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27 January 2022 / Caitlin Devlin

Star Anise Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

Star anise can successfully protect us from a wide range of different infections.

Star Anise Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

An ancient Chinese remedy, star anise is incredibly effective at protecting our bodies from infection.

Often confused with aniseed or anise, star anise is actually a different oil altogether with different properties, although the two are similar in scent. Star anise has been used in Chinese medicine for around three thousand years, with its use becoming global in the seventeenth century. The oil has had many uses, but these days is mostly used to combat bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Its ability to comprehensively protect our health makes it incredibly popular in many medical systems – including modern western medicine.

Star anise essential oil can combat the influenza virus.

One of the main agents used in the protection from and treatment of the influenza virus is a chemical component called shikimic acid. Star anise has a very high shikimic acid content and a 2018 review showed that the fruit is actually the primary source of shikimic acid in pharmaceuticals. This high content of shikimic acid makes it an incredibly useful tool against the flu and suggests that shikimic acid can be used in homes to help protect households from infection.

Preliminary research also shows that star anise may be useful in combatting other viral infections. A study in 2011 even found that star anise showed antiviral activity against a strain of the herpes virus. Research into star anise’s other antiviral applications is still ongoing, but there is a good chance that the oil could help in combatting a number of common viruses.

It’s antifungal.

Star anise contains a significant amount of a component called anethole. This component has strong antifungal properties and can be instrumental in protecting us from fungal infections. A study in 2017 found that anethole may help star anise to inhibit the growth of infectious fungi in humans.

It can combat bacterial infections.

Star anise is also antibacterial and can prevent harmful bacteria from attacking the body. A study in 2013 showed that star anise could reduce the growth of E.coli, and further research in 2014 showed that star anise may be even be effective in treating urinary tract infections. This suggests that star anise’s antibacterial abilities are powerful.

Even more impressively, a study in 2010 suggested that star anise could be effective against drug resistant bacteria. Bacteria growing resistant to antibiotics is a mounting concern in the medical community. Natural remedies could provide the answer where antibiotics fail.

It can relieve stress.

Star anise essential oil is considered a sedative, allowing to calm our mind and relieve our stress. This can make it a useful natural aid against symptoms of anxiety. The calming properties of the oil may be attributed to the presence of the component nerolidol, which is a known sedative.

    Whether or not you enjoy the divisive aniseed scent of star anise, it can’t be denied that the seeds of this starry fruit yield an incredibly beneficial oil. Using star anise in cleaning products or diffusing the oil in cold and flu season can help to protect the health and happiness of your household.

    Shop our star anise essential oil here.

    Star Anise Essential Oil

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