The Essential Oil of Fennel is obtained through steam distillation of crushed seeds of Fennel, an herb which bears a scientific name of Foeniculum Vulgare. Fennel seeds have been in use in culinary and as a mouth freshener since long. They are also used for medicinal purposes. These medicinal properties come from the various components of the essential oil of Fennel, which are Alpha Pinene, Anisic Aldehyde, Cineole, Fenchone, Limonene, Myrcene, Methyl Chavicol and Trans Anethole.
It is a biennial, aromatic, stout, glabrous, 1.5 to 1.8 mtr high. The ripe fruit is small, oblong, cylindrical, 6.8 mm long, straight or slightly curved, greenish yellow, deeply furrowed, 5 ridged and having agreeable aroma. Fennel oil has a herby, slightly spicy smell, much like aniseed and it is clear in viscosity.
The health benefits of Fennel Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like anti septic, anti spasmodic, aperitif, carminative, depurative, diuretic, emenagogue, expectorant, galactogogue, laxative, stimulant, stomachic, splenic, tonic and vermifuge.
Anti Septic: Essential Oil of Fennel has certain compounds which contribute to its anti septic properties. It is found effective in preventing incisions from being septic or getting infected from tetanus, particularly after surgery, caesarian deliveries and other wounds.
Antispasmodic: Spasm is unwanted and abnormal contraction, in respiratory tracts, or in intestines, or in muscles or in nerves, resulting in continuous coughs, hiccups, acute pain and pulling sensation in intestines, cramps or muscle pulls, convulsions and epileptic attacks. If not treated in time, a patient may have acute pain in intestines or may run out of breath in cases of coughs and hiccups and may even die. Fennel Essential oil has a relaxing effect on nerves, muscles, intestines and the respiratory system and pacifies spasmodic attacks, giving quick relief in above situations.
Aperitif: Aperitif means similar to purgative, but a little mild in sense. An aperitif acts more on the intestinal peristaltic motion rather than adding to the bulk of bowel. Fennel Oil helps clear bowels and cure constipation.
Carminative: Being a Carminative, Fennel Oil makes the gases escape from intestines and gives you immense relief from problems such as indigestion, restlessness, pain in abdomen, stomach and chest, hypertension etc. It does not let gas form too. Good for people with chronic gas trouble.
Depurative: Fennel Oil does the work of a detoxifier and purifies blood, hence called a depurative. Apart from this, it also balances sodium level in the blood and helps in removal of other toxic substances which get into blood from external sources.
Diuretic: Fennel Oil increases frequency of urination and quantity of urine, thus helping not only removal of excess water, sodium, uric acid, bile salts and other toxic elements from the body, but also lower blood pressure, clean kidneys and reduce fat. Just one thing to remember. If you are not suffering of swelling of accumulation of water in the body, then you should drink more water if you are taking Fennel Oil, since very frequent urination can cause dehydration.
Emenagogue: Ladies who have problems with irregular, obstructed or painful menstruations can benefit from the Emenagogue property of Fennel Oil. Not only it helps clear menses and makes them regular, to quite an extent it gives relief from the other symptoms associated with periods, such as headache, pain in the abdominal area, dizziness etc. It also helps prevent untimely menopause.
Expectorant: Fennel Oil proves effective in giving relief from deposition of cough and phlegm and congestion of nasal
tract, larynx, pharynx, bronchi and lungs due to cold and viral infection. It is particularly effective on frequent coughs.
Galactogogue: This oil can play an important role in lactating mothers. It can increase the amount of milk in them by boosting production of a hormone called Estrogen. This benefits the baby as well as the mother. This milk too, inherits some of the carminative and digestive properties of Fennel Oil and protects the baby from flatulence, indigestion and gas, which are very common in babies.
Laxative: Fennel Oil is a good laxative and benefits in both chronic and acute constipations. But unlike synthetic laxatives, it has no side effects. It can be used regularly.
Stimulant: Properties of Fennel Oil like Emenagogue, Galactogogue and Diuretic etc. are due to a single property of this oil called Stimulant. It stimulates brain & neuron, nervous system, secretions from endocrine and exocrine glands (this includes secretion of milk, sebum, sweat, tears, urine and discharges during menses), digestive system and excretory system. This stimulating effect also helps overcome fatigue, dizziness and depression.
Stomachic: Being a stomachic simply means a protector and up-keeper of stomach. Fennel oil helps keep the stomach healthy and functioning properly, with all the secretion of digestive acids and bile going fine. Further, it protects stomach from infections and ulcers, thus ensuring an all-round health of stomach.
Splenic: Just as stomachic means good for stomach, splenic means good for spleen. Spleen plays a vital role in our body as it is involved in the production of lymphocytes and red blood cells. A good health of spleen simply means a good level of red blood cells and a more healthy and active life. Fennel Oil helps maintain spleen in a good shape and keeps it toned. It also protects it from infections.
Tonic: One which tones and boosts health is a tonic. It tones all the systems functioning in the body, such as respiratory, digestive, nervous and excretory systems and facilitates absorption of nutrients in the body, thereby giving strength and boosting immunity.
Vermifuge: Fennel Oil is an effective worm destroyer. It kills the worms and their spores in the intestines and excretory tracts. Good for children suffering from worms.
Other Benefits: Reduces obesity, wrinkles on skin, can be used to treat insect bites and colic, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, hiccups, dyspepsia, rheumatism and cellulite.
Few Words of Caution: The component called Trans Anethole, present in Fennel Essential Oil, boosts up production of Estrogen hormone. Although this is beneficial for lactating mothers, it is harmful for pregnant ladies and women with breast cancer or uterine cancer or tumor, estrogen being the main cause of such cancers. In heavy doses, it may have narcotic effects and may result in convulsions, hallucinations and mental imbalance. People suffering from epilepsy or with a history of it should avoid it.