(foeniculum vulgare)


Article by Kaniz F. Shah

Botanical Name: foeniculum vulgare dulce
English Name:  fennel
Hindi Name:  saumf, shatapushpa
Popular Name(s): fennel
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum/Division: magnoliophyta
Class: magnoliopsida
Order: apiales
Family: aplaceae/umbelliferae (carrot)
Genus: foeniculum
Species: f. vulgare
Parts Used: seed
Habitat: Southern Europe, western Asia, China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Greece
Odor: spicy, sweet, licorice-like
Effect / Energy:   
Extraction method: steam distilled from crushed seed
Blends with: basil, geranium, lavender, lemon, rosemary, sandalwood


Best essential oil for perseverance

Psychological Properties:

      emotionally fortifies

Subtle Properties:

      promotes perseverance, encourages assertiveness, builds confidence; increases and influences longevity, courage and purification

Associated animal:





Antiseptic, antiparasitic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, diuretic, expectorant

Plant Description

The ancient Egyptians and Romans made garlands from fennel to praise their warriors as a sign of strength, courage and longevity.  Fennel is a perennial, pleasant-smelling herb with yellow flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean, but is now found throughout the world. Dried fennel seeds are often used in cooking and teas.  They can look and often taste strong like anise, but are quite different.  Fennel seeds and oil are also used as favoring agents, fragrance components in soaps and cosmetics and also to make medicine.

Health Benefits of Fennel

  • Digestive Support:

    Fennel oil helps with digestion, gastritis, kidney stones, pancreas health, flatulence, heartburn, gout, colic in infants, intestinal parasites, intestinal spasms, bile stones, constipation, expelling worms, bloating and other digestive problems. In Pakistan, a tea made with fennel and ginger is a great digestive aid after meals.  It is best taken 20-30 minutes after meals to help digest the food and prevent lethargy, heartburn and gas.  In India and Pakistan, it is common to eat fennel seeds, coated with colorful sugary layer, after meals.  You will also find this in most Indian restaurants.
  • Female support:

    Fennel is known to help increase milk production in lactating women, tone the female reproductive system, PMS, menopause issues, promote menstruation, ease the birthing process, increase sex drive and balance the hormones.
  • Other Benefits:

    It has been helpful in relieving back aches, used as a poultice for snakebites, earaches, eye problems, cystitis, blood clots, bruises, obesity, lung infections, coughs, bronchitis, nausea and vomiting.


This article is for informational purpose only. Fennel is not a treatment for any disease or condition. It generally safe when used on the skin or hair, but to ensure safety, it is best to do an allergy test. Anyone allergic to celery, carrots, dill or anise should avoid consumption of fennel. Repeated use of the oil can be sensitizing. Use with caution if susceptible to epilepsy or if pregnant. Consult your doctor before using for medical purposes.


1. "Single Essential Oils." Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils. 4th ed. Orem: AromaTools, 2012. 57-58.
2. Graedon, Terry. Cancer. The Peoples Pharmacy Quick and Handy Home Remedies. By Joe Graedon. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2011. 96.
3. Bull, Ruah. "The Spring Months." Daily Aromatherapy Transforming the Seasons of Your Life with Essential Oils. By Joni Keim. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 2008. 140.
4. Bellebuono, Holly. The Essential Herbal for Natural Health: How to Transform Easy-to-Find Herbs into Healing Remedies for the Whole Family. Boston: Roost Books, 2012. 16-17.
5. Classification:

Article last updated 1/24/15