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Star Anise

Illicium verum

Star Anise

Description: A small tree native to southwestern China produces a fruit that ripens into the shape of a star. Star Anise may be the least studied of all incense ingredients. Like common anise, it tastes a lot like licorice, which has led them to be used to flavor candies and foods. In Asia, people sometimes eat star anise after meals to freshen their breath and aid digestion.

One of the phytochemicals, 1,8 Cineole, is both a stimulant and a sedative. Another, Limonene, is now being considered as possibly anti-Alzheimeran. This suggests an ability to improve awareness and alertness. Star Anise is known to enhance relaxation, sleep patterns, emotional balance and even a sense of humor. It relieves stress from overwork and is an aphrodisiac.

Family: Illiciaceae

Synonyms: Chinese anise

Origin: Southeast China, Vietnam, etc.

Parts Used: star shaped fruits (dried)

Aroma Description: intensely sweet, very licorice-like

Emotional Attributes:  creative, relaxing, sensuous, sleep, enhances sense of humor

Cosmetic Uses: Perfumery, aromatherapy

Culinary Uses: unripe fruits are chewed for digestion and as a breath freshener. Used as flavoring for curries, coffee, liqueurs, soft drinks, foods and candy. An ingredient in the "Five Spice Powder" of Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine.

Medicinal Attributes: treats lung congestion, muscle spasms, indigestion, abdominal pain, coughing. Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Excess dosage or use can cause trembling or convulsions due to high content of anethole.

*Warning: Can be narcotic and cause slow circulation. Can cause skin dermatitis in sensitive individuals.*

Element Association: Air

Magical Associations: luck, awareness

Astrological Association: Pisces, Sagittarius

Planetary Association: Jupiter

Season: Spring

Aromatic Note: Top note

Essential Oil: Yes. The seeds and fruit are steam distilled to create en essential oil. Oil solidifies at room temperature.

Note: This oil is often adulterated with a synthetic Anethole which may be harmful to humans due to the presence of cis-Anethole and other synthetic anetholes. Use only a known trusted source or use a lab to properly identify toxicity.

*Warning: Can be narcotic and cause slow circulation. Can cause skin dermatitis in sensitive individuals.*

Mixes Well With: aloeswood, benzoin, borneol camphor, calamus, cassia, cinnamon, clove, frankincense, galangal, guggul, iris root, lavender, musk seedsmyrrh, opoponax, pine needles, rhubarb, rose, sandalwood, turmeric, etc.

Medical Disclaimer: Information on this web site is for entertainment purposes only. This information is NOT intended as medical advice or for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional.

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