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How to use fennel essential oil?

Essential oil

With this very specific aniseed odour, its component anethol is also used in the manufacturing of spirits in the South of France and it reminds people of cicadas and the singing sound of the speech of the local people. All well and good, but the fennel essential oil is one of the EOs to handle with care.


Botanic characteristics

Very highly appreciated in food for its aniseed flavour, fennel is a common vegetable that is found in India, Japan, central Europe and all around the Mediterranean.

It is a tall perennial plant that reaches a height of 1 to 2 m with:

  • Long stems closely tightened at the base within a large sheath.
  • Dark green leaves, finely chiselled in the shape of strips.
  • Yellow flowers in bunches and small greenish fruit.
  • Leaves and fruit have an aniseed perfume.

The EO of fennel is a yellowish liquid, slightly viscous that is obtained by extraction from the grains.


harvestYield: 100kgs of grains produce 2 to 6 kgs of EO

Composition of sweet fennel EO (seeds)

  • Ethers: trans-anethol (75-90%),methyl-chavicol (Estragol, Trans Anethol)
  • Monoterpenes (8 à 15%): limonene, alpha-pinene, alpha-phellandrene
  • Ketones monoterpenics: Fenchone (1-5%) No more than 7 days in a row
  • Furocoumarines: traces


Let us make it clear, we are talking here about sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare variety dulce). There is also a bitter fennel (vulgare) with more ketones and less trans-anethol (overall much less tolerated).

Properties of sweet fennel essential oil

Despite the necessary precautions that need to be taken, sweet fennel EO has very interesting properties:

Actions of trans-anethol

  • Stimulates breastfeeding +++: by mimicking the action of estrogen it enhances the production of maternal milk
  • Antispasmodic +++: fights digestive or respiratory muscular spasms. It soothes involuntary contractions.
  • Relieves digestive troubles +++: stimulates saliva, gastric, intestinal and pancreatic secretions.


Actions of ketones

  • Nervous, respiratory and cardiac tonic +++ 
  • Analgesic ++: alleviates pain.


Action of phenols methyl-ethers

  • Anti-inflammatory ++: soothes sensations of heat and redness


Action of monoterpenes

  • Respiratory tonic++: the stimulation by alpha-pinene provokes a sensation of clearing of the respiratory tract.

Indications and route of administration of sweet fennel Essential Oil

diffusion not allowed

Atmospheric route

It is not an EO that can be diffused or inhaled (because of the neurotoxic ketones).

dermal allowed

Dermal route

This route remains interesting, even though this EO can be irritating. It can be useful in massage on the stomach in the case of:

  • Gas and spasms
  • Flatulence, hiccup, nausea, colitis, constipation
  • Crohn’s disease symptoms and inflammatory colitis
  • Painful or irregular periods, absence of periods.
  • Its antispasmodic properties can also be a help in the case of rheumatism, lumbar or muscular pain.


Oral route

It is the most appropriate route for this EO (even in the kitchen)

It acts on digestive problems, problems of lactation, painful periods and the menopausal syndrome.

The maximal usage is 3 times a day / 1 drop of a carrier (honey or a vegetable oil for example. Leaving it in the mouth under the tongue for a few seconds).

In cooking, sweet fennel EO can bring an added flavour in desserts for example. Dilute the EO (2 drops will flavour a dish) in an oily substance (oil or butter for example) or some dispersant before incorporating it in the dish.


Dangers et counter-indications of sweet fennel Essential Oil

Sweet fennel EO should be used in moderation as its usage in high doses could provoke convulsions.

It is not recommended for:

– children under the age of 8 and pregnant women.

– people suffering from a hormonal cancer (breast, uterus) or suffering from antecedents.

– people suffering from hypothyroid (it blocks the activity of the thyroid).

It is:

– an irritant to the skin: therefore it should always be applied when diluted in a VO.

– potentially photo-sensitive (presence of furocoumarines)

neurotoxic (presence of ketones)

oestrogen-like: strong influence on the hormonal system (strong concentration in anethol). As a result, avoid the dermal route below the abdominal belt in pregnant women.

This is indeed a lot of precautions listed but this EO remains very useful for all woman’s problems if it is used carefully and for a short duration.

Weary to try? Eat some fennel J. It is a milder way of using it, especially for digestion and lactation.

sweet fennel

A few usage suggestions:


The information provided could not be considered as medical information nor engage Pacific Scents’ responsibility as to your usage of essential oils for yourself or anyone else. We strongly invite you to compare the information with that of authoritative experts and the opinion of health professionals


For breastfeeding women, the use by dermal route is authorised only if recommended by a medical practitioner. In all cases, consult a health professional (medical or pharmacist) before ingesting any.

– Do not use this EO long term


In the case of difficult breastfeeding

  • By oral route, 2 drops of Fennel EO on a neutral tablet, morning, midday and at night.
  • By dermal route (D. Festy), 1ml fennel EO, 1ml basil in 8ml of VO: apply 4 drops of this mixture on the breast twice a day. Even baby may be happier because fennel will fix his colic.

Assistance with childbirth

(when contractions have started and the date is right).

fennel / palmarosa / true lavender at equal ratio (10%) + 90% sweet almond oil.

At the very start of contractions, massage the abdomen every two hours and bring the massages closer together at the same pace as the contractions.

You can also add noble laurel / bay leaf to give you courage if needed.

In the case of a digestive ulcer

From the age of 8 onwards & adults. By oral route, 2 drops of fennel on a neutral tablet, morning, midday and at night.

Against aerophagia, bloating and flatulence

From the age of 8 onwards & adults

  • By oral route, take 1 drop of fennel in a teaspoon of VO or honey, 3 times a day.
  • By dermal route, dilute 1 ml of fennel EO in 4 ml of VO, apply to the abdomen 3 times a day.


Cardamom EO could be more effective (same dosage)

Against difficult digestion

From the age of 8 onwards & adults

  • By dermal route,1 drop of fennel EO in 4 drops of VO, massage the abdomen after each meal.
  • By oral route, place 1 drop of pure fennel EO under the tongue or on a support after each meal.


Basil EO could be more effective (same dosage)

As a support through menopause

By oral route, 2 drops in a teaspoon of olive oil:

  • Before menopause: 3 times a day from the 7th to the 21st day of the cycle
  • After menopause: 3 times a day for three weeks, repeat with a pause of one week between each stretch of 3 weeks.


Clary sage EO could be more effective (same dosage)

In the case of dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea

Adolescents & adults. 

  • By dermal route,1 drop of sweet fennel EO in 4 drops of VO on the lower abdomen 3 times a day for 10 days before the beginning of periods.
  • External route: 2 drops of fennel EO mixed with 2 drops of hazelnut oil, massaging the abdomen, to improve digestion and assist period pain.


Clary sage EO could be more effective (same dosage)

For cellulite (L. ET S. PRICE)

By dermal route, 1ml sweet fennel EO, 1 ml juniper EO, 1 ml geranium EO, 0.5 ml Incense EO in 200 ml of VO. Apply this mixture with an exfoliant glove.

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All yogurts (animal or plant-based) can be flavored with essential oils. In an unsweetened yogurt, add a spoonful of honey in which you’ll dilute the essential oil of your choice. For a classic flavor, add two drops of citrus essential oils. For an exotic yogurt, add a drop of Ylang Ylang essential oil. This also works for whipped cream!


Flavor your olive oil: for 1 liter of edible oil, add 15 drops of rosemary or basil essential oil (or 8 drops of each) to one liter of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. Shake well to mix the different oils and let it rest for about a day before using it to season salads, pasta, vegetables, fish fillets, and more.


Add 1 or 2 drops of essential oil to half a spoonful of honey, agave syrup, or mashed fruit, mix it into an ice cube tray, cover with water, and freeze!

Here are some quick ideas to get started


  • In the case of a cake, chocolate mousse, or pancakes: add essential oils directly to the batter, which is sweet and rich in fats.
  • For syrup to drizzle over your cakes after baking, or for your ice creams: mix 250g of sugar syrup with about 4 drops of citrus essence (4 drops of one citrus or 1 drop of 4 different citruses, for example).
  • Jams, marmalades, or honey: add a few drops of essential oils (e.g., lavender, thyme, or citrus essences).
  • Season a pasta dish: add 4 drops of Clary Sage essential oil to a 400g pasta dish.
  • Flavor rice: add one drop of Lemongrass essential oil to 400g of rice.
  • Enhance an apple crumble with cinnamon essential oil

The essential oils most commonly used in cooking:







Le+ santé




Allium sativum

Odeur forte difficile à utiliser

.aïoli or garlic butter

. enhance the flavor of your sauces (tomato, dressing)


natural antibiotic

helps lower bad cholesterol and reduce blood sugar levels 

Difficult to digest




Anethum graveolens

Slightly  anised and fresh 

cream-based sauces to season fish, especially salmon

vegetables (potato, zucchini)

salads (cucumber)


Stimulates digestive secretions and the gallbladder

Risk of nephrotoxicity after prolonged and high dose ingestion



Ocimum basilicum

The essential oil of Basil has a stronger taste than the aromatic herb we know:

fruit desserts

poultry (chicken)

fish (calamari)

sauces (tomato, garlic)

pasta (garlic-olive oil, tomato)

vegetables (tomato, zucchini, coco beans)

olive oils


Relieves all intestinal and gastric problems Recommended for flatulence, bloating, and abdominal pain



Java citronella

Cymbopogon winterianus

Acidic and lemony flavour


Indian or Asian-inspired dishes

marinades, sauces (coconut milk)





Coriander (seeds)

Coriandrum sativum

Earthy and slightly camphorated fragrance

savory dishes (such as hummus)

Asian and Mexican cuisine

soups (pumpkin, carrot)

sauces (tomato, béchamel, coconut milk)



Aid for various digestive issues, bloating, and stomach-aches




Artemesia dracunculus

Light note

gratins, seasoning oils, and sauces (béarnaise, sour cream)

vegetable dips

meats (rabbit, beef)


Effective against colitis and intestinal spasms

Not recommended for use with anticoagulant treatments or coagulation disorders


Sweet Fennel

Fresh taste


gaspacho, tomato tart, fougasse, salads

Against flatulences and indigestions



Bay Laurel

Laurus nobilis

Sweet, bitter and fresh flavor


vegetables or fresh cheese

meats (game, pork, pâté, terrine)

fish (tuna, sardine)

sauces (béchamel, tomato)

vegetables (potato, tomato)



Pairs well with thyme



Origanum majorana


Sunny vegetables: tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers… In savory tarts or pizzas

Recommended for hypertensive individuals

Closely related to oregano with a finer flavor



Mentha arvensis

Milder flavor than Peppermint


Hepato-digestive stimulant

Very potent taste; a single drop is sufficient to season your dishes and drinks


Mentha piperita


Ideal for salads (cucumbers), cold soups (peas), fresh cheeses, mixed with chocolate, or in your drinks Ideal for salads (cucumbers), cold soups (peas), fresh cheeses, mixed with chocolate, or in your drinks

Facilitate digestion



Mentha spicata

An even milder flavor than Peppermint or Field Mint


Moroccan tea


If you like the scent and taste of fresh mint, we recommend using this essential oil in your dishes instead.

Rosemary Cineole or Verbenon

Rosemarinus officinalis


Meats, fish, soups Poultry (chicken, turkey) Vegetables (zucchini, garlic) Sauces

Verbenon variety: detoxifying and liver protection

Pairs well with Bay Laurel and Thyme


Savory (Winter)

Satureja montana

Spicy, phenolic flavour

Pizzas, saucy dishes, mefrenats

Stimulates natural defenses



Clary Sage

Clary sage


pasta, broths and soups


Pairs well with Rosemary or Bay laurel


Thyme Linalol

Thyumus vulgaris

Very strong taste, best used in cooked dishes

Marinades, sauces (tomato), vinaigrettes, and vegetable preparations




Thyme  Thujanol

Lighter taste than Thyme Linalool

meat, fish, sauces





Flowers– Fruits 





The  +



Citrus bergamis

Tangy and sweet flavour


Poultry (chicken breast)

Fish (carpaccio, en papillote)


Sauces (olive oil)

Pastries (cake, shortbread, madeleine)

Fruit salads (citrus, banana)

Infusion (iced tea)


Aids digestion, prevents constipation and intestinal infections Appetite stimulant



Citrus limonum


Desserts or beverages

Fish sauces

Cake or sorbet preparation

Flavoring plain yogurt

Meat (veal)

Poultry (hen, chicken breast)

Shellfish (scallops)

Braised dishes (tagine)

Marinades (alone or with thyme, basil, cloves)


Cleanses and stimulates the liver. It also eases digestion and helps reduce gas and bloating

Pairs well with mint / peppermint essential oil

Geranium Rosat

Pelargonium graveolens

Floral flavour



Red fruit desserts (crumbles, panna cotta, muffins, strawberries…)

Creams (crème brûlée, ice cream)

Fruit salads (kiwi), pairs well with red fruits, nectarines (peach)


Appetite suppressant to regulate blood sugar



Lavandula angustifolia

Floral, herbal scent


Candy, shortbread, sorbets

In savory dishes, in flavored olive oil for salads

Jams (apricot)

Pastries (crème brûlée, ice cream)




Green Mandarin

Citrus reticulata


Sweet and tangy flavour


Juices or cocktails

Pumpkin soups

Poultry (poultry breast)

Shellfish (scallops)

Fish (monkfish, whiting)



Digestive tonic, against aerophagia Anti-inflammatory for the intestines Useful for heartburn, acidity


Orange (Sweet)

Citrus sinensis

Sweet and fruity


Chocolate desserts

Meat (beef, pork)

Poultry (duck, guinea fowl)

Fish (white fish)

Soups (carrot)

Sauces (olive oil, mayonnaise)

Pastries (cake, madeleine, cheesecake)

Creams (crème brûlée)

Fruit salads (with cinnamon)


Bitter tonic, against stomach spasms

Pairs well with  Cardamom or cinnamon

Petit Grain Bigarade 

Citrus aurantium

Fruity, with a flavor close to orange blossom

Fruity preparations (crumble, jam).

Pastries (cake, shortbread, madeleine, crepe)

Creams (custard, crème brûlée, flan caramel)

Fruit salads


Pairs well with citrus fruits (orange), honey, nectarines (peach)


Difficult digestion, bloating, digestive spasms, stomachaches


in eggnog for better sleep:

1 drop with 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of honey and 25 ml milk to drink at bedtime



Citrus paradisi

Tangy and sweet

Avocado salads and desserts galore: tarts, syrups, shortbread, or sorbets


Suppresses appetite Difficult digestion


Lemon Verbena 

Lippia citriodora

Lemon scented


Dairy products, pies, fruit salads, smoothies, or infusions

Fish (monkfish, sea bass)

Shellfish (oyster)

Fruit compote (peach, pear)

Desserts (ice cream, parfait, panna cotta, custard, crème brûlée)

Pastries (madeleine, shortbread, cake)



Internal worms


Ylang Ylang Complete


Pronounced floral scent

Chocolate and apples









The +


Cinnamon (bark)

Cinnamomum verum

Warm and sweet flavor

All desserts: fruits in all forms, cakes, compotes…

Braised dishes (tagine, curry)


vermifuge and helps combat digestive disorders, gastric pain, urinary or intestinal infections.

Increases appetite.

Very potent oil that should not be used undiluted


Elettaria cardamomum

Spicy favour

Savory dishes or fruity desserts (orange, peach).

Ideal in coffee or black tea

Carrot salad

Basmati rice


Aids in the prevention of aerophagia


Clove bud

Syzygium aromaticum


Curry dishes

Apple desserts

Breath freshener



Curcuma longa

Savory and discreet flavo


Mayonnaise, rice, potatoes, or fish



Bloating, colitis, difficult digestion



Zingiber officinale

Spicy and lemony flavor

Soups, gingerbread, shortbread, rhubarb pies


Useful in case of constipation, nausea


Black Pepper 

Piper nigrum

Spicy, hot, woody


for seasoning meats, poultry, sauces, and vegetables (mashed potatoes, mushrooms)

Bloating, hepatic-pancreatic insufficiency, difficult digestion, lack of appetite.



Pink Pepper

Schinus molle

Peppery, hot, spicy


Meats (beef carpaccio)

Poultry (duck)

Fish (salmon)

Shellfish (oyster)

Fruits (apple)”

Top of Form


Digestive disorders, intoxication, intestinal infections


Digestive and Purifying Essential Oils:

  • Dill, Celery, Cumin, Fennel, Basil, Lemon, Tarragon, Mint


Tonic and Antibacterial Essential Oils:

  • Ceylon Cinnamon (bark), Ginger, Mint, Thyme (linalool chemotype), Lemongrass, Turmeric, Clove, Savory


Soothing and Mild Essential Oils:

  • Cardamom, Lavender, Sweet Orange, Lemon Verbena, Lemon, Mandarin, Bitter Orange Petitgrain, Vanilla (resinoid), Ylang-Ylang



Precautions When Using Essential Oils

First and foremost, several essential oils are toxic and should not be ingested. While essential oils like lemon or coriander can be used, it’s essential to steer clear of curly parsley oil, which is highly toxic.

Therefore, it is crucial to research each oil before adding them to your recipes. Ingesting toxic essential oils can lead to symptoms ranging from mild irritation of the mouth’s mucous membranes to nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some essential oils can even cause seizures or respiratory problems.


At-Risk Individuals

  • Prohibited for pregnant women in the first 3 months of pregnancy, as well as infants under 3 months.
  • Pregnant women beyond 3 months and those who are breastfeeding should exercise caution in both aromatic cooking and aromatherapy. Some oils are contraindicated for them.
  • Keep essential oils out of the reach of children.


Essential oils can trigger allergic reactions.




  • Only use 100% pure, 100% natural, and chemotyped essential oils, preferably certified as organic. This ensures a high-quality product with a known chemical composition and free from pesticides.


  • Avoid using essential oils in baby food (up to 3 years old): firstly, some essential oils may be contraindicated for young children, and secondly, babies already have a wide range of flavors to discover!


  • For children under 6 years old, their palates are still developing a taste for “classic” flavors. They may not appreciate the unique aromas of aromatic cooking. It’s better to introduce them gradually starting from the age of 6, beginning with familiar flavors like citrus, for example.


  • Never swallow essential oils undiluted or even on a sugar cube because they are highly concentrated.


  • Always dilute essential oils in a fatty and/or sweet substance: honey, oil, cereal syrup, cake batter, etc. Water, broth, or milk is not sufficient; a syrupy or fatty substance is required. Dosage must be precise to the drop!


Sometimes, one drop too many can render the preparation inedible. So, respect some basic rules:

  • Never incorporate the oil directly into the dish with the dropper, as an accidental drop can easily happen.
  • Always dilute the drop(s) in a spoonful of fatty or syrupy substance before adding it to the preparation.
  • Follow the number of drops indicated in the recipe or, if in doubt, stick to 1 drop per dish.

Indulge in bliss