Aniseed Essential Oil

Price: $6.06
Aniseed Essential Oil

Pimpinella anisum syn. Anisum vulgare, steam distilled from the seeds, from India, social enterprise

Description: Aniseed is the fruit of the annual anise plant of the parsley family (Umbelliferae). It grows up to 60cm in height and is umbelliferous in appearance with leaves varying in shape from heart-shaped to feathery. The fruits are covered with short hairs and each contains two dark seeds with light ribs.

Colour: Clear to pale yellow liquid.

Consistency: Thin

Aroma: Aniseed Essential Oil has a rich spicy-sweet licorice scent.

Note: Top

Strength of Aroma: Medium

Blends well with: Bay, Cardamom Caraway Cedarwood, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Mandarin, Petitgrain and Rosewood.

Common Uses: Because of its high anethole content, Aniseed is considered to have antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, diuretic, and expectorant properties. Additionally, it is reputed to control lice and itch mite.

Bronchitis, colds, coughs, flatulence, flu, muscle aches, rheumatism. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 60-66.]

Constituents: a-pinene, camphene, B-pinene, linalool, cis-anethole, trans-anethole, safrole, anisaldehyde, acetoanisole. [B. Lawrence, "Anise Oil," Perfumer & Flavorist, June/July 1983, 65, cited in Salvatore Battaglia, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (Australia: The Perfect Potion, 1997), 141.]

Chemical analysis:
Anethole: 92%, estragol, anise aldehyde, anise alcohol, methoxy acetophenone, pinene,limonene,himachalene, and 4-methoxy-2-(1-propene-yl)-phenol-2-methyl butyrate (Characteristic for anise)

History: Revered by ancient civilizations, particularly in the Middle East, Aniseed has long been used in cooking and in bread-making. The Romans hailed it as an aphrodisiac, and in India, the seeds are still chewed to sweeten the breath. It is widely used as a spice in cooking, and as an ingredient in toothpastes and mouthwashes. Aniseed oil is very popular amongst soap-makers because the fresh spicy scent eliminates the smell of onions and fish on the hands when used by cooks, and masks the odour of humans when used by fishermen and hunters.

Cautions: The oil is very potent and not to be used on sensitive skin. Trans-anethole (87%) can cause dermatitis in some individuals. Avoid if allergic or inflamed skin. Avoid if
breast feeding, pregnant, or if endometriosis or other oestrogen-dependent cancer.

Caution for those with hypersensitive skin or with skin problems. Avoid Anise Oil in endometriosis and oestrogen-dependent cancers. [Robert Tisserand, Essential Oil Safety (United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone, 1995), 117.]

Anise Oil is narcotic and slows circulation in large doses. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 196.]

Photo thanks to Raffi Kojian (http://Gardenology.org) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons