Why We Love Star Anise Oil

Star anise essential oil is derived from the iconic, star-shaped fruit of the star anise (illicium verum) tree, which is native to Southeast Asia. It’s widely used as a spice and flavoring in foods and liqueurs. It has a strong licorice aroma that is both sweet and spicy and is beneficial to use in natural wellness routines.

The Plant

The star anise tree is a fast-growing evergreen that thrives in tropical regions of Vietnam and Southern China. It has glossy green leaves and produces cup-shaped, pale yellow-white flowers, which fall away to yield brown star-shaped seed pods. The seed pods are dried and used in their whole form in cooking or steam distilled to create an essential oil.

Method of Extraction

The woody star anise fruit or pods are harvested from the star anise tree and then dried before they are steam distilled. One of the most common forms of essential oil extraction, steam distillation vaporizes the volatile compounds found within the star anise fruit to create an extremely pure essential oil. Star anise essential oil contains trans-anethole, a chemical compound that gives it its licorice scent.

Traditional Uses of Star Anise Essential Oil

Used for centuries in Indian and Asian cooking and Chinese medicine, star anise has been heralded for its unique licorice aroma and wellness benefits. Ancient Romans and Greeks consumed star anise to boost their energy levels. In Chinese medicine, it has been used for hundreds of years to promote sleep, help relieve muscle soreness, and aid in digestive discomfort. When star anise was first introduced to Europe in the 17th century, it was called “Siberian cardamom” for its distinctive flavor and scent. Today star anise is used as a spice in many Indian dishes, as a flavoring in liquors such as sambuca and absinthe, and in aromatherapy

Benefits of Star Anise Essential Oil

Skin, Hair, and Body Care Support

Star anise oil’s strong scent means a little can go a long way. It can be combined with a carrier oil to use on the skin, hair, or body. It can be applied topically to ease irritated, itchy, or dry skin, as well as to repel bugs. When used on the hair and scalp, it can promote scalp health and combat split ends or dry hair. When used in aromatherapy, star anise essential oil can help promote easy breathing.

Mood Support

Deeply grounding and balancing, star anise oil is known to ease a worried mind and promote an overall sense of calm when inhaled.

How to use Star Anise Essential Oil

For the Skin

Before using it on the skin be sure to combine it with a carrier oil such as jojoba or argan oil.

  • Combine 1 drop of star anise oil with ½ teaspoon of jojoba oil and use it as a spot treatment for blemishes and to prevent breakouts.
  • Add 1 drop of star anise oil and 1 drop of eucalyptus essential oil to 1 teaspoon of argan oil and rub on the chest to promote clear breathing.
  • Mix 1 drop of star anise oil, 1 drop of lavender essential oil, and 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil and rub on ankles, legs, and arms to repel mosquitoes and bugs.
  • Mix 1 drop of star anise oil with ½ teaspoon of marula oil and use to calm irritated or itchy skin.

 

essential oil for skin care

 

For the Hair

  • Mix 1 drop of star anise essential oil and 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil and massage into hair and scalp to promote shine and luster.

For Easy Breathing

  • Add 2 drops of star anise essential oil and 1 drop of rosemary essential oil to your diffuser along with water (as directed) to promote easy breathing.

 

essential oil for easy breathing

 

How to Safely Use Star Anise Essential Oil

Star anise oil should not be used by pregnant or nursing women, children under 5, or anyone taking blood thinner medications or with blood clotting illnesses. Only use star anise oil topically or in aromatherapy (do not ingest it). When using star anise essential oil on your skin, be sure to combine it with at least 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and perform a patch test, as it can cause allergic reactions in some people. Take a look at this article, for more essential oil safety tips.

Final Thoughts

If you enjoy the scent of licorice and are looking for an essential oil that can be both grounding and calming, then star anise is a great choice. With many benefits for the skin, hair, and body, star anise has been beloved for centuries, and for good reason. Its unique aroma is best complimented by cedarwood, lavender, or orange essential oils. Want to learn about more lesser-known essential oils? Take a look at this article: Lemongrass Oil: Uses & Benefits.




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