If you've ever enjoyed the aroma of black licorice, then you're already familiar with the scent of fennel. Though not related to the licorice plant, its chemicals create a very similar aroma. This herb has been used in cooking and traditional medicines since the ancient Greeks and was even thought to be so important that it is featured in ancient mythology. The benefits and uses of fennel essential oil are numerous and varied.

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If you’ve ever enjoyed the aroma of black licorice, then you’re already familiar with the scent of fennel. Though not related to the licorice plant, its chemicals create a very similar aroma. This herb has been used in cooking and traditional medicines since the ancient Greeks and was even thought to be so important that it is featured in ancient mythology. The benefits and uses of fennel essential oil are numerous and varied.

Looking for the Best Fennel Essential Oils?

Fennel Essential Oil Benefits

Fennel essential oil is a popular oil enjoyed in traditional medicine for centuries. It has been trusted to help ease digestive issues, reduce stress, or even help with menstrual issues. These benefits may make fennel essential oil that next oil for your collection.

1. Ease digestive problems

Digestive problems can vary in symptoms as well as intensity, from occasional gas or acid reflux to inflammatory conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. Relief of symptoms of these conditions may come with side effects that impact the quality of life and may have limited use. Fennel essential oil has long been used to ease digestive issues. A 2016 study found that fennel exhibited anti-spasmodic properties, making it useful for sufferers of IBS. It was also found to reduce inflammation found in the soft tissue of the digestive system. Participants of the study reported immediate relief of symptoms when using fennel in conjunction with curcumin. (1)

2. Alleviate menstrual discomfort

Menstrual discomfort is an almost universal condition and can range in severity from not only day to day but person to person as well. Serious issues such as dysmenorrhea can include pain and cramping that has a serious impact on day to day living. Traditionally, the pain has been managed with analgesics, but this medication comes with side effects that make it ineffective for long term use. Fennel essential oil was studied for its effect on the smooth muscles of the uteruses of rats. It was found to promote more regulated contraction, and no damage was found in the organs, making it a possible natural therapy to assist with menstrual issues. (2)

3. Energizing and tonic

Fatigue can be one of the most common detriments to our day, affecting our energy, focus, and mood. Using aromatherapy to improve energy is one of the most common uses of essential oils. In a study measuring perceived exertion during mental tasks, fennel essential oil was one of the oils diffused in the room while the task was occurring. People reported an increase in focus and energy when they were exposed to the oil in the aromatherapy group. Other measures showed that the subject’s pupillary action implied a state of relaxation. (3)

4. Relaxing

Time and ability to relax comes at a premium in today’s day and age, between our careers and making time for our families. Many people begin to suffer from stress and anxiety, and having a way to wind down after a long day at work can be a boon. A study testing the antidepressant effect of fennel looked at the responses from mice who were placed in situations that encourage brain chemistry responses that resemble depression and anxiety. Inhalation of fennel essential oil showed a similar outcome to commercially prescribed antidepressants. (4)

Fennel Essential Oil Uses

Fennel may bring candy to mind more often than a scent for calming your mind, but it has a multitude of uses for aromatherapy and when applied to your body. Here are a few recipes for using this ancient remedy.

Aromatic Uses

  • Diffuse 2 drops each of fennel and rosemary during stressful situations. This may be especially helpful when studying, as rosemary may help improve memory.
  • Diffuse 5 drops each of fennel, ginger, and sweet orange to help with digestive issues such as gas and cramping.
  • Add several drops to a warm bath to cleanse the skin and diffuse the scent for a calm mind.

Topical Uses

  • Add 2 drops each fennel and carrot seed in two tablespoons of a carrier oil of your choice. Apply to your abdomen to help relieve menstrual cramps.
  • In a 2-ounce squeeze bottle mix 5 drops each fennel, chamomile, orange, lavender and 2 drops cardamom with a carrier oil of choice. Use after a bath to clean the skin and promote a calm mood.
  • Heat ½ cup shea butter, ⅛ cup jojoba oil, ½ cup coconut oil in a double boiler. Let cool and add 10 drops each fennel and peppermint oil. Store in a glass jar and apply it to belly to ease digestive issues.

What is the Best Fennel Essential Oil?

With the rise in the popularity of essential oils, it can be a trial to find the highest quality product for use in your home. We’ve tested dozens of brands to assist in the hunt for the best fennel essential oil. Here are our top three picks listed for you below.

Mountain Rose Herbs Organic Fennel Essential Oil

This oil has been produced from the most organic sources possible and independently tested to make sure that it is free from adulterating chemicals, GMOs, or synthetic dyes. This leaves you with a therapeutic grade oil that can be used for any recipe you might wish to attempt.

Best for: a Relaxing Massage


Plant Therapy Fennel Essential Oil

This product undergoes batch testing with every production to ensure that you are getting 100% therapeutic grade essential oil that is free from GMOs or other chemicals. This leaves you with a clean scent that is ideal for use in aromatherapy and creating a relaxing atmosphere for your home.

Best for: Diffuse During Stressful Times


doTERRA Organic Fennel Essential Oil

Tested rigorously to be free from pesticides, synthetic dyes, fillers, or solvents, this allows this oil to be considered therapeutic grade. You get a clean oil with the familiar black licorice scent. With the proper dilution, this oil may be ideal for use on with topical applications.

Best for: Relief of Menstrual Discomfort


My Favorite Uses For Fennel Essential Oil

Fennel essential oil has been a long time favorite for diffusing in my home, particularly in the kitchen. I love the scent of black licorice and use fennel essential oil to help keep myself from sampling as I cook or snacking as I wait at the counter. It helps me feel relaxed, so I’m not eating when I’m feeling stressed.

The scent of fennel reminds me of my holidays in my childhood. I would ask for just the black jellybeans instead of chocolate. My hands were always stained black, making it clear who had taken the black ones from my siblings’ holiday stash. Diffusing this oil adds a layer of relaxation as it brings up the pleasant memories along with helping my body release tension. It helps with issues with premenstrual mood swings and depression that always seem to hit me.

I’ve used fennel to find relief from monthly cramping, being able to use a dilution that brings almost immediate relief to the worst of the pain. I add it to jojoba oil along with peppermint and lavender. This not only helps with the pain, but it also releases any tension that comes with the hormonal flux at that point in the month. Applying this oil to my abdomen has the added benefit of relief from digestive issues that seem to be compounded by hormones.

Recommended Fennel Based Products

1. Heather’s Tummy Teas Organic Fennel Tea

Heather's Tummy Teas Organic Fennel Tea for IBS, 45 Jumbo Teabags
  • ORGANIC DIGESTIVE SUPPORT: Made with organic, whole seed fennel that...
  • MEDICINAL STRENGTH: Clinical studies have shown that fennel has...
  • IMMEDIATE BLOATING SUPPORT: Our large size tea bags have 2 to 3 times...

Teas have long been an alternative use for getting the benefits of the plants that are made into essential oils. Fennel has been tested for effects on the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and may aid in the control of gas and spasms in the intestines. This tea may be an ideal way to experience those benefits. This tea could be mixed with other relaxing teas such as peppermint or chamomile, which could add to the benefit. You could also add the tea bags to a warm bath, allowing your skin to absorb the beneficial chemicals and release the scent that can be relaxing as well.


2. Tom’s of Maine Antiplaque Fluoride-free Fennel Toothpaste

Tom's of Maine Fluoride-Free Propolis & Myrrh Natural-Toothpaste, Fennel, 5.5 oz. 2-Pack
  • WHAT YOU'LL GET: Two 5.5-ounce tubes of Tom's of Maine Propolis &...
  • FLUORIDE-FREE TOOTHPASTE: Herbal resins propolis and myrrh promote a...
  • FIGHT PLAQUE: Helps fight tartar buildup and whiten teeth with regular...

Toothcare is an essential part of our everyday routines. Keeping our teeth clean is one of the first defenses against a number of issues, including gum disease and oral infections. Kinds of toothpaste are formulated to help control plaque and tartar, a fungus that feeds on the food left on the surface of our teeth. Adding fennel essential oil to our oral care routine helps by controlling the growth of tartar after we eat.


Caution of Fennel Essential Oil

  • Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing. Fennel has been shown to affect uterine contractions and may adversely affect pregnancy.
  • Do not use if you are taking medications that thin the blood. Stop using fennel oil at least two weeks before any major surgery to prevent bleeding issues.
  • According to Tisserand and Young (2014), fennel may lower blood sugar. Do not use if you are already taking medications for diabetes, as it may cause a hypoglycemic event.
  • Always dilute fennel essential oil in a carrier oil. It has shown to be sensitizing to mice but not rabbits, making it likely to cause reactions in sensitive people.
  • Use caution if using fennel oil while taking reproductive hormone treatments. Fennel may adversely affect your body.
  • Store in a dark container away from sunlight, as oxidized oil may become skin sensitizing.
  • Always choose quality fennel essential oil from reputable suppliers.


I hope you enjoyed learning about all the uses and benefits of fennel essential oil. This ancient herb may be what you are looking for when it comes to easing menstrual pain or cramps. Please be sure to share this information with anyone who would like to know more about this incredibly useful oil. Be sure to comment below to let us know what you think.