Latin Name: Illicum verum
Country of Origin: Vietnam
Method of Extraction: Steam distilled
Anise Seed and Star Anise Seed belong to completely different botanical families, but have similar properties. Both of these oils are extremely high in the phenylpropane ether, anethole. Phenylpropane ethers stabilize an overactive autonomic nervous system and brings balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.
Phenypropane ethers are highly antispasmodic and exert their influence particularly in the digestive organs (massage with Peppermint and Nutmeg). It stimulates appetite, relieves bloating and gas (carminative) and strengthens the stomach.
Anise is expectorant and relieves dry, unproductive coughs and is effective for bronchial asthma. Star Anise is a better expectorant than that of Caraway or Fennel, but less of effective as a carminative.
Many ethnic cultures have medicines or beverages based on Anise Seed: Turkish raki, Tibetan medicinal lotion for anxiety, depression and neurotic complaints, and other references in Egyptian, Greek and Roman texts. Julia Lawless suggests the oil is good for introverted, melancholic and fearful people who tend to be withdrawn. To clear the head and strengthen the nerves, use in a diffuser or inhaler for nauseous migraine headaches, anxiety, stress, insomnia and general exhaustion.
Both oils have estrogen-like properties, and there are some references to use in peri-menopause, and irregular menstruation.
Safety: Both Anise Seed and Star Anise Seed oils should be used with caution and neither are safe for babies, children, pregnant women, or the condition of mastitis.