Fennel is an antiseptic, can help reduce and possibly eliminate gut spasms, helps prevent gas and bloating, has purifying and detoxifying effects, is an expectorant, can help increase the flow of breast milk, and is a natural laxative and even a mouth freshener!
1. Helps Heal Wounds
Studies were conducted in Italy of various essential oils and their effects on bacterial infections, specifically of the breasts in animals. The findings indicated that fennel essential oil and cinnamon oil, for example, produced antibacterial activity, and as such, they’re representational of possible ways to address some bacteria strains. Furthermore, fennel essential oil has certain compounds that help protect wounds from becoming infected. (2)
In addition to staving off infection, it also can speed up wound healing, so if you’re looking to heal a cut, for instance, fennel oil is a good natural option.
2. Reduces and Prevents Spasms in the Gut
Spasms in the gut are no laughing matter. They can be extremely painful, causing coughing, hiccups, cramps in the intestinal area and convulsions. Fennel essential oil may have a relaxing effect on your body, including the muscles in the intestinal region. This relaxation of the gut can really make a difference if enduring a spasmodic attack, giving you quick relief from muscle spasms in the gut.
According to recent research conducted by the Department of Pediatrics at St. Petersburg Medical Academy of Postdoctoral Education in Russia, fennel seed oil has been shown to reduce intestinal spasms and increase the movement of cells in the small intestine of infants, in particular through studies of infants who have colic. The use of fennel oil emulsion eliminated colic, according to the Wessel criteria, in 65 percent of infants in the treatment group, which was significantly better than 23.7 percent of infants in the control group.
The findings, published in Alternate Therapies in Health and Medicine, noted there was a dramatic improvement of colic in the treatment group, concluding that fennel seed oil emulsion helps decrease the intensity of colic in infants. (3)
3. Contains Antioxidants and Antimicrobial Characteristics
Fennel essential oil is a high-antioxidant compound that holds antimicrobial characteristics. A study published in the Flavour and Fragrance Journal examined the activity of the essential oil from seeds native to Pakistan. The analysis of the fennel essential oil showed that there are about 23 compounds with impressive amounts of total phenolic and bioflavonoid contents. (4)
This means fennel oil fights free radical damage and provides antimicrobial activity against some strains of bacteria and pathogenic fungi.
4. Relieves Gas and Constipation
While lots of vegetables can cause abdominal cramping, gas and bloated stomach, especially when eaten raw, fennel and fennel essential oil may do the opposite. Fennel essential oil can help to clear the bowels, relieve constipation, and get rid of gas and bloating, providing much-needed relief. Amazingly, it can even help eliminate the formation of additional gases. (5, 6)
If you have chronic gas issues, fennel essential may do the trick. You can add one or two drops of fennel essential oil to your favorite tea to see if it helps.
5. Treats Digestive Issues
There are numerous plants known to help with digestion and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with common characteristics, such as being bitter, very aromatic and rather pungent. Ginger, peppermint, anise and chamomile are a few examples, in addition to fennel.
Fennel goes a bit deeper in this category because it’s a volatile oil, which means it evaporates rapidly, passing off readily in the form of vapor and, therefore, possibly providing relief sooner than later. This process is part of what helps with digestion and IBS symptoms. As noted above, fennel essential oil helps relieve gas, bloating and constipation, but it can also help eliminate diarrhea.
Specifically, fennel’s main volatile oil is known as anethole. Anethole is pretty amazing, even serving as a possible cancer fighter. It does this by preventing the activation of a “gene-altering inflammation-triggering molecule associated with cancer known as NF-kappaB.” (7)
You can simply rub two drops of fennel oil combined with a carrier oil onto your tummy for quick relief.
6. Aids in Weight Loss
Fennel has a long history of use as a weight-loss aid. Fennel seeds are known to have been eaten during Lent and fasts to stave off hunger and stimulate movement in the digestive system. Fennel seed essential oil can help support weight loss because it can boost your metabolism while suppressing your appetite.
Fennel also has the ability to help minimize fat deposits in the bloodstream by using stored energy sources. Eating a balanced diet is the best approach for any weight loss — therefore, I recommend adding small amounts of fennel into your diet with other foods and in teas.
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