially for mature skin, because it helps reduce toxins in the skin and prevent the formation of wrinkles
Anethole, the main constituent is used as an insect repellent and in perfumery soap and toothpastes, it is also used as a denaturant.
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Fennel oil and its medicinal properties
Fennel essential oil has certain compounds that give it antiseptic properties, and it protects wounds from becoming septic.
It has been found to be effective in preventing the incisions from becoming infected with tetanus, especially after surgeries, cesarean deliveries, or other serious injuries.
Mainly in the respiratory tract, intestines, muscles and nerves, it is also used in cramps, seizures or epileptic seizures.
Fennel essential oil has a relaxing effect on these systems that helps calm spasmodic attacks, providing quick relief and counteracting these conditions.
Softens bowel movements
The aperitif is a property similar to the purgative, but a bit milder, so fennel oil can help cleanse the intestines and cure constipation with continued use.
Fennel oil is an effective parasite destroyer, it eliminates these agents and their spores that are located in the intestines and in the excretory tract.
It is ideal for children, who frequently suffer from parasites and also helps prevent malnutrition or stunting.
Fennel oil acts as a diuretic, increases the frequency of urination and the amount of urine, which favors the elimination of excess water, uric acid, sodium and other toxic elements from the body, with this also helps to reduce arterial pressure, cleans the kidneys and reduces fat.
In case you are not presenting bloating or fluid retention, and you are using fennel oil, you should consume water regularly, because the diuretic effect is frequent and can cause dehydration.
It is a property of fennel oil that helps regulate the period or menstruation, because it acts as a hormone control, in addition to helping to relieve ailments caused by menstruation, such as headache, abdominal pain, dizziness and mood swings; helps prevent premature menopause.
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Fennel oil is an excellent laxative, it acts against chronic and acute constipation, unlike synthetic laxatives, it has no side effects and can be used regularly.
Acts as a Stimulant
Fennel oil acts as an emmenagogue, galactagogue and diuretic due to a single property, which is its stimulating quality, it promotes the beneficial activities of the organism; stimulates the brain and neuronal activity, activates the nervous system, the secretions of the endocrine and exocrine glands, the digestive system and the excretory system. This stimulating effect also helps fight fatigue and depression.
Keeps the stomach healthy
Fennel oil helps keep the stomach healthy, functioning properly, and helps maintain the normal function of digestive acids.
In addition, it protects the stomach from infections and ulcers, thus ensuring the general health and well-being of the stomach.
The spleen plays a vital role in our body as it participates in the production of lymphocytes and red blood cells. A healthy spleen maintains a stable level of red blood cells throughout the blood. Fennel oil keeps you toned, protecting you from infection, and keeping you healthy.
This means an agent that tones and improves health. Fennel oil works as a tonic allowing all body systems to perform their functions normally, while facilitating the absorption of nutrients, increasing strength and immunity in the body.
Purifies the blood
Fennel oil does the job of a detoxifier and purifies the blood, which is why it is considered a cleanser.
It helps the blood flush of urea, uric acid, and certain unwanted hormones, the main toxins found in the bloodstream. In addition, it balances the level of sodium in the blood and helps eliminate other toxic substances that come from external sources.
Treat chronic cough
Fennel oil has been shown to be effective in relieving mucus and phlegm that lead to congestion of the bronchial tract, lungs, nose, pharynx and larynx, due to some viral infection. It is particularly effective in treating frequent or chronic coughs.
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Fennel oil in gastronomy
The use of fennel oil in gastronomy is diverse, it is a good dressing for baked meats, grilled fish because it gives that aniseed flavor that is pleasant to the palate; in salads, teas, ice cream, condiments.
Due to the powerful and flavorful nature of fennel oil, it can add a strong, salty flavor to a variety of unique dishes.
A suitable measure for the use of fennel oil in the kitchen is adding the amount of a toothpick to the dish you want to dress; When essential oils are used for cooking, they should be used little by little, as they are highly concentrated in small doses, they give food a great flavor.
Fennel oil in aromatherapy
Aromatically, fennel essential oil is sweet, although somewhat spicy and with a hint of licorice (anise), it pairs well with essential oils in the wood, citrus, spice and mint families.
- Helps nurture and restore positive thoughts, provides strength and courage in the face of adversity.
- It revives and gives support when expressing emotions in a situation.
- Provides strength to face situations with better objectivity.
One way to take advantage of these benefits is to place a few drops of oil in a diffuser, to absorb its properties through its aroma.
Fennel oil toxicity
Fennel oil, in its composition, has a high content of estragole and anethole, which can create a narcotic effect, and cause complications in the respiratory system, as well as seizures and hallucinations.
- One manifestation due to the excessive consumption of fennel oil is an acceleration of the heartbeat.
- Due to the concentration of these components, the consumption of fennel oil is not recommended because it can be toxic.
- It could stimulate a high production of thyroid hormones, which can lead to hyperthyroidism.
- However, no toxicity levels have been found in adequate doses in the use of fennel oil.
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Fennel oil allergy
Allergic reactions to fennel are possible, but they 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.
Contraindications and risks of fennel oil
As you can see, fennel oil brings natural health benefits, but you certainly need to exercise caution when using the oil.
- The anethole content of fennel oil increases estrogen production, which can be dangerous for pregnant women, as well as women who have cancers related to the uterus or other estrogens.
- People suffering from epilepsy should avoid fennel oil.
- Diabetic patients, hemophiliacs, with anticoagulant treatments, should avoid the use of this oil, it can complicate their health.
- Children under 6 years of age should avoid fennel oil, as it can cause a reaction or irritability.
- People with sensitive skin should exercise caution before applying fennel oil topically, they should dilute this oil with another conductive oil, before performing a sensitivity test, for use.
Fennel oil datasheet
- Common name: Sweet fennel.
- Scientific name: Foeniculum vulgare.
- Botanical family: Apiaceae.
- Extraction: Low pressure distillation.
- Part of the plant used: Seeds.
- Properties: antispasmodic, galactogogue, expectorant, emmenagogue, digestive, antiseptic, carminative, aperitif, laxative, vermifuge, diuretic.
- Precautions: Avoid during pregnancy and in cases of epilepsy. It can generate a possible estrogen-dependent effect, avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes. Keep out of the reach of children.
- Conservation: Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct sources of heat and light.
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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.