Tag Archives: digestive problems

Sweet Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce)

Sweet fennel header

Family: Umbelliferae or Apiaceae

Synonyms: Roman fennel, F. officinale

Aroma: Warm and sweet aniseed-like aroma.

Colour: Colourless to pale yellow.

Sweet fennelPlant: Perennial herb that grows up to 2 metres high with feathery leaves and golden yellow flowers.

Main Growing Areas: The Mediterranean, Southern California, India and Japan.

Major Constituents: Anethole, limonene, fenchone, methyl chavicol, myrcene, anisic aldehyde, 1.8-cineole. Possibility of the essential oil being adulterated with synthetic anethole.

Interesting snippets:
Ancient Chinese used fennel as a cure for snakebite.
The seeds were carried by Roman soldiers on long marches to chew when they didn’t have time to stop and have a meal.
Ancient Greek athletes who took part in the Olympic Games ate fennel seeds to give them energy without putting on extra weight.
Pliny recommended fennel for both physical and second sight.
Fennel was introduced to America in the 18th century by Spanish priests and continues to grow wild on the sites of old missions.
Gripe water used to calm colic in children is made by mixing fennel water with sodium bicarbonate and syrup.

fennel seedsPart of Plant used /Extraction: Steam distillation of the dried crushed seeds (called fruit by some). 225 kgs of fennel seeds yields approximately 450 mls of essential oil.

Therapeutic actions: Antispasmodic, stomach tonic, flatulence (wind), abdominal cramps, nausea, hiccups, PMS, regulates scanty painful periods.

Emotional and Spiritual: Calms body and mind, stress, nervousness. Strength and courage in adversity.

Robbi Zeck writes that fennel assists in completing things that are unfinished or requiring further attention in your life. When things are fully completed you reach the end of a cycle knowing that there is nothing more to be done. As a way closes, a way opens and the new can begin with a fresh vibrancy.

Joni Keim Loughran and Ruah Bull write that fennel aids the development of direct, authentic and skilful communication. It helps you discover what you want to say and then accurately express it to others in a positive way. It also protects you from being harmed by someone else’s negative words as well as thoughts and deeds

Gabriel Mojay writes that fennel is suited to the type of individual who tends to ‘over-think’ and over-analyse but is rarely able to communicate or put their ideas into practice.  Because they find it difficult to articulate and express themselves or their feelings their emotions are locked inside  building up tension that affects the bowels. These unacceptable, unexpressed thoughts and emotions are pushed below consciousness where they accumulate in the intestines as nervous spasm and gas.
Fennel helps unblock these emotions allowing them to communicate freely, without fear or inhibition. As a result their urge to create is released.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Sweet fennel aromatherapy insight card

(Courtesy of J.Jefferies & K. Osborn.)

Fennel is a lively and dynamic oil that removes feelings of being overwhelmed, bored and afraid of failure. It leaves you enlivened and able to regain that competitive edge. Step up to the task, do not procrastinate, and enjoy the feelings of completing your goals. Communicate freely and with confidence. Stay ahead in the game of life and go for it, moving beyond stagnant thoughts that hold you back. It is time to take your place in the world.

Fragrant Change Healing card: I complete what needs to be completed so something wonderful can enter my life.

Sweet Fennel - Fragrant Change healing card

Contemplations for the Soul Card:Sweet Fennel CFTS card

Should you continue persevering with something or someone in your life?
Sometimes you give up just before attaining your goal.
At other times you continue to persevere long after you should have let it or the person go.
Is it time to bring something in your life to an end?
This maybe a relationship that’s not working or some task or goal you set yourself.
Do you really need to persevere with it or will letting it or the person go make space for the new to enter your life?
Make a list of the plus and minuses of continuing down this path.
If this is something you no longer want or need to do, finish it so you can move onto something that truly lights you up.

Safety: Best avoided by those with epilepsy and pregnant and breast feeding women.

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Fischer-Rizzi S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Hodges C, Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Jefferies J, Fennel Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.41 (2008)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy Anointing Oils, Frog Books (2001)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Price L, Fennel. The Aromatherapist No. 1 Sept (1993)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)


Essential Oils and Anxiety

Essential oils and anxiety

AnxietyAnxiety is a mild form of fear where we react to a perceived threat. Fear is a necessary aspect of our lives as it alerts us to real danger and gives us a sense of self-preservation.

On the other hand anxiety is a reaction to an emotional threat that we don’t want to face such as grief, anger, embarrassment, perceived failure or guilt. Anxiety is our reaction to these emotions we believe will cause us harm and can manifest as a lack of self-confidence, a sense of apprehension or a feeling of insecurity or emotional unease. Some short term anxiety is natural as in the case of exam nerves or going for a job interview. Anxiety is only an issue when it becomes chronic or escalates into an acute state such as panic attacks where there is no real physical danger in most cases.

For many people anxiety is a future-oriented mood state in which they imagine all the negative scenarios and how they will react to them. For many this is a coping mechanism to deal with upcoming difficult situations or events. We don’t usually feel anxious if we are envisioning a positive outcome.

Worry is carrying

Anxiety may manifest physically as an elevated heart rate, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, upset stomach, diarrhoea, muscle tension, headaches, tiredness and difficulty falling or staying asleep.

Meditation is a no cost or low cost strategy that allows your body to relax, release the fear and anxiety and repair and heal itself. Meditation can be as simple as going outdoors, taking off your shoes and socks allowing your feet or body to rest on the grass, sand or other natural surface and breathing slowing and deeply for 5 or 10 minutes

Tap into your wise all-knowing self. Sit quietly and ask if this is a situation you really need to worry about or can you trust that all will be fine.

Nourish yourself by eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, maintaining healthy relationships, spending time in nature or the outdoors and doing the things that bring you joy.

Essential oils help you to relax as they go straight to the limbic brain the centre of our basic emotions and calm it down. They ground and calm you bringing you back to your body. You can try meditating with essential oils, vaporising them, using them in the bath or as a spray mist in your aura or on your physical body.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) deepens and slows the breath calming and centring the mind. She is particularly useful when the mind is overwhelmed by thoughts of what can go wrong. Frankincense will help you to access your wise all- knowing self allowing insight into your anxiety.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is a balancing oil useful for anxiety and panic attacks. Overachievers and perfectionists who worry about the outcome or not being good enough can benefit from this oil.

Jasmine flowers

Jasmine (Jasminum officinalis) calms the nerves, releases tension and uplifts the mind. Jasmine can be of particular benefit when anxiety alternates with depression.

Lavender (Lavandula officinalis/angustifolia/vera) is an oil that is readily available and is known as an aromatic “Rescue Remedy”. She eases nervous tension and can help ally feelings of panic as well as calm any strong emotions that threaten to overwhelm the mind.

Marjoram (Origanum marjorana) calms the mind when thoughts are going round and round in circles. She offers a sense of self nurturing especially when you are thinking that nobody cares.

Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara) reminds us that we always have a choice. She helps us to face painful emotions such as guilt, shame, hurt and anger and to find peace of mind once we have done so.

Rose (Rosa damascena) can assist those who suffer from deep anxiety caused by insecurity and a fear of losing control. Rose helps to heal deep emotional wounding and despair.