Anise is one of the common spices that make our drinks and food more flavorful. It is also one of the oldest herbs used since Ancient times for medicinal purposes. Today, we have Anise essential oil, which is one of the best active ingredients for your health.
This aromatic essence is ideal to improve a slow digestion, to relieve a cough or to quiet down a busy mind!
Read on to find out how to use the oil of Anise for this purpose. I will tell you how exactly the oil works to your benefit. To make it even more useful, I’ll also give you blend recipes to help you start using it right away. I’ll show you how to maintain the health and well-being of your nervous, digestive and respiratory systems.
The last chapter of this article will contain more information about the anise plant and its oil. Find out more about its many uses and what other plant is often confused with. That is where you’ll also find a few words of caution to make the best of this oil safely.
Did You Know?
- Anise is the main fragrant ingredient in a liqueur called Anisette. This liqueur has a very high content of alcohol and it’s usually consumed in Mediterranean countries.
Beneficial Blends & Uses of Anise Essential Oil for the Health of All Your Vital Systems
The human body is often under great stress. It needs to process many synthetic foods and imbalanced diets. It also needs to fight the effects of oxidative stress.
This stress comes from many daily situations that people must face. A new job or a new baby, taxes and worries are just a few of the many and constant stressful factors in a person’s life.
On top of these things, if we add environmental pollution, we get respiratory infections, asthma and other allergies. In other words, the body needs all the help it can get in order to function properly and be healthy. One such help can be found in Anise essential oil.
Botanical name: Pimpinella anisum
Texture: thin oil.
Color and Aroma: clear oil, with a sweet and rich fragrance. It is similar to licorice.
Other names: Aniseed, Sweet Cumin or Green Anise essential oil.
Anise is a spice and herb that’s often used to flavor food, desserts and beverages. Its sweet and rich fragrance makes this essence one of the most pleasant oils to use in Aromatherapy.
But what makes the oil of Anise so useful and how does it work? Anise oil contains between 75% and 90% trans – Anethole. The effects of this molecule (organic compound) are similar to dopamine.
Dopamine is released in the brain while doing something nice. This means that while inhaling Anise, your body will stimulate the release of dopamine.
The same compound has antibacterial and pain relieving effects. Anise essential oil is antispasmodic and decongestant. It is also a mild sedative among others.
The oil’s flash point is 195 F (90 – 91 C). This means you can use it to scent your homemade candles as long as you use a wax with low melting point. If you add this oil over a hotter wax it will catch fire. The flash point is the safe temperature under which an essential oil doesn’t catch fire. Below 195 F, Anise is safe from burning.
All these properties make this oil one of the best Aromatherapy oils for the stimulation of all vital processes. Let’s see how it can do that and how to use it to enjoy its benefits right at home.
Benefits for the Nervous System
The human nervous system and the brain can benefit from the stimulating effects of Anise oil through inhalation. It is estimated that 70% of the active aromatic molecules of an essential oil get to the brain this way. Inhalation is one of the safest and fastest ways of getting the beneficial molecules into your system.
However, do not inhale Anise essential oil or any other oil for more than 60 continuous minutes! Science has proved that short inhalations relax the body and the heartbeat rhythm. Long-time inhalations have the exact opposite effect! Plus, you risk getting headaches or feeling nauseated if you inhale too much oil.
The best way to inhale this oil is if you diffuse 3 – 4 drops of it for 20 minutes/hour. Here are more creative ways of diffusing essential oils.
You can also use the oil of Anise in relaxing massages. Blend 6 – 15 drops with 1 Oz vegetable oil and massage your temples, chest or arms with it.
You can use this aromatic oil to:
- Relieve stress-related symptoms.
- Calm down anxiety feelings.
- Chase away depression.
- Improve insomnia.
- Calm down the heartbeat.
- Combat fatigue and sluggishness.
- Improve focus.
- Energize your mind early in the morning.
Relaxing and Calming Blend Recipe
- Anise oil: 5 drops
- Rose Otto: 5 drops
- Sandalwood essential oil: 3 drops
- Sweet Almond oil: 1 Oz. (30 ml)
- Roll-on bottle
Shake the blend well before use and apply as suggested above. Relax and deeply inhale the fragrance of this blend. Keep it in a dry, cool and dark place and try to consume within 3 months.
Benefits for the Digestive System
The digestive system is one of the sensitive ones, with a very active and sensitive flora. There are millions of good and bad bacteria in the gut. When they are balanced, your digestion is good. When the bad bacteria take over, you get all sorts of problems.
Among the common digestive ailments, the following are the most frequent:
- Excessive gas.
- Food poisoning.
Anise essential oil is an excellent digestive ingredient. It can stimulate the release of bile and gastric juices, thus, it can speed up a slow digestion. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. They will help kill the bad bacteria and restore the balance in the digestive tract.
It is also antispasmodic, which means it will calm down all the spasms of the stomach and large intestine. At the same time, this will stimulate a normal activity in the bowels.
In the 19th century, the Germans were adding whole anise seeds in their homemade bread! That’s how much they believed in its digestive effects.
Use Anise oil in Aromatherapy blends and massage them on the stomach area. The following recipe will help you put it all together in no time:
Digestive Relief Blend
- Lavender essential oil: 6 drops
- Cajeput essential oil: 6 drops
- Anise essential oil: 6 drops
- Calendula oil: 1 Oz (30 ml)
Shake the blend well and apply a moderate amount on your stomach area and lower back. Apply clockwise movements to stimulate the natural course of food. Keep your stomach area warm after this massage. You can apply it after each meal if you want.
Benefits for the Respiratory System
The air we breathe is filled with germs and viruses. If the immune system is not at its best, they can cause respiratory problems after inhalation. They can also:
- Irritate the mucous membrane and cause allergies and sneezing.
- Cause dry coughs.
- Cause the nose to become congested.
- Cause the lungs to fill with liquid (pneumonia).
- Cause inflammation in the throat and become sore.
- Cause bronchitis and other ailments.
You can diffuse 4 – 7 drops of Anise essential oil in your diffuser for 20 – 30 minutes/hour. Make sure the room in which you diffuse the oil is well ventilated.
You can mix the oil with Sweet Orange or Lemon, even Eucalyptus for a more potent blend. Strong antibacterial volatile oils can destroy hundreds of bacteria and germs in the atmosphere in just 30 minutes!
You can also make a steam bath where you add 1 drop of Anise in boiling water. Cover your head with a towel over the boiling water and inhale deeply for 10 minutes. Do not go outside for at least an hour after that. This method is especially good for colds and bronchitis.
You can also add 10 drops of Anise in a hot bath. Make sure you dilute it with salts, milk or honey before throwing it in the water! Read more on the health benefits of bath therapy here.
Another good way of improving the health and condition of your respiratory tract is by applying a massage lotion on the chest area. This way you’ll encourage the dissolving of the phlegm and make room for more air to reach the lungs.
Nose Decongestant Blend Recipe
- Cajeput essential oil: 2 drops
- Eucalyptus essential oil: 3 drops
- Anise essential oil: 5 drops
- Avocado oil: 1 Oz (30 ml)
Massage your nostrils and the forehead with this blend every time you feel your nose congested. This blend will also help nourish and hydrate the skin around the nose and prevent its further damage.
Did You Know?
- In antic Palestinian times, anise was very highly regarded. Because of its value, anise was used as a currency for the payment of taxes.
More about the Anise Plant, Essential Oil Benefits and Precautions
You’ve seen the benefits of Anise oil for the vital processes of the body. It can stimulate a slow digestion quite easily, and it can also relax an overactive and restless mind. At the same time it can bring relief to the respiratory tract because it is a great expectorant and decongestant.
The seeds of anise are used to flavor candies, desserts, cooked meals and beverages or alcoholic drinks. They are very aromatic and sweet so anise makes for a very good ingredient.
This plant looks a lot like the carrot seeds, aka “Queen Anne’s Lace”. The seeds are found at the top, inside beautiful little white flowers. These flowers are disposed like umbels and they’re characteristic to the parsley family.
Anise essential oil is obtained by steam distillation, from the seeds (fruits) of the plant. These seeds have been and still are used in all its possible forms. They can be used in tinctures, infusions, herbal teas, powder and all sorts of decoctions. They are also used as dried seeds, especially in cooking.
Anise is not to be confused with Star Anise! The latter is literally star-shaped and grows in southern China’s warm climates. It is also part of the magnolia family, which means its scent is much stronger!
Anise is an herb that’s part of the parsley family and grows naturally in the Mediterranean regions. Anise is often used as a substitute for licorice!
When it comes to chemical composition, the main compound is trans – Anethole. Besides it, Anise essential oil also contains:
- Sesquiterpenes – have antispasmodic and antiviral/antibacterial properties. They are also responsible for the oil’s calming and soothing effects.
- Flavonoids – good antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
- Phenolic acid – beneficial against oxidative stress that causes various heart diseases and cancer.
- Malic acid – reduces pain and boosts the energy. It has exfoliating qualities for the skin.
Words of Caution
As with any essential oil, the oil of Anise comes with a few words of caution also. Make sure you read them before starting to use the oil to soothe various ailments.
- Always test it for allergies and other reactions. Pour a diluted drop of the oil on the forearm and wait for at least half an hour for any kind of reaction. Anise oil contains potentially allergenic compounds.
- Do not use the oil on children younger than 12 without medical approval.
- It is also not recommended to pregnant women. Talk to your doctor before any topical application. The same applies to nursing mothers.
- Never use the oil undiluted! It may cause sensitization or irritation.
- Do not use large doses because it may trigger seizures.
- Avoid excessive inhalation because it may cause nausea, headache or convulsions.
- Consult a doctor first if you suffer from other health problems.
- Do not use Anise essential oil for long periods of time (more than 7 – 10 consecutive days).
- Finally, if you’re on anticoagulation medication you should know there might be interactions.
Anise is a very versatile plant. It has been used for centuries and it has always played an important role in the kitchen and medicine.
It can help maintain the integrity of internal organs and the well-being of the emotional centre – the brain. It can uplift your spirit and help you relax, all the while improving the digestion and soothing respiratory issues.
Anise essential oil is a great oil to have around the house. No matter what you use it for, it has an affordable price and its benefits are quite many. Remember that anise is not the same as star anise, no matter who tells you otherwise. They bear different botanical names (Latin,) which is a clear sign of their different species and properties.
Where do you stand with Anise oil, have you used it yet? I’d very much like to hear more about your personal experience with this essential oil.