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What is Anise Essential Oil?

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  • Written By: Nick Doniger
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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Anise essential oil is derived through steam distillation of the plant pimpinella anisum. This plant oil is largely produced in India, China, and Spain, and it is used in holistic medicine to cure a number of ailments, including those of the respiratory and digestive system. The oil is also used in aromatherapy for its tranquilizing effects. Some side effects resulting from the use of anise essential oil are known, though no significant scientific research is available regarding its perceived benefits.

The oil is utilized by aromatherapists for a number of reasons. In such applications, it is believed to have a euphoric, mood-enhancing effect. Additionally, it may be effective in treating anxiety, depression, anger, and stress. Anise essential oil's sedative qualities may additionally relieve insomnia, though small doses of the oil may adversely act as a stimulant. In contrast, large amounts are known to have a narcotic effect.

Anise essential oil is believed to aid in relieving respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, whooping cough, asthma, and congestion from the common cold or influenza. Its expectorant effect may help rid the respiratory system of excess mucous through vapor therapy. A few drops added to a cotton swab may be placed into a humidifier or vaporizer, and the patient can breathe in the resulting fumes in order to reap such benefits. This method of using anise oil as vapor therapy is also believed to inhibit nausea and vomiting.

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Certain digestive problems may be remedied through the use of anise essential oil, including flatulence, cramps, dyspepsia, constipation, and general indigestion. The oil is believed to act as an antispasmodic in the digestive system. For general dyspepsia and stomach upset in children, it is recommended that several drops of the oil are placed in a bathtub, or that a few drops of the oil are added to a damp, clean cloth and placed on the child's abdomen.

Those who suffer from intestinal worms may also find relief from anise essential oil, as the product is believed to be capable of acting as a vermifuge. As it is known to have an insecticide quality, the oil is also used in treating lice and scabies. Its mildly toxic qualities give it an antiseptic and antimicrobial effect as well. Anise oil may help fight infectious fungi, yeast, and bacteria.

No clinical data from scientific research exists to back up most of these health benefits of the anise essential oil, including those regarding its respiratory, digestive, and therapeutic advantages. Information regarding its safeness during pregnancy differs among sources. Some claim that the oil should be avoided during pregnancy, while some claim that small doses may be beneficial for lactation. Additionally, a few sources recommend that the oil may be ingested in very small amounts, while others recommend avoiding ingestion altogether. Anise essential oil's most prominently known side effect is skin and eye irritation.

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julies
Post 3

One interesting thing about anise is its use in some soaps, and is known as "The Fisherman's Friend". Apparently fish are attracted to the smell of anise oil.

If you are familiar with essential oils, you know that they can be very strong and powerful and do not break down in water. Many fisherman will use this oil to coat their hands and even their lures to attract fish to their boat.

Many people who make soap have taken this idea and made soap to sell just to fishermen in the hopes of attracting more fish.

honeybees
Post 2

If you don't like the smell or taste of black licorice, you probably won't like the smell of anise essential oil. You will know right away whether you can tolerate the scent or not.

It is a powerful essential oil though and many people have really benefited from some of its properties. If you use therapeutic grade essential oils on a regular basis, you know there is a difference between these type of oils and those that are for aromatherapy use only.

If you have any kind of digestion problems or stomach cramping, you might want to try diluting some in a carrier oil and rubbing on your stomach area. This is one of the things it is most known for and I have seen it help a few family members.

golf07
Post 1

Anise is one of those essential oils that you don't hear much about like you do lavender and lemon. When I was having trouble sleeping and looking for some natural alternatives, I was told that anise and sandalwood essential oils might be beneficial for that.

The price of the anise oil was less than the sandalwood, so I decided to give it a try first. I wasn't real crazy about the scent of it when I first smelled it. I knew what sandalwood smelled like, and was expecting something similar to that, but it has a completely different scent.

I would put a few drops of the oil on a cotton ball and breathe in the scent before going to sleep. I didn't really seem to notice a difference one way or the other when using it. I keep the bottle around because I know there are many other uses it may come in handy for .

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