It may not be ideal Summer weather at the moment - but the fennel sat outside the Aroma Studio is loving it! 

The photos below show it before and after rain (despite being watered every day - obviously not enough!)

What a difference a day and some pretty heavy rain makes - beautiful!

I find Fennel to be a bit of a marmite essential oil - clients either love it or can't abide it.   The scent is strong - think sweet, but pungent and aniseed like - and I always make sure my studio doors and windows are left open after using in a treatment or blending in products as those molecules can certainly linger! 

In aromatherapy we tend to use sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var dulce), a herb that, as you can see from the pictures above, grow fine feathery leaves.  The essential oil is produced  from its crushed seeds and is colourless to pale yellow in colour.

Traditionally sweet fennel is used to calm and treat digestive complaints such as indigestion, bloating and other gastro-intestinal issues and that, along with it's anti-spasmodic and expectorant effects for catarrhal coughs and respiratory complaints, is also supported by clinical studies.

It is also an excellent diuretic and lymphatic decongestant and when used in massage or in a body oil alongside oils such as juniper, grapefruit or rosemary, is effective as a detoxifier and for tackling fluid retention.

I mentioned that sweet fennel is a marmite oil and I see time and time again that clients are attracted to the oils their body's need the most. Therefore I find that ladies experiencing fluctuating hormones at the time of menopause, are particularly drawn to fennel. Not only can it help to reduce symptoms but it can also help regulate the menstrual cycle and is especially helpful when pain is being experienced.

Probably due to the stage I'm at in life, I find myself quite attracted to the sweet smell of fennel at the moment, especially when blended with other oils such as geranium and cypress. But, as an aromatherapist, it is one of my go to oils for certain digestive issues and is definitely included in my essential oil tool kit.

Safety precautions:  There are safety precautions to be considered for those thinking about using both bitter and sweet fennel essential oils. They should both be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding, with those suffering from endometriosis and oestrogen-dependent cancers and with epilepsy and also for children under 5 years of age.

If in doubt, as always contact me or another fully qualified aromatherapist - we are always happy to help and advise. 

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