1. General Information
According to the 1997 Chinese Pharmacopoeia, it is possible to extract essential oils from fresh branches, leaves, or star anise flowers. Among them, the flower accounts for the most content of oil.
Accordingly, the content of essential oils in the flower will differ slightly by the state of the herb:
- Fresh star anise flower 3-5.5%;
- Dried flower 8-13%;
Through the process of steam distillation, star anise essential oil is obtained with basic characteristics including:
- Colorless or light yellow, transparent liquid;
- The smell of star anise is typically warm, gently spicy;
- Linalool, estragol, terpincol, cis-anethol, trans-anethol, pinene, limonene, shikimic acid, flavonoids…
- To meet export standards, this essential oil needs to reach a trans-anethole concentration of ≥95% and cis-anethole concentration of <0.5%.
Besides, essential oil from star anise leaf is studied by many scientists and the achieved results are:
- Fresh star anise leaf contains 0.23% essential oil, concentrated in the petiole;
- Notable ingredients include anethol 82.5%, mainly trans-anethol;
- Beauty, cosmetics, perfume;
- Healthcare: toothpaste, soap, lotion, mouthwash;
Japanese star anise flowers have been reported to cause severe neurological reactions. For example, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, hallucinations, etc. Pollution is determined as the initial cause.
Therefore, you should carefully check the origin of the spice or star anise essential oil to ensure its purity and clear origin.
- Keep the star anise essential oil in a small, airtight container, then place it in a cool place and cover thoroughly after use;
- Do not use natural essential oil that is moldy or with strange smell;
Star anise essential oil should be stored in a glass jar. (Photo: Internet)
3. What are the health benefits of star anise essential oil?
Star anise essential oil has been proven in studies with many pharmacological uses. The medicinal activities demonstrated through this natural essential oil include:
Star anise flower has been observed to have an excellent quality of antibacterial properties. In particular, trans-anethol is a major element of star anise that has antiparasitic, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
Star anise essential oil is tested with a diffusion method on a dense environment, which inhibits the growth of bacterial and fungal strains such as:
- Bacilli subtilis;
- Candida albicans;
- Salmonnella typhi;
- Staphylococcus aureus;
This essential oil is rich in antifungal compounds such as
- Vitro research recorded that terpenes, linalool, etc can prevent the formation of biofilms and cell walls of fungal infections in humans;
- Trans-anethole inhibits the growth of pathogenic fungi in some species of fruit trees;
However, more research is needed to better understand the applications of star anise in general and star anise essential oil in particular in the treatment of fungal infections in humans.
One of the most common pharmacological properties of star anise flower is its shikimic acid content. This compound has a strong antivirus ability, which is applied in the development of some pharmaceutical products for flu, respiratory benefits, etc.
Moreover, in vitro studies have shown that star anise essential oil can treat other types of virus infections, including herpes simplex type 1. However, additional research is needed to understand more about the potential of plants to treat other human virus infections.
More clinical studies are needed to confirm the antivirus effect of star anise essential oil. (Photo: Internet)
Similar to other volatile extracts, with a characteristic aroma from the herb, star anise essential oil can be used in aromatherapy. This not only brings impressive fragrance but also has health benefits such as antibacterial, antioxidant, air purification, mental relaxation, etc.
It has been shown that star anise essential oil can remove free radicals and inhibit lipid peroxidation and protein denaturation. These have all been linked to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition to the above benefits, according to foreign documents, this essential oil also has the following effects:
- Stimulate and enhance bowel movements;
- Limit the increase in respiratory secretion;
- Digestive benefits, cure abdominal pain;
- Used as a sputum reducer;
4. Suggestions to use star anise essential oil
This is one of the ways to use essential oils to take advantage of antibacterial, antivirus, etc. This operation will bring water vapor into the airways to calm the breath and break the blockage.
However, it is necessary to pay attention to the dosage and the state of your health.
Many manufacturers have studied to combine this fragrance into their products to meet the growing demand from consumers, without causing toxicity or irritation. Common products are soap, scented candles, scented wax, etc.
Star anise essential oil spreading in large spaces, around the room or house, etc will create a relaxing and comfortable environment.
For external use
It is advisable to dilute star anise essential oils with substrates such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc before massaging them onto areas of the body. Or you can dissolve a few drops of essential oil with clean water and then spray it on places or items that you want to store fragrance such as cloth bags, pillows, clothes, etc.
Diffusion is one of the simple aromatherapies. (Photo: Internet)
In fact, you can use only star anise essential oil or combine them with other essential oils as you want. There are some suggestions for you such as:
- Cedarwood essential oil;
- Black pepper essential oil;
- Pine essential oil;
- Sweet orange essential oil;
5. What to note when using star anise essential oil?
As a natural extract with volatile compounds, although it brings diverse benefits, the following subjects are not encouraged to use this natural essential oil:
- Pregnant woman;
- Women who are breastfeeding;
- Those who are allergic to any ingredient of medicinal herbs or star anise essential oils;
When experiencing unpleasant symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, skin irritation, etc you should stop using and go to hospitals for timely measures.
It is advisable to test star anise essential oil on small areas of skin before wider exposure. Especially avoid sensitive areas such as mucous membranes, eyes, inside nose, etc.
Do not drink directly and use in excessive doses as it will cause unwanted risks to your health.
Reports of interactions between star anise essential oils and medicines are incomplete. So, when you want to use this essential oil for therapeutic purposes or with other medicinal products, consult your doctor.
It is important to note that star anise essential oil is a health aid and does not replace any treatments or medications.
It can be said that star anise is a herb with a lot of potentials in terms of essential oils but it has not been fully exploited yet. Hopefully, in the future, there will be more in-depth and detailed research on this natural essential oil to apply more effectively in our daily life./.