Essential Oils

Earth-Essences

 

Anise Star

Illicium Verum 

Family Illiciaceae

Synonyms: Chinese anise, illicium, Chinese star anise.

General Description: Evergreen tree up to 12 metres high with a tall, slender white trunk. It bears fruit which consist of five to thirteen seed-bearing follicles attached to a central axis in the shape of a star.

Distribution: Native to south east China, also Vietnam, India and Japan. Mainly produced in China.

Other Species: Several other related species, e.g. Japanese star anise which is highly poisonous.

Herbal/Folk Tradition
Used in Chinese medicine for over 1300 years for its stimulating effect on the digestive system and for respiratory disorders such as bronchitis and unproductive coughs. In the East generally , it is used as a remedy for colic and rheumatism, and often chewed after meals to sweeten the breath and promote digestion. A common oriental domestic spice.

Actions
Antiseptic, carminative, expectorant, insect repellent, stimulant.

Extraction
Essential oil by steam distillation from the fruits, fresh or partially dried. An oil is also produced from the leaves in small quantities.

Actions
Antiseptic, carminative, expectorant, insect repellent, stimulant.

Extraction
Essential oil by steam distillation from the fruits, fresh or partially dried. An oil is also produced from the leaves in small quantities.   

Characteristics
A pale yellow liquid with a warm, spicy, extremely sweet, liquorice like scent. It blends well with rose, lavender, orange, pine and other spice oils, and has excellent masking properties.
 

Principal Constituents
Trans -anethole (80-90 per cent)

Safety Data
despite the anethole content, it does not appear to be a dermal irritant, unlike aniseed. In large doses it is a narcotic and slows down the circulation: it can lead to cerebral disorders. Use in moderation only.

Aromatherapy/Home Use    
Circulation muscles and joints: Muscular aches and pains,rheumatism

Respiratory system:Bronchitis, coughs

Digestive system:  Colic, cramp, flatulence 

Immune system: Colds

Other Uses:
By the pharmaceutical industry in cough mixtures, lozenges, etc, and to mask undesirable odours and flavours in drugs. As a fragrance component in soaps, toothpaste and detergents as well as cosmetics and perfumes. Widely used for flavouring food, especially confectionery, alcoholic and soft drinks.

Reference: The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: Julia Lawless                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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