Fennel Essential Oil

Latin name Foeniculum vulgare dulce – Family species Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)

fennelFennel F.vulgare duice is also known as Sweet Fennel, Roman Fennel, Garden Fennel, French Fennel, and Fenkel and is also sometimes referred to as F. officinale, F. capillaceum, and anethum foeniculum. Not to be confused with Bitter Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare amarga / Foeniculum vulgare ssp piperitum / ssp vulgare var vulgare), which should be avoided.

“It [fennel essential oil] is added to chest rubs and muscle-toning oils for athletes, while therapists prescribe it for cellulite, anorexia, rheumatism, the menopause, and problems of the respiratory system.” –Crabtree & Evelyn Fragrant Herbal: Enhancing Your Life with Aromatic Herbs and Essential Oils by Lesley Bremness

Oil Selection Guide

Color – Colorless (clear) to pale yellow
Viscosity – Watery
Scent – Warm, very sweet, earthy, peppery, licorice-like (aniseed)
Perfume Aroma – Middle note

Oil Source Information

Plant Type – Herb
Part Used – Fruits (“seeds”)
Countries of Origin – France, Italy, Greece, India, Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Spain, Romania
Extraction Method – Steam distillation from crushed seeds

Known Chemical Constituents

Anethole, estragol, methylchavicol, fenone, alpha-pinene, limonene, phellandrene, pinene, anisic acid, anisic aldehyde, camphene, fenchone (little, if any)

General Applications and Uses

Fennel essential oil is used in aromatherapy and found in pharmaceutical products. It also can be found used as a flavoring in commercial food and drinks, as well as a fragrance in soaps, toiletries, perfumes, and deodorizer products such as room sprays.

Fennel blends well with


Precautions / Contraindications

Should be used only in moderation, if at all.
Fennel oil should not be used if pregnant.
Do not use on or around children under 16 years of age.
Can cause irritation to sensitive skin.
Resources suggest avoiding if have epilepsy, high estrogen (due to its estrogen-like qualities), breast cancer, kidney problems including kidney stones.
See also Essential Oils Safety and Usage.

References and Resources

See Aromatherapy References and Resources page.

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