Fennel, Sweet – Essential Oil Profile

I lean on my essential oils to help me in my everyday life. I cannot believe it is August, the last month of summer. Where has this summer gone?  Yikes, it seems like summer just started. I am looking forward to fall this year, cooler days and nights and crisp apples. I am learning to enjoy each season of life – how about you? I think of all the plans, dreams and desires I had for the summer.  I accomplished a lot of things but others not so much.

We still have a few weeks of summer so I want to persevere, stay focused, and motivated to accomplish my to do list. Is there an essential oil that may help me in the last dog days of summer?

I love this quote on persistence:

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Calvin Coolidge

Let’s try some fennel!

Fennel, Sweet

Latin Name: Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce

Botanical family: Apiaceae another name and I think more up to date is –  Umbelliferae

Plant Part: Seeds

Aroma: licorice-like, herbal, sweet

Therapeutic Properties: Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, bronchodilator, carminative, detoxifier, estrogenic, emmenagogue, expectorant, digestive, galactogogue, promotes gastrointestinal peristalsis, stomachic

Emotional/Energetic: helpful in emotional and mental blocks, inability to adjust, feelings of boredom, can improve confidence and assertiveness. Fennel is useful in motivating and fortifying. May help people if they feel stuck, have unexpressed thoughts or emotions, have a hard time expressing themselves.

Chemical Constituents:

Main Constituents include:


α-phellandrene 3.16%

limonene            4.1%

α-pinene             4.55%


fenchone            4.7%


estragole             2.57%

E -anethole        75.67% 

The chemical molecule looks like this…anethole

And the chemical formula looks like this…
C10 H12 O

Research in vivo and vitro suggests that this component (E)-anethole has the following therapeutic properties

Therapeutic Properties

Analgesic, anti-inflammatory

Anticoagulant, antithrombotic

antifungal, antiviral


inhibits acetylcholinesterase


Safety: The trans-anethole is considered to have estrogenic effects. Avoid in pregnancy/breast feeding, and with cancers that are estrogen dependent and since it has anti-coagulant properties – avoid before major surgery, or people with a blood clotting disorder and with people who take blood thinners – especially any oral dosing. Avoid in children under five years of age. Tisserand suggests that oils high in this component be avoided in oral doses. Trans-anethole is potentially hepatotoxic, and may inhibit blood clotting and should not be used with any anti-diabetic or anticoagulant medications. Tisserand also suggests that a maximal dermal application is 2.5%, used for the short time period.


Just a note: bitter fennel is rich in estragole and is suggested it not be used

Cantele, N. P. (2014). The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook For Everyday Wellness. Toronto: Robert Rose Inc.

Robert Tisserand, R. Y. (2014). Essential Oil Safety. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

Stiles, K. (2017). The Essential Oil Complete Reference Guide. Salem: Page Street Publishing Company.

chemical formula picture: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/860542/