Oil of the Month: Anise Star Essential Oil - Properties, Uses & Recipes!

by Penny Price August 01, 2023 5 min read

Oil of the Month: Anise Star Essential Oil - Properties, Uses & Recipes!

Anise star essential oil, derived from the star-shaped fruit of the Illicium verum plant, offers a myriad of benefits and versatile uses. In my blog we'll delve into the plant's characteristics, harvesting process, oil yield, and highlight the various ways to utilise this remarkable oil to harness its therapeutic properties.

About Anise Star the Plant

Illicium verum, commonly known as anise star or Chinese star anise, is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree belonging to the Schisandraceae family. Native to China and Vietnam, this plant is characterized by its attractive star-shaped fruits, which house the seeds used to produce the essential oil. These fruits are typically harvested and dried before the oil extraction process begins.

Harvest and Oil Yield

The harvesting of anise star fruits is typically carried out when they are still green and fully matured. Once harvested, they are sun-dried to reduce their moisture content and enhance their aromatic potency. Drying also contributes to the preservation of the oil-rich seeds within the fruits. After this crucial step, the dried fruits are ready for the oil extraction process.

The yield of anise star essential oil can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the fruits, extraction method, and expertise of the distiller. On average, approximately 2-3% of essential oil can be obtained from the dried fruits. The oil is known for its distinct liquorice-like aroma and is rich in beneficial compounds such as anethole, estragole, and limonene.

Benefits and Uses of Anise Star Essential Oil

Digestive Support

Anise star essential oil possesses carminative properties that aid in relieving digestive discomfort, including indigestion, bloating, and gas. It stimulates the production of digestive juices and enzymes, facilitating better nutrient absorption and promoting healthy digestion.

Respiratory Health

The inhalation of anise star essential oil can offer respiratory benefits. It helps to alleviate coughs, congestion, and other respiratory issues by opening up the airways and promoting easier breathing. It can be beneficial in steam inhalation or diffused in the air.

Pain Relief

With its analgesic properties, anise star essential oil can provide relief from pain and inflammation. Topical application of diluted oil can help soothe muscle and joint pain, headaches, and even menstrual cramps.

Skin Care

Anise star essential oil exhibits antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it beneficial for skincare. It can be used to address various skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Adding a few drops of diluted oil to skincare products or creating a soothing massage blend can help improve skin tone and texture.

Stress Reduction

Anise star essential oil has calming effects on the mind and body. Its aromatic qualities make it ideal for aromatherapy, promoting relaxation, and reducing stress and anxiety. Diffusing the oil or adding it to a warm bath can induce a sense of calm and improve sleep quality.

How to Use Anise Star Essential Oil

  • Inhalation
    Add 4-8 drops of anise star essential oil to a diffuser or inhaler and inhale the aromatic vapor for respiratory and stress-relieving benefits.

  • Topical Application
    Dilute up to 12 drops of anise star essential oil with 50ml of a suitable carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil, and apply it topically to the skin. Massage the blend onto the desired area to relieve pain, inflammation, or for skincare purposes.

  • Bathing
    Incorporate anise star essential oil into your bath routine by adding 2-3 drops to warm bathwater, along with 3 drops of geranium essential oil, in a bath foam base (to ensure the oil is properly dispersed in the water). This promotes relaxation, relieves stress, and leaves you with a delightful aroma.

How I have used Anise Star

Anise star as a plant oil is used for the treatment of Avian Flu and Penny Price Aromatherapy made several blends using this oil during Covid-19. It was used in handwash, soap, hand gel and hand cream to really good effect – so much so that Care Homes took the range on board, and it is still available for purchase today.

The oil was blended with Thyme thymol, Litsea and lavender, among others and the products were used as preventatives. Also, we made a vaporising oil blend with anise star so that the effects could have a wider reach.


While anise star essential oil has many potential benefits, it's important to be aware of certain contraindications and precautions associated with its use. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
    Anise star essential oil should be avoided during pregnancy and is also not recommended for use while breastfeeding.

  • Allergies
    Individuals with known allergies to aniseed or related plants, such as fennel or celery, should exercise caution when using anise star essential oil.

  • Children and infants
    Anise star essential oil should not be used on infants or young children without the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional.

  • Drug interactions
    Anise star essential oil may interact with certain medications, including anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, and medications metabolised by the liver. It's crucial to consult a healthcare professional if you are taking any medications before using anise star essential oil.

  • Internal use
    Ingesting anise star essential oil should never be done.

  • Sensitivity and irritation
    Do not use anise star undiluted. It's essential to dilute the oil properly and perform a patch test before topical application.

Always remember to use anise star essential oil in moderation, follow recommended dilution guidelines, and seek advice from a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or specific health conditions.

Let’s Make Recipes with Anise Star Essential Oil!
You may like to try some of my recipes as below, and if you do, please do give us feedback on how they worked – we love hearing from you!

Digestive Massage Oil

2 tablespoons Carrier oil Grapeseed oil or Sweet Almond
5 drops Anise Star essential oil
3 drops Peppermint essential oil
2 drops Ginger essential oil

Combine the carrier oil and essential oils in a small bottle or bowl. This digestive massage oil incorporates the soothing properties of Anise Star (Illicium verum), the cooling effects of Peppermint (Mentha piperita), and the digestive support of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) essential oil. Gently massage the oil onto your abdomen in a clockwise direction to support healthy digestion, alleviate bloating, and provide comfort.

Pain Relief Salve

2 tablespoons Beeswax pellets
4 tablespoons Carrier oil such as Olive or Sweet Almond
7 drops Anise Star essential oil
5 drops Lavender true essential oil
3 drops Rosemary essential oil

In a double boiler, melt the beeswax pellets and carrier oil together. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly. Add the Anise Star (Illicium verum), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) essential oils to the mixture. Stir well and pour into a container. Allow it to solidify. Apply a small amount of the salve to areas of discomfort for pain relief.

Respiratory Steam Inhalation

3 cups hot water
4 drops Anise Star essential oil
2 drops Eucalyptus globulus essential oil
2 drops Tea Tree essential oil

Boil the water and pour it into a heat-safe bowl. Add the Anise Star (Illicium verum), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), and Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oils to the hot water. Lean over the bowl, cover your head with a towel, and inhale the steam deeply. This inhalation blend helps to clear the respiratory passages, relieve congestion, and promote easier breathing.


Anise star essential oil, derived from the Illicium verum plant, offers a wide array of benefits and versatile uses. From aiding digestion and respiratory health to providing pain relief and skincare benefits, this oil has been treasured for its therapeutic properties. By understanding the plant characteristics, the careful process of harvesting and oil extraction, and exploring various application methods, we can harness the full potential of anise star essential oil to enhance our well-being.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog. We love to hear from you so do give us feedback on the blog and the recipes, and how they have worked for you or your clients. All the products mentioned are available from www.penny-price.com or you can phone your order through or get advice on 01455 251020. If you are interested in training with us, please call, or email Lizzie on courses@penny-price.com. Thank you for reading! Penny Price X

Penny Price
Penny Price

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