Fennel produces essential oil with a licorice-like scent, and it is a popular medicinal oil, as well as a decongestant and digestive aid. It is often used in herbal medicine, and it is now widely accepted as a supplement, aromatherapy treatment, and more. Though its use dates back to the times of the Greeks and Romans, it has remained popular throughout history.
The property that makes individuals so curious about fennel today is its potential use as a weight loss aid. Though many essential oils have been identified for their weight loss promoting properties, fennel is particularly interesting because it promotes weight loss through multiple means, meaning it may create for a more significant impact.
How Fennel Helps with Weight Loss
Fennel seed essential oil acts as both a metabolic enhancer and an appetite-suppressing agent. One particularly interesting thing about the effects of fennel is that it is thought to help break down fat that is already in the bloodstream. The body then uses that fat for energy, which consequently curbs cravings.
One of the active ingredients in fennel seed oil is melatonin. This is significant because a study at the University of Granada in 2011 found that melatonin can help prevent weight gain.1
Thought the hormone is best-known for being a sleep aid, it has a range of other benefits. The study looked at the effect of melatonin on the lipid profile in diabetic rats and found that it helped to improve that profile to a significant degree.
Acts as an Antispasmodic
There is evidence indicating that fennel can also promote healthy digestion, reducing hunger pangs and therefore reducing overall calorie intake.2 Fennel works as an antispasmodic, which is what makes it effective for reducing cramps, including hunger pangs.
Acts as a Diuretic
Another area where fennel oil is useful is for reducing bloating. It acts as a natural diuretic, meaning it can remove water weight. In the long-term, losing water weight will not improve overall health or help with any metabolic conditions. However, in the short-term losing water weight is useful if you are feeling bloated.
One recent study into the effects of fennel tea as an appetite suppressant found that drinking tea containing fennel helped reduce self-reported hunger and increase feelings of fullness in women who were overweight.
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The study found that drinking fennel tea was a significantly effective appetite-suppressing agent. Since weight loss requires a person to consume fewer calories than they need each day, anything that can help to reduce appetite is useful because it means that the person will be more likely to stick to their diet.3
Using Fennel Seed Oil as a Weight Loss Aid
Fennel seed oil can be an effective addition to any weight loss plan. Not only can it help you stick to your diet, it may give your diet the kickstart it needs in the early stages.
It is best used alongside other herbs and supplements. Green coffee beans, for example, are a powerful appetite suppressant that helps boost metabolism.
The easiest way to use fennel seed oil for promoting weight loss is through aromatherapy. Put a few drops of the essential oil onto a handkerchief and smell the fragrance on an hourly basis. This will help fight cravings and prevent the urge to snack throughout the day. Re-apply the scent to the handkerchief a few times per day to keep it potent and fresh.
Alternatively, breathe fennel seed essential oil through an essential oil diffuser. This is a good option if you find that inhaling the oil via a tissue dries out your nose and makes you want to cough. Use eight to 10 drops in a diffuser (more if you have a big room), and position the diffuser about a meter away from you for best results.
Additionally, fennel seed essential oil is safe to ingest in small quantities, and many people do like to use it in this way for the appetite-suppressing benefits. Drinking fennel tea is another popular option of incorporating fennel into daily life.
Ultimately, weight loss is about making lifestyle changes, and “remedies” like as using peppermint essential oil to beat sugar cravings or using fennel seed oil to reduce appetite are primarily aids to help you make good choices. However, incorporating these essential oils into your daily life can make the transition easier, making for longer-lasting lifestyle changes.