Aniseed is a flowering plant that may grow to as much as 3 feet in height or even taller. It is native to the eastern Mediterranean area and Southwest Asia. Aniseed was cultivated first in the Middle East and was later brought to Europe for its medicinal value.
The plant’s lower leaves are long and slightly lobed, while the higher leaves are feathery and divided into many small leaflets. The plant’s white flowers are quite small, only about 1/8 of an inch in diameter. The fruit of the plant is oblong and also small, 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length, and is commonly called “aniseed.” The plant’s oil, which is extracted from its seeds, has a warm, sweet, and lightly spicy aroma.
Aniseed essential oil is favored for:
- Pain Relief – This oil may give symptomatic relief from the discomfort of rheumatic and arthritic pain.
- Antiseptic – Anise is said to have antiseptic properties and, may provide wounds with an effective protective layer against infections and sepsis. This may aid in the faster healing of wounds.
- Decongestant – The oil of anise is considered to be very helpful in easing congestion caused by colds and other respiratory conditions.
- Expectorant – Is widely used as an expectorant, to help loosen mucus or phlegm, and give relief from coughs, colds and other respiratory problems.
- Insect Repellant – The essential oil of Anise is considered to be toxic to insects and is used to ward off insects.
- Digestion – Anise is used for easing digestive problems. A hot compress using 3 drops of this oil may help dispel flatulence and ease the pains of indigestion and colic. It is used to bring relief of constipation by encouraging a stronger action in the bowel.