What Is Fennel Oil?

Article Details
  • Written By: Donn Saylor
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Fennel oil is the pure essential oil of the fennel plant. It is predominantly used in herbal remedies and in cooking. There have been numerous reported health benefits of consuming fennel oil, including the treatment of colic, cough, fever, and stomach problems.

There are two types of fennel oil: sweet and bitter. With the sweet variety, the oil is extracted from the ripened, dried fruits of the fennel plant. Bitter fennel oil is taken from the dried herbs or crushed seeds of the plant. In both instances, the oil is removed through a process of steam distillation, which keeps the healthful properties of the herb intact.

The oil of the fennel plant has a long history in alternative health and the utilization of medicinal herbs to combat illness. Ancient Egyptian and Roman cultures made use of fennel oil, as did the Chinese. In medieval times, it was an accepted form of medicine to treat a variety of conditions and has remained throughout the centuries a popular type of alternative medication. It is widely available in health food stores and through online retailers.

When used as a medication, fennel oil has been shown to be extremely useful in the creation of gripe water, a type of home remedy used to treat colic, teething discomfort, and stomach pain. Many have also cited its ability to lower fever and cure coughs. The oil contains natural antimicrobial elements that eradicate harmful bacteria from the body.


Due to its slight anise flavor, fennel oil is sometimes used in food preparation. When cooking with fennel oil, a small amount goes a long way. Most recipes that call for fennel seed oil require just a few drops to add a further dimension of flavor. Enthusiasts stress that only food-grade fennel oil should be used, or one can make the oil at home with fennel seeds and olive oil.

The sweet variety of fennel oil can be used in aromatherapy. The powerful scent is thought to have several distinct properties when inhaled. Courage and mental stamina are two of the most frequently recognized effects of utilizing fennel oil for aromatherapeutic purposes.

Given its healthful benefits and pleasant smell, sweet fennel oil can also be used in making creams, lotions, and massage oils. It has been known to be exceptionally helpful at combating overly oily skin. A drop or two may also be added to a hot bath where the benefits can be obtained both through the skin and through the scented steam.



Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?