Sweet Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var dulce)
It's that time of year, transitioning from Earth to Metal in the Northern Hemisphere, a good time to clean out the digestive tract and let-go of that which is no longer necessary or helpful to us. So I have chosen to write about Fennel, an oil that makes the transition from Earth to Metal, with its actions on the digestive tract and the upper respiratory system and its ability to help us assimilate feelings and clarify thought.
Fennel is a hardy perennial or biennial herb. It has soft, green, ferny leaves and umbrels of yellow flowers. It is native to the shores of the Mediterranean but is now widely cultivated. Sweet or garden fennel is used in aromatherapy as the bitter or common fennel has a high level of the potentially harmful ketone, fenchone.
Traditionally it has been used as a culinary herb, but the Greeks also used it as a diuretic for slimming and Olympic athletes ate it to promote strength; in Europe it was hung over cottage doors as protection from witchcraft. Fennel was known as an antidote to all sorts of poisons and snakes were said to rub against it to improve their eyesight. Maybe because of its antitoxic properties it was said to give courage, strength and longevity.
It is a warm dry oil that has great affinity with the female reproductive system and the energy of nurture and care. It is good for those who over-think and worry about the welfare of others and is helpful in finding ways to express the caring nature constructively. ‘It helps us to find constructive outlets for the active mind’ (Mojay).
Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cardio-tonic, carminative, cholagogic, circulatory stimulant, decongestant, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogic, hormone-like, lactogenic, laxative, litholytic, oestrogen–like, respiratory tonic (rapid breathing).
Moderately irritating, use in high
dilutions. Do not use during pregnancy or for young animals or at the same time as other hormone treatment.
Tumours and soft lumps, especially mammary