Discover how to use fennel essential oil

Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, essential oil is produced from the distillation of the crushed seeds.

It has a sweet, slightly peppery aroma.

Fennel was cultivated for its aromatic fruits and succulent shoots in ancient Greece and Rome. The Greeks were the first to recognise its value as a slimming aid. The ancient Greek name of the herb, Marathron, from maraino – to grow thin, most probably refers to this property.

A typical chemical composition of sweet fennel contains 50 to 90% of trans-anethole.

The oil therapeutic actions are

  • Antiseptic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Carminative (settles the digestive system)
  • Depurative (helps to purify the body)
  • Diuretic (increases the secretion of urine)
  • Emmenagogue (regulates menstrual flow)
  • Expectorant (expels mucus)
  • Stomachic (tones the stomach).

Fennel oil exhibits antibacterial activities.

Fennel oil is used in treating flatulence and other digestive problems. It is recommended for feeling of fullness.

As diuretic and lymphatic decongestant, it assists the body to eliminate toxins. It is often used for treating fluid retention, cellulite, and obesity.

Fennel regulates the menstrual cycle, where periods are scanty and painful. It may be used during menopause to reduce symptoms caused by fluctuating hormonal levels.

As antispasmodic, fennel oil is recommended for catarrh of the upper respiratory tract.

It is traditionally used as an urinary tract antiseptic. It may be used for the treatment of urinary tract infections.

In skincare fennel oil is recommended for the treatment of dull, oily and mature skin conditions.

Fennel is a warming and drying remedy. It is recommended for bronchial asthma, asthmatic breathing.

How to use fennel essential oil

In massage, diluted in a carrier oil such as grapeseed: 1-5 drops in a teaspoon

Bath, diluted in a carrier such as sweet almond: 10 drops in a tablespoon

Skincare, diluted in evening primrose oil: 1-3 drops in a teaspoon

Inhalation, direct or in a diffuser 5 drops.


Sweet fennel oil is often contra-indicated for the use by people suffering from epilepsy or during pregnancy.

Learn more about Aromatherapy, get our Aromatherapy guide for beginners

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