Fennel essential oil, foeniculum vulgare dulce, has a pleasant licorice aroma, and is considered good for obstructions of the liver, spleen and gall bladder and digestive complaints. Fennel essential oil can be used locally for conjunctivitis, blepharitis and pharyngitis.On account of its aromatic and carminative properties, fennel fruit is chiefly used medicinally with purgatives to allay their tendency to griping and for this purpose forms one of the ingredients of the well-known compound Liquorice Powder. Fennel water has properties similar to those of anise and dill water: mixed with sodium bicarbonate and syrup, these waters constitute the domestic 'Gripe Water,' used to correct the flatulence of infants. Volatile oil of Fennel has these properties in concentration. Fennel is also largely used for cattle condiments. It is one of the plants, and essential oils, which is said to be disliked by fleas, and powdered fennel has the effect of driving away fleas from kennels and stables.
Fennel is a biennial or perennial herb up to 2m high with feathery leaves and golden yellow flowers. Essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from crushed seeds or the whole herb. Fennel will thrive anywhere, and a plantation will last for years.
Fennel essential oil, foeniculum vulgare dulce, blends well with the following essential oils: anise, geranium, lavender, rose and sandalwood.
Fennel oil cautions - Non-irritant, relatively non-toxic, narcotic in large doses; bitter fennel may cause sensitization. Bitter fennel oil should not be used on the skin at all, although it is considered superior medicinally. Neither oil should be used by epileptics or during pregnancy. Use in moderation.
Fennel oil properties - Aperitif, anti-flammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminantive, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, galactagogue, laxativeorexigenic, stimulant (circulatory), splenic, stomachic, tonic, vermifuge.