Star Anise Hook.f – Illicium verum – has the sweet and sometimes considered strong aroma of aniseed though belongs to a completely different family.
Star Anise has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years in the treatment of chest and digestive disorders.
Star Anise is steam distilled from the fruit of the evergreen tree which can grow up to 12m in height, found mostly on the Asian continent. The essential oil is relatively colourless and from its perfume note which is top to mid, can be an effective masking agent for undesirable aromas.
According to the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Julia Lawless, 1995 – pgs 60,61,62, Star Anise has effective Aromatherapy healing properties;
Star anise can assist in reducing aches and pains as well as give some relief with rheumatism.
For the Respiratory and immune Systems, Star anise is used to give relief to those suffering from bronchitis and irritating coughs or breathing difficulties.
Used in a vegetable oil and massaged into the skin, this oil can help the Digestive System when suffering colic, cramp/gastric spasm, indigestion and flatulence.
The essential oil is often used with a few drops on chewable substances to sweeten the breath.
Star Anise major chemical compound is Trans-anethole (around 80%) which can cause irritation to the skin however, if used with care and with a vegetable oil, irritation should not occur though always try a skin test first.
Use this essential oil in moderation as in large doses can act as a narcotic. Avoid during pregnancy. Do not ingest and keep out of the reach of children as the aroma of this essential oil could be desirable for some children to ingest. Avoid use on sensitive or damaged skin.
Although there are some references to be careful when using Star anise, if used with caution, it is a lovely oil and can be beneficial.
A GC report is available on request