Star anise is a small evergreen tree that is indigenous to the north-eastern part of Vietnam and south-western region of China. It derives its name from the Latin word ‘illicere’ and ‘verum’. It belongs to the ‘Illiciaceae’ plant family. This plant is has dark green leaves and very small solitary flowers. The fruits of this tree have a distinctive shape. The star-shaped fruit is known to have up to eight separate carpels. Each of these carpels contains a small capsule with a sweet, single liquorice flavored seed. Though this plant does not grow naturally, it is widely cultivated in parts of China, India, Philippines and Japan.
This pale yellow anise star oil has been used by therapists for centuries in traditional Chinese medicines. It is known to stimulate the digestive system as well as helping in soothing stomach infections, indigestion and stomach bloating. A number of respiratory ailments such as bronchitis and unproductive cough can also be treated by using this oil regularly over a period of time.
Star anise has been researched upon by experts for decades. After thorough studies, these expert therapists have recommended this oil for patients suffering from dyspepsia, spasmodic, flatulence, colonalgia, dysentery, asthma, facial paralysis, halitosis and hemiplegia.
The chemical constituents of star anise oil are a-pinene, camphene, b-pinene, linalool, trans-anethole, safrole, camphene, acetoanisole and anisaldehyde. The allergens that are present in the oil are limonene and Linalool. The quantities of the allergens as per research are 3 percent and 1.5 percent respectively.
Star Anise essential oil has a sweet, spicy and pleasant fragrance that is similar to that of Anise. The only difference is smell because star anise aroma is less subtle and better. Being one of the most highly aromatic and odor-sensitive oils, it also gives a liquorice-like fragrance with a burning flavor. This oil enhances relaxation, improves sleep patterns, and reduces tiredness as well as weariness resulting from any kind of activity.
This oil is known to blend with bay, cardamom, caraway, coriander, bill, sweet fennel, lavender, mandarin, neroli, orange, petit grain, rose wood and cedar wood oil. Unlike anise oil, star anise aroma oil is not considered to be a dermal irritant. It is narcotic and can definitely slow down circulation. One must always use this oil in moderation and positively avoid it during pregnancy.
It is recommended time and again that essential oils are no to be consumed until prescribed by a qualified doctor or practitioner.