Aromatherapy: Fennel for Beauty and Home

Fennel and Lavender Skin Creams

These 'rejuvenating' night and day skin creams are particularly good for dry, dull or mature complexions. Apply either cream to the face once or twice a day after cleansing. It is advisable to take a break after 6 weeks of continuous use.

aromatherapy moisturiser

Nurturing night cream

This silky, rich, beeswax formula contains pure distilled rose-water to tone the complexion. Rosehip-seed oil is included because of its reputed ability to promote the growth of healthy skin cells, while honey has moisturising and soothing properties.

3g beeswax granules
10ml sweet almond oil
20ml rosehip-seed oil
1/4 tsp honey
15ml distilled rose-water
3 drops fennel oil
3 drops lavender oil

Put the beeswax and rosehip-seed oil into a heat-proof bowl over a pain of simmering water and stir until the beeswax has completely dissolved. Stir in the honey and sweet almond oil. Remove the bowl from the heat and slowly stir in the rose-water. Keep stirring while the cream cools, then add the essential oils. Spoon the mixture into a clean glass pot with a tight-fitting lid. It will keep for three months if kept in the fridge.

Light nourishing day cream

A gentle formula, perfect for day use or for those who prefer a lighter product.

30g unperfumed moisturising cream
10ml sweet almond oil
3 drops fennel oil
2 drops lavender oil

Put the skin cream and sweet almond oil into a clean cosmetic jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add the essential oils and stir in until well mixed. It will keep for three months if stored in a cool, dry, dark place.

Compress for Sparkling Eyes

If you enjoy fennel tea, save a couple of used teabags and keep them in the fridge for up to 24 hours (discard after this tine as mould spores may begin to develop). Fennel tea bags make excellent eye pads to soothe and revitalise tired or puffy eyes - such as you might experience first thing in the morning. Lie down, place a cold tea bag over each eye and relax for 5-10 minutes. Your eyes will look much brighter afterwards.

Radiant Face Mask

face mask

The energising natural ingredients in this green clay mask will leave the skin looking radiantly clear, and feeling fresh and velvety. It's particularly good for oily, combination or dull skin.

2 tsp green clay
2 tsp plain yoghurt
1/2 tsp runny honey
1/2 cider vinegar
5ml sweet almond oil
2 drops fennel oil

Mix together to form a smooth paste. Apply to freshly-cleansed skin on face and neck (avoiding the eye area) and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse off with tepid water.

Refreshing Fennel Toner

Fennel seed tea makes a wonderful gentle toner for all skin types. As this product does not contain any preservatives, it is essential to keep it in the fridge and to make up a fresh batch every 48 hours.

1 tsp dried fennel seeds, crushed
300ml boiling water

Crush the fennel seeds using a pestle and mortar, then put into a small heat-proof jug. Add the boiling water and infuse for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture through coffee filter paper and allow to cool. Pour into a clean glass bottle or atomiser. Splash or mist your skin with the infusion immediately after cleansing. Follow with an appropriate moisturiser.

Revitalising Hand and Foot Exfoliant

This multi-action treatment sloughs off dead skin cells, and at the same time cleanses and moisturises your hands and feet - leaving these overworked (and often neglected) parts of your body smooth and revitalised.

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25g oatmeal, finely ground
1 tsp runny honey
10ml sweet almond oil
3 drops fennel oil
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Put the oatmeal into a bowl, then gradually add the remaining ingredients, stirring continuously until you form a stiff paste. Rub a little of the mixture - in circular motions - all over the hands and feet for two to three minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water. For best results, use at least once a week.

Fennel Candles

The feathery foliage and star-like florets of fennel form a delicate tracery on plain white candles.

You will need:

  • White church candles
  • Fennel leaves and flowers
  • Tweezers
  • Roasting pan of boiling water
  1. Dip the candles in the boiling water. Then, using tweezers, lay the leaves and separated florets onto the softened wax round the sides of the candles, arranging them in an attractive pattern and pressing them gently but firmly into place.
  2. Holding the candle at the top (taking care not to scald your fingers), dribble more boiling water over the surface to melt the wax further and set the foliage and flowers in place.

Fennel Breath Fresheners

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Fennel seeds have a pleasant, sweetish taste of aniseed, and in many Eastern countries they are often chewed after eating spicy food to freshen the breath. Fennel seeds can be eaten raw, but they are nicer when lightly roasted.

You will need:

  • 25g fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp egg white
  • 2 tsp sugar
  1. Separate an egg, putting the egg white into a dish and discarding the yolk. Gently beat the egg white with a fork to break it up, mis it into the fennel seeds and sprinkle with the sugar.
  2. Spread the seeds onto a baking tray and roast in a medium oven until just crisp and starting to brown (roughly 5 minutes). Put them in a small, decorative dish to offer at the end of a meal.