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3 February 2022 / Caitlin Devlin

Aniseed Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

Liquorice-scented aniseed is uplifting and has powerful soothing and healing abilities.

Aniseed Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

Aniseed oil may be similar in scent to fennel seed or star anise, but it’s actually closer related to carrots and celery.

Also known as anise, the liquorice-like scent of aniseed essential oil can be somewhat divisive. Despite this, aniseed has been in use for thousands of years, and is even mentioned in the Bible. It was popular in ancient Greek and Roman medicine, lauded by many of their leading figures, and was once so valuable that anise seeds were used as currency. These days aniseed is often used for its powerful healing and soothing abilities, although it has some lesser-known benefits, particularly for women in menopause.

Aniseed essential oil can lift low moods.

There is evidence to suggest that aniseed may be able to act as an antidepressant. A study in 2016 found that the oil had an antidepressant effect on animals, and further research in 2016 saw similar effects on humans. They found that aniseed was able to significantly reduce symptoms of mild to moderate depression in subjects, brightening their mood and increasing positivity. A low mood can affect many things, from our productivity to our relationships. Diffusing aniseed oil can be a great way to lift low moods and inspire happiness.

It’s antibacterial and antifungal.

A study in 2005 found that aniseed was effective against various strains of fungi and yeast. The research even showed that the oil may be effective against dermatophytes, a type of fungus that can cause skin disease. This suggests that a few drops of aniseed oil added to a carrier oil may make a great home treatment for fungal infections.

Further research has shown that aniseed also exhibits significant antibacterial activity. A study in 2015 found that anethole, an ingredient in aniseed seed, is able to inhibit bacterial growth. This supports the use of aniseed essential oil in homemade cleaning sprays.

It’s anti-inflammatory.

Aniseed oil may also be a useful treatment for sore muscles and inflammatory conditions. An animal study in 2006 found that aniseed oil was able to reduce swelling and accompanying pain, supporting this use of the oil. A review in 2012 also found that aniseed oil is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are beneficial for the body in a number of ways, crucially inhibiting the activity of free radicals and preventing oxidative damage. They can also be beneficial in reducing inflammation in the body and protecting from some serious health conditions.

It may reduce symptoms of menopause.

Aniseed is thought to mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body and consequently reduce symptoms of menopause. A study in 2012 supported this when it found that aniseed oil was able to cause a 75% reduction in severity and frequency of hot flashes. Diffusing aniseed oil may help to manage unpleasant menopausal symptoms.

    Just like the sweet that it reminds us of, the liquorice scent of aniseed essential oil can spark joy. Not only that, but its soothing, healing abilities can relieve various kinds of discomfort and help to ensure our health and wellness.

    Shop our aniseed essential oil here.

    Aniseed (Anise) Essential Oil

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