Plant Origin: Egypt
Method: Steam distilled from seeds
Cultivation: Unsprayed (grown organically but not certified)
Chemical Family: Phenolic ether
Aroma: Distinctive of rich, sweet licorice
Key Constituents from GC/MS Analysis: Lot# ANS-101
(E) anethole 78.07%
Children? Avoid use with children under 5 (due to estrogenic properties).
Pregnancy/Lactation? Not suitable due to (E) anethole content (Tisserand/Young). Balacs writes in Hormones and Health: "The oestrogenic effects of aniseed are relatively weak but suggest that it would be safe not to use orally during pregnancy and breast feeding."
Properties and Uses
Anise Seed essential oil is reported to be a digestive stimulant, anticoagulant, anesthetic, analgesic, antioxidant, diuretic, antitumoral and is said to be used effectively for joint pain and cataracts.
Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D wrote in The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils (p. 133) that 1-3 drops of Anise in a glass of water may stabilize heartbeat and breathing. Schnaubelt also mentions using Anise to help restore taste and regain appetite (inhaled or using a drop daily).
Analgesic - arthritis, backache, nauseous migraine, menstrual pain, rheumatism, sciatica, vertigo
Anti-Epileptic - sedative effect can calm epileptic and hysteric attacks if taken in high dosage under care of health care professional
Anti-spasmodic - bronchial spasm, colic, coughs, diarrhea, enteritis, flatulence, indigestion, infantile colic, vomiting (nervous), menstrual pain
Digestion - stimulates digestive enzymes, mild purgative properties if taken in low dosages
Cardiotonic - cardiovascular erethism, palpitations, tired heart
Carminative - flatulence, indigestion
Expectorant - catarrh (excessive discharge of mucus in nose or throat)
Lactogenic - increases milk supply
Estrogen-like - menopause, PMS
Insecticide - toxic to insects and smaller animals
Narcotic - taken over a long period of time may slow circulation and is addictive
Respiratory - asthma, bronchitis, congestion in lungs, nervous breathing
Sedative - narcotic and numbing effects, anxiety, nervous, depression, anger, stress, insomnia in high dosages (lower dose is a stimulant)
Stimulant - circulation (relief from rheumatism and arthritis), secretion of enzymes and hormones, nervous system and brain (aids brain and alertness)
Uterotonic - facilitates delivery
Vermifuge - worms in intestines
Aniseed essential oil killed 100% of the adult lice and their eggs when diluted 50:50 with water. (The herbal infusion of Aniseed was not effective.) For a full protocol, please see No Lice!
Aromatherapy Global Online Research Archives
Deer Hunters Use Anise
Deer hunters report that Anise essential oil not only covers human scent, but also seems to attract deer.
One simple technique is to:
- Dilute Anise with fractionated Coconut oil (or any non-aromatic cooking oil)
- Pour this over a small rag
- Place the rag in a small zip-loc bag, remove all the air and seal
- At the hunting site, remove the rag from the bag and wipe over exposed skin and hunting boots - anything that can tolerate the oil
- If the hunter is going to stay in one place, he can hang it on a tree limb or place it on the ground and cover slightly with leaves or debris
Anise has earned the moniker "fisherman's friend" because it is said to remove all traces of human scent, and it is believed to attract fish when applied to the fishing lures.
Application Suggestions: (See Essential Oil Usage) for more information and a dilution chart.)
*See SAFETY information at the bottom of this page.
Topical: Dilute with a carrier and apply on area of concern or as desired. Tisserand/Young suggest a dermal maximum of 2.4% (which is about 15 drops in an ounce of carrier oil).
Internal: Aniseed is suitable for internal use within safe parameters if such use is deemed appropriate. We feel that internal use is rarely *needed* and should only be used with respect for how concentrated the oils are. HEO does not advocate internal use of essential oils without appropriate knowledge and understanding of how to administer, for what purpose, how much, which essential oils, safety concerns and so on. In our experience, essential oils are generally more effective used topically with proper dilution or inhaled. Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D. notes that "French aromatherapy literature contains many references to using oils orally." He goes on to note that "generally 1 drop is always enough when ingesting essential oils." A potential toxicity hazard could occur when untrained people use essential oils orally and ingest too much.Keep in mind that while medical doctors or health care practitioners may prescribe essential oils for internal use, they are trained and experienced in the safe application of essential oils. It is not a matter of using "French" or "British" methods, it's a matter of experience and appropriate application. Click here for more information about internal usage.
Schnaubelt suggests 1-3 drops Anise internally for heart beat and breathing issues.
According to Battaglia, "Many herbalists suggest taking anise seed essential oil internally. Holmes suggest 2-4 drops in a little warm water. The German Commission E Monographs suggest 0.3 g essential oil as a bronchial expectorant for upper respiratory tract congestion and for dyspeptic complaints."
Schnaubelt suggests that the preferred mode of use is internal and that: "a drop of anise oil on a teaspoon of sugar will restore equilibrium to an acutely out-of-whack autonomic nervous system."
"The oestrogenic effects of aniseed are relatively weak but suggest that it would be safe not to use orally during pregnancy and breast feeding (Balacs: Hormones and Health)."
Oral Cautions (per Tisserand/Young): Diabetes medication. Diuretic medication, renal insufficiency, edematous disorders. Anticoagulant medication, major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, other bleeding disorders.
Hopewell Essential Oil blends with Anise:
Contraindications All Routes (per Tisserand/Young): Pregnancy, breastfeeding, endometriosis, estrogen-dependent cancers, children under five years of age.
Oral Cautions (per Tisserand/Young): Diabetes medication. Diuretic medication, renal insufficiency, edematous disorders. Anticoagulant medication, major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, other bleeding disorders. Anise Seed oil my inhibit blood clotting.
Avoid contact with the eyes and other sensitive areas. Essential oils are both lipophilic and hydrophobic. Lipophilic means they are attracted to fat— like the membranes of your eyes and skin. They are also hydrophobic, meaning they do not like water. Flushing with water will only send the essential oil back to the eye's membranes. Applying a carrier oil will create another fat for the essential oil to be attracted to other than the membranes of the eyes or skin. Tisserand suggests: "With essential oils, fatty oil has been suggested as an appropriate first aid treatment, though the advantage of saline [eyewash] is that the eyes can be continually flushed, and this is less easy with fatty oil." We’ve not known this to cause permanent injury or long-term discomfort, but if you feel concerned, please call your health care provider.
Battaglia, Salvatore, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2002, pages 163-164.
Davis P., Aromatherapy An A-Z, C.W. Daniel Company Ltd, 2000
Shirley and Len Price, Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, Third Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2008
Schnaubelt, Kurt, The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, 2111, page 131-134.
Tisserand, Robert, Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition 2014, pages 152-153, 196-197.