There are a wide variety of health benefits associated with anise essential oil. These benefits can be attributed to its many incredible properties. Anise essential oil is an anti-epileptic, anti-hysteric, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aperient, carminative, cordial, decongestant, digestive, and expectorant. It’s also an insecticide, sedative, stimulant, and a vermifuge substance.
Since ancient times, anise has been used as a spice and flavoring agent for a variety of foods and drinks. In India and elsewhere, anise is also used as a mouth freshener and digestive agent. The medicinal properties of anise essential oil were known centuries ago in ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt.
Anise essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of dried fruits of anise. Anise, also called Pimpinella Anisum, yields a thin and clear oil consisting of about 90% anethol. Anethol gives anise essential oil its characteristic aroma.
10 Health Benefits of Anise Essential Oil
1. Incredible Anti-Epileptic & Anti-Hysteric Effect
Anise essential oil has a narcotic and sedative effect, and is used to calm down epileptic and hysteric attacks. The oil helps slow down circulation, respiration, and nervous response, when administered in higher dosages.
This is contrary to its stimulating and cordial properties, which are shown when administered in lower dosages. It is found effective in sedating nervous afflictions, hyper reactions, and convulsions as well. This property has been known and utilized for a very long time. However, this property should be used with caution, as heavy dosages can have adverse effects, particularly in children.
2. The Antirheumatic Properties Can Help Arthritis Pain
This oil can give relief from rheumatoid arthritis symptoms by stimulating blood circulation. Anise essential oil also helps by reducing the sensation of pain in the affected areas.
3. As An Antiseptic, It Can Help Disinfect Wounds
This essential oil also has antiseptic properties which give wounds an effective protective layer against infections and sepsis. This aids in the faster healing of wounds. The oil has also shown antifungal properties. (1)
4. As An Antispasmodic, It Can Help With Cramps
Situations or ailments caused by spasms are cramps, coughs, aches, diarrhea, nervous afflictions, and convulsions. Spasms are an excessive contraction of the respiratory tracts, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and internal organs. Spasms result in severe coughs, cramps, convulsions, obstructed blood circulations, aches in the stomach and chest and other symptoms.
Anise essential oil, as a relaxant and an anti-spasmodic by nature, relax these contractions and give relief from these ailments.
5. As An Aperient, It Can Help With Constipation
Anise essential oil has mild purgative properties but is safe to use. Unlike other synthetic or harsh purgatives, it is not hard on the stomach and liver and does not leave you exhausted and fatigued. When taken in low dosages, it helps clear motions and cures constipation, resultant flatulence, and indigestion.
6. It Can Help With Digestion and Gas
Only those who are suffering from gas know what a relief it is to get rid of it. It is a very serious ailment and must be treated in a timely manner. It gives rise to indigestion, flatulence, acute chest pain, stomach aches, muscular cramps and rheumatism in the long run. Other associated issues are heaviness, hypertension, and even problems like hair loss and reduction of eyesight if it becomes chronic.
Anise essential oil promotes the removal of gases and as a digestive, it does not let it form, as indigestion is the cause of excess gas.
Anise essential oil is also very commonly used to promote digestion. It has been an old practice to chew anise seeds, to serve desserts containing anise, or to have a glass of warm water with few drops of anise essential oil in it to aid digestion, especially after a heavy meal or a feast. The oil has even relieved depression of users with irritable bowel syndrome. (2)
7. As A Cordial And Decongestant, It Can Clear The Lungs and Respiratory System
The warming effect of this oil on the respiratory and the circulatory systems makes it a cordial. This property helps prevent the common cold, the deposition of phlegm, and problems like rheumatism and arthritis.
Anise essential oil is very effective in clearing congestion in the lungs and the respiratory tracts. For conditions like asthma and bronchitis, this is extremely useful.
8. Treats Respiratory Disorders
Anise essential oil is a remarkable expectorant. It loosens mucus or phlegm deposited in the lungs and respiratory tracts. The oil also gives relief from a cough, breathing troubles, asthma, bronchitis, congestion and other respiratory disorders. Due to the presence of this essential oil in the seeds, the seeds are used for smoking to loosen catarrh or phlegm.
9. It Has Both Sedative And Stimulant Properties
Due to its somewhat narcotic or numbing effects, anise essential oil is used as a sedative. For anxiety, nervous afflictions, depression, anger, stress, and insomnia it’s used for tranquilizing and relaxing effects. This effect is particularly visible when it is used in higher dosages. However, the utmost care should be taken while administering it in heavy doses, keeping in view its narcotic effects.
Amazingly, in small doses anise essential oil actually acts as a stimulant.
The stimulating property of anise essential oil can benefit us in the following ways. It can stimulate circulation and give relief from rheumatism and arthritis, stimulate secretion of enzymes and hormones. This boosts the metabolism and stimulates the nervous system and the brain to make us more active and alert.
10. It kills insects and parasites as a vermifuge!
The essential oil of anise is toxic to insects and smaller animals, therefore its smell keeps insects away. For this reason, this oil can be employed to drive away insects by using it in fumigants, vaporizers, and sprays.
It can also kill worms found in the intestines. This property can be particularly beneficial for children, as they are most commonly afflicted with parasites. It is also antimicrobial. (3)
A final note of caution is needed here. In heavy doses, anise essential oil has narcotic effects and slows down respiration and circulation. It is poisonous to certain small animals and birds and therefore children should not be given high doses. Furthermore, it may cause irritation to certain skin types. It is best to avoid it during pregnancy. It may also aggravate certain types of cancers caused due to its effect on the estrogen hormone.