From the September 2000 Idaho Observer:


FENNEL: Foeniculum Vulgare -- A remedy for troubled digestion

By Dr. Carol Geck

Fennel is in the same botanical family as parsley. Fennel is a biennial or perennial plant. Fennel was originally found in Australia and Spain, but it also grows wild in Asia Minor and in the United States where it is also commonly cultivated.

Most people are only aware of fennel's use in salads, soups, and stews.

Its licorice-like flavor was in demand as early as the Middle Ages, but even before that, early practitioners, including Hippocrates, were prescribing parts of the plant to increase milk supply in lactating women.

In medieval times, Fennel was believed to ward off evil spirits and to protect against witches casting their spells. The sprigs of fennel were hung over all the doors in the house for protection from these so-called evil spirits.

Today fennel is primarily known for its soothing properties. The seeds are used primarily, but both seed and root can be used medicinally.

For hundreds of years, fennel seeds have been used to ease stomach aches, aid digestion, and to balance menstrual cycles. Recently, it has been used in mouthwashes and toothpaste.

Taken as a tea or in extract form, fennel has also been used as an aid to stimulate the appetites of anorexics.

Most of you know by now that I not only promote the use of herbs, but I also promote the use of the essential oils of the herbs, as both can be very beneficial to our bodies. In my on going study of essential oils, I have discovered that Fennel Oil can assist in balancing hormones (it stimulates estrogen production), promote better digestion, helps in supporting pancreatic function, helps PMS, stimulates the respiratory system, stimulates the cardiovascular system, relieves constipation and even helps to get rid of intestinal parasites.

A very old and well-known natural cough remedy consists of Fennel and honey. Add 1 to 3 drops of fennel oil to 1 Tablespoon of honey and mix. The recommendation is to take 1 teaspoon of the mixture at a time.

In my office there is an assortment of essential oil flavored waters for everyone to taste test and drink to their hearts content. Fennel flavored water is one that is quite popular with young and old who have the yearning for that wonderful licorice flavor. By looking at the chemical constituents of Fennel Oil, we find that it is an antiseptic, an antispasmodic, and an analgesic. It may also help to break up mucous and toxins, and helps to cleanse the tissues.

Personally, we prefer to use the essential oil of fennel, which I use quite frequently in our foods. You can add 2 to 3 drops to an 8 ounce container of organic, green virgin olive oil, shake, then at the table, drizzle the flavored oil over your already water stir-fried vegetables (we never heat these oils).

Just as I keep many different flavored waters at the office, I also keep many different flavored oils in my kitchen and on our table. My spice rack “runneth over” with goodness for our bodies.

My dear husband, Ed, who has low blood sugar and general weakness in his pancreas wrote down the following testimony a few days ago:

“I have been using the Essential Oil of Fennel for almost one year. Since Fennel Oil has been known to help diabetes, I began applying 3 drops of the Essential Oil of Fennel across the area of my pancreas twice a day. I also apply the Essential Oil of Dill and Coriander, as all three oils are beneficial for the pancreas. I feel much better and have more energy since using these pure unadulterated oils. Every day I drink distilled water that has a drop each of fennel, coriander and dill oil.

My digestion has greatly improved.”

No matter how many times I repeat this information to you, I can not impress on you enough that you use only the purest unadulterated, Therapeutic, Medicinal Grade A Essential oils. The fact being that the inferior quality or adulterated essential oils most likely will not produce therapeutic results and could possibly be toxic due to inferior distillation using certain solvents for extraction: such as hexane, dimethylenechloride, acetone, benzene, benzalkonium chloride, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl, and other possibly carcinogenic substances.

The long term use of any product or products containing synthetic chemicals can eventually cause a great deal of problems. Most of us do not realize that with everyday use of almost every product in our homes, we are accumulating more and more toxins in our bodies.

If you are interested in attending workshops or would like more information concerning pure unadulterated Therapeutic Grade A Essential Oils, please call: (208) 255-2307.

Disclaimer: Consult your health care professional about any serious disease or injury. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe any natural substances such as herbs or essential oils for serious health conditions that require professional attention.

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Dr.Geck currently operates Heal-Thy Self Consulting in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. She is an IIRA certified Iridologist and Naturopath. Dr. Geck is also trained in Live Blood Cell Nutrition Analysis and Aromatherapy. If you would like reach Dr. Geck for an appointment, call (208) 267-6606.