Arthritis is a painful and disabling condition of the joints. It can affect anyone including children and adolescents. The main symptoms are the pain, swelling, redness, and joint stiffness.
There are various types of arthritis but, the symptoms are almost the same .
Broadly arthritis can be of two different classes, inflammatory arthritis, and mechanical arthritis. Inflammatory arthritis is caused due to an abnormality in the body’s immune system.
Mechanical arthritis is due to lack of the functioning of the joint resulting from older age .
Arthritis can limit patients from performing daily activities. Management of arthritis requires diet modification, exercise, painkillers, assistive devices, physical therapy, reducing stress etc .
Essential oils can be beneficial in the management of arthritis symptoms . Massaging the joints with essential oil can relieve pain . Inhalation of essential oil can reduce anxiety and stress .
Before we discuss the benefits of fennel oil in detail let us go through a brief description of this essential oil.
Table of Contents
- What is Fennel Essential Oil?
- Benefits of Fennel Essential Oil in Arthritis
- How to Use Fennel Essential Oil – Dosage
What is Fennel Essential Oil?
Fennel is a perennial herb that is used mainly in flavoring food. This plant first originated from Southern Europe and Mediterranean regions .
Fennel has been used to treat and clear the eyes, expel earworms, reduce kidney pain, alleviate stomach pain, increasing milk in lactating mothers and as a fat reducing agent .
It is most commonly used to treat the disorders of the digestive system .
Fennel essential oil is an extract obtained from the seeds of fennel plant through a process of distillation. The main active constituents in this oil are known as Anethole and Fenchone .
Research in modern days reveals the capacity of fennel oil in reducing respiratory congestion and infections .
It is also found to have anti-microbial, liver protective, anti-cancer activity .
Benefits of Fennel Essential Oil in Arthritis
Benefits of Fennel essential oil have been proven by various research studies. It can help in reducing inflammation and pain which forms a major setback in arthritis patients’ lives. Fennel oil can relieve stress and anxiety too. It can help in rheumatoid arthritis by reducing the disrupted immune responses. Fennel oil is a natural antioxidant which can flush toxins out of the body.
1. Fennel Oil Can Help Fight Inflammation
Inflammation is a normal response of the body to injury. But, uncontrolled inflammation can be problematic as in the case of arthritis . Fennel oil contains certain flavonoids that reduce inflammation .
Animal studies have demonstrated the effect of fennel oil helps in reduction of inflammation which can be useful in arthritis .
Topical application of fennel oil showed reduced inflammatory chemicals and improve movement in an animal study .
Fennel oil could be effective in arthritis in both topical and oral usage. However, more research on arthritis patients could provide a clearer evidence.
What does this mean?
Fennel oil can reduce inflammation of the joints which can abate pain and swelling. It can be applied to the skin or taken orally in the diluted form.
2. Fennel Oil Improves Detoxification of the Body
Antioxidants are agents that prevent damage to the cells by protecting them from harmful toxins.
Arthritis is a condition that reduces the antioxidant level in the body leading to damage to the cells. Therefore, antioxidant supplementation is a crucial part in arthritis therapy .
Fennel essential oil is a powerful natural antioxidant that can reduce oxidative stress . It is a safe, effective and easily available natural antioxidant .
Animal studies have proven the antioxidant effect of fennel oil . This effect also helps in liver protection by preventing drug-related damage to the liver .
What does this mean?
Antioxidant properties of fennel can help in reducing the toxins which can damage the cells. It can also protect the liver from damage caused by the drugs used in the treatment of arthritis.
3. Fennel oil can Relieve Joint Pain in Arthritis
Arthritis is always associated with pain as the major symptom. Fennel oil has been used in traditional medicine for its pain-relieving effects .
Research has found that fennel oil could be beneficial in reducing inflammation related pain .
Fennel oil can reduce pain by preventing the pain signal transmission to the pain which can relieve joint pain in arthritis .
One scientific study on 68 subjects found that the effect of fennel along with vitamin E was better than the drug ibuprofen for pain control .
What does this mean?
Fennel oil can reduce pain in the joints by preventing the pain signals from reaching the brain. The effect of fennel on pain can be comparable to painkiller ibuprofen.
4. Fennel Oil Positively Affects the Immune System to Benefit Inflammatory Arthritis
Immunity is the body’s defense mechanism that protects the body. Sometimes this effect is exaggerated without any reason which is responsible for some diseases, one such disease being rheumatoid arthritis .
Fennel essential oil contains chemical constituents that can cause changes to the immune system and reduce the swelling by suppressing the excess activity of the immune system .
This effect could be vital for rheumatoid arthritis patients as the increased immune response can be suppressed by fennel extract.
What does this mean?
Rheumatoid arthritis is due to an abnormal immune response of the body. Fennel oil can benefit rheumatoid arthritis by reducing these immune responses.
5. Fennel Oil Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety in Arthritis Patients
Arthritis symptoms and management can lead to stress and anxiety. Research studies have reported that the prevalence of anxiety and depression is high among arthritis patients .
Fennel oil has been identified to possess promising anti-anxiety effects . This can be utilized by arthritis patients to regulate their mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
A research study involving 60 patients studied the effect of fennel extract on the symptoms of anxiety and depression. A significant improvement was found in the symptoms after using fennel oil .
Anti-anxiety and anti-stress effects of fennel oil have been well-studied and proven by various animal trials with successful outcomes .
What does this mean?
Arthritis patients have a higher level of stress and anxiety. Fennel oil helps in providing relaxation and uplifting their mood.
How to Use Fennel Essential Oil – Dosage
Fennel oil can be diluted with carrier oils (almond, coconut, vegetable oil) and applied to the skin to relieve swelling and pain. It can also be mixed with other essential oils like tangerine and cypress to improve its anti-inflammatory benefits .
30mg fennel extract can be taken orally 3-4 times daily for pain relief . It can also be taken along with food or as a decoction.
Fennel oil can also be placed in a diffuser and inhaled to reduce anxiety and stress. Make sure that the oil is well diluted as per the manufacturers’ instructions .
Fennel oil is generally safe to consumed orally and applied topically. But, high doses of fennel oil can affect the cells and bring about cell death . It can also cause liver damage when consumed at very high doses .
Fennel oil when ingested orally with other drugs may cause interaction leading to increased or decreased effect of the drug . Do not take fennel oil with other drugs without advice from your physician.
Epileptic and hypertensive patients should not use fennel oil without consulting their physicians . Fennel oil mimics hormone-like activity, therefore, it should not be used by pregnant women unless advised by a physician .
Fennel is an aromatic spice that has been used for cooking and flavoring. Fennel seeds are used to extract the fennel essential oil that has proven to possess various health benefits.
Fennel oil can benefit arthritis patients by reducing the inflammation and pain of the joints. This can increase the motility of the patients and improve daily activities.
Antioxidants are essential for arthritis patients, fennel oil being a natural antioxidant can reduce cell damage due to the toxins. It can also provide positive effects by altering the body’s defense mechanisms.
Fennel oil has been found to be excellent for anxiety and depression. Arthritis patients suffer from stress and anxiety which can be reduced with the help of fennel oil inhalation.
Fennel oil is safe and effective natural remedy to be used by arthritis patients. It can help in five great ways to fight the symptoms of arthritis.