Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce (Plant Family: Apiaceae/Umbelliferae)
Used for centuries in a variety of applications, fennel is known for its distinct licorice flavor and aroma. Today, Fennel oil can be used for culinary purposes as well as internally to promote a healthy respiratory system,* healthy digestion and more. This unique oil holds many beneficial characteristics for the body, while providing the user with a sweet, distinctive scent.
Type of plant: Tall herb growing up to 5 feet tall with delicate, feathery, lacelike leaves and small yellow flowers on a flowering head
Part used: Seeds
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
Data: The seeds are dried before distillation. Fennel was a favorite with the ancient Greeks and Romans, who used it extensively in medicine and cooking. They believed it gave strength and long life, helped the eyesight, aided lactation, and eased menstrual problems, as well as being able to stave off hunger. The plant originated in the Mediterranean area but is now grown all over the world.
Principal places of production: Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Bulgaria, Russia, Moldova, Romania
When buying look for: A thin, colorless to pale yellow liquid with a warm, sweet, aniseed-like, peppery aroma. Not to be confused with bitter fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. amara).
Therapeutic properties: Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, spasmolytic, stomachic, vermifuge
Therapeutic uses: Digestive disorders, colic, dyspepsia, gastrointestinal spasm, flatulence, nausea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal spasm, menstrual problems, menstrual cramp, premenstrual syndrome, fertility, endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, detoxifying, cellulite, fluid retention, heavy legs, bronchitis, respiratory conditions, parasitic infection
Blends well with: Bergamot, black pepper, cananga, caraway seed, cardamom, chamomile german, chamomile roman, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, ho wood, juniper berry, lavandin, lavender, lemon, mandarin, orange (sweet)
Precautionary advice: Best avoided if using multiple medications. Avoid during pregnancy and while breast-feeding. GRAS status.