Star Anise oil
Botanical Name: Illicium verum. The plant family is Illiciaceae and the country of origin is China.
Common Method of Extraction: The common method of extraction is steam distillation. The oil is distilled from fresh and semi-dried fruits. The fruit is star shaped with about eight pointed section average and the fruit is plucked before it becomes ripe. The fruit is then dried and crushed and steam distilled. The colour of the oil is pale yellow.
Parts Used: Fruit
Aroma: The aroma of the oil is pleasant and sweet. The aroma is fresh, spicy and liquorice. It is similar to that of Anise oil but subtler and slightly bitterer.
Largest Producing Countries: The largest producing country of anise oil is China. It is being grown in Indo-China and Japan also.
Traditional Use: Star Anise was a small tree that is grown in China and Vietnam. Now it is grown only in South China, India and Japan. Star Anise has been in use more 3000 years before as a spice and for medicinal purposes. It was taken to Europe in the year 1578 and since it was taken from Philippines people thought that it originated there. They were unaware of the fact that the tree originated in South China. Star Anise, in olden days was believed to protect and support the prevention of Evil Eye.
Properties: Star anise oil is used for its digestive, stimulant, diuretic and carminative properties. It is good for different skin conditions and also for the improvement of women’s happiness. The oil is good for respiratory tract infections, cough, bronchitis, flu, swine flu, bird flu and lung inflammation. The oil is good for digestive problems. The oil helps in increasing the flow of breast milk and it promotes menstruation. It is suppose to ease childbirth and good for colic in babies. It is the ideal oil to increase the sexual drive and it can treat symptoms of so called male menopause. It is used in the manufacture of soaps and toothpaste. It is also used in cosmetics and perfumes.
Blends Well With: Star anise oil blends well with all types of essential oils especially lime, spearmint and cedarwood oil.
Of Interest: Star anise oil is an ingredient of the Chinese five spices. It is also a major ingredient in the famous garam masalas of India and Pakistan. It is also used in the other famous dish of India and Pakistan, Biryani. Vietnamese use this oil in their noodles, Pho. Dried star anise is part of the pot-pourris.
Safety Data: Star anise oil is not advisable for use during pregnancy. Breast feeding mother are also not supposed to use star anise oil. Not safe to use it in infants. One has to be very careful when choosing the Chinese and Japanese star anise. Japanese star anise is supposed to be poisonous and not good for use. The pure Chinese anise star is safe to use. People who are suffering from hormone sensitive problems like breast cancer, uterus cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids and endometriosis are advised to stay away from star anise oil.