Aniseed essential oil

ANISEED ESSENTIAL OIL – Pimpinella anisum L.

Aniseed essential oil

aniseed essential oil description

Aniseed essential oil is obtained from the seed of Pimpinella anisum L., of the Apiaceae family, by means of steam distillation.

It is an annual plant that is currently harvested in Spain in the area of ​​Marchena (Seville), Montilla (Córdoba) and Loja (Granada), where more than 300 MT / year of seed are produced, whose planting is carried out on the month February-March and its collection in August-September, depending on the annual rainfall.

Aniseed essential oil is an annual herbaceous plant, with an erect, cylindrical, branched stem, 30 to 60 cm high. The lower leaves have serrated edges, those of the middle part are trilobed, with cuneiform or lanceolate lobes; the upper leaves are a little petiolate, opposite, trifid and with linear segments. The flowers of anise oil are white, small, arranged in compound umbels and devoid of affectation. The fruit of anise oil is a diaquenium, elongated in an oval shape, formed by two mericarps with five protruding nerves. They are greenish-gray or greenish-yellow in color, with a specific aroma, fiery, sweet and spicy taste. In each mericarp there are 18 to 25 secret channels that contain the essential oil. Anise essential oil blooms in summer.

Aniseed essential oil was first cultivated in Egypt and the Middle East, and was brought to Europe for its medicinal value. It has been cultivated in Egypt for approximately 4,000 years.

Anise plants grow best in light, fertile, well-drained soil. The seeds should be planted as soon as the ground warms up in spring. Because the plants have a taproot, they do not transplant well after being established, so they should either be started in their final location or be transplanted while the seedlings are still small.

aniseed Essential oil benefits

The health benefits of Aniseed essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an anti-epileptic, anti-hysteric, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aperient, carminative, cordial, decongestant, digestive, expectorantinsecticide, sedative, stimulant, and a vermifuge substance.

  • Anti-epileptic & Anti-hysteric Effect

    Since aniseed essential oil has a narcotic and sedative effect, it can calm down epileptic and hysteric attacks by slowing down circulation, respiration, and nervous response, if administered in higher dosages. This is contrary to its stimulating and cordial properties, which are shown when administered in lower dosages. It is found effective in sedating nervous afflictions, hyper reactions, and convulsions as well. This property has been known and utilized for a very long time. However, this property should be used with caution, as heavy dosages can have adverse effects, particularly in children.

  • Antirheumatic

    Aniseed essential oil can give relief from rheumatic and arthritic pains by stimulating blood circulation, and by reducing the sensation of pain in the affected areas.

  • Antiseptic

    Aniseed essential oil also has antiseptic properties which give wounds an effective protective layer against infections and sepsis. This aids in the faster healing of wounds.

  • Antispasmodic

    Situations or ailments caused by spasms are cramps, coughs, aches, diarrhea, nervous afflictions, and convulsions. Spasms are an excessive contraction of the respiratory tracts, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and internal organs that result in severe coughs, cramps, convulsions, obstructed blood circulations, aches in the stomach and chest and other symptoms. Aniseed essentila oil, being a relaxant and an antispasmodic by nature, relax these contractions and give relief from the ailments mentioned above.

  • Aperient

    Aniseed essential oil has mild purgative properties but is safe to use. Unlike other synthetic or harsh purgatives, it is not hard on the stomach and liver and does not leave you exhausted and fatigued. When aniseed oil is taken in low dosages, it helps clear motions and cures constipation, resultant flatulence, and indigestion.

  • Decongestant

    Aniseed essential oil is very effective in clearing congestion in the lungs and the respiratory tracts for conditions like asthma and bronchitis.

  • Aids in Digestion

    This property of anise and aniseed essential oil is very commonly used to promote digestion. It has been an old practice to chew anise seeds, to serve desserts containing anise, or to have a glass of warm water with few drops of anise essential oil in it to aid digestion, especially after a heavy meal or a feast.

  • Treats Respiratory disorders

    Aniseed essential oil is really remarkable as an expectorant and this property earned it an impressive reputation. Aniseed oil loosens mucus or phlegm deposited in the lungs and respiratory tracts and gives relief from a cough, heaviness in the chest, breathing troubles, asthma, bronchitis, congestion, and other respiratory disorders. Due to the presence of this essential oil in the seeds, the seeds are used for smoking to loosen catarrh or phlegm.

  • Insecticide

     Aniseed oil is toxic to insects and smaller animals, therefore its smell keeps insects away. For this reason, aniseed oil can be employed to drive away insects by using it in fumigants, vaporizers, and sprays.

  • Sedative

    Due to its somewhat narcotic or numbing effects, aniseed oil is used as a sedative for anxiety, nervous afflictions, depression, anger, and stress as well as for symptoms such as insomnia due to its tranquilizing and relaxing effects. This effect is particularly visible when it is used in higher dosages since in very small doses, it acts as a stimulant. However, the utmost care should be taken while administering it in heavy doses, keeping in view its narcotic effects.

  • Stimulant

    The stimulating property of aniseed essential oil can benefit us in the following ways. Aniseed essential oil can stimulate circulation and give relief from rheumatism and arthritis, stimulate secretion of enzymes and hormones, thus boosting the whole metabolism and finally, aniseed essential oil can stimulate the nervous system and the brain to make us more active and alert.

  • Vermifuge

    This is yet another aspect of its insecticidal property. Aniseed essential oil can kill worms found in the intestines. This property can be particularly beneficial for children, as they are most commonly afflicted with intestinal worms.


  • Aniseed oil is useful for adding to inhalations and massage blends at 0.5% to treat respiratory complaints where there is a mucus problem (condition such as bronchitis, sinusitis and colds).
  • Aniseed oil is very helpful for easing problems of the digestive system. A hot compress using 3 drops os aniseed oil will quickly dispel flatulence and ease the pains of indigestion and colic. It eases constipation by encouraging a stronger action in the bowel.
  • Aniseed oil has a warming action that could help with pain such as that of rheumatism and lumbago, complaints that are aggravated by the cold.

aniseed essential oil organoleptic properties

Aniseed oil is a transparent liquid with a crystalline mass, colorless to pale yellow in liquid state, sometimes slightly green, with a characteristic olor reminiscent of anethole.

Olor of aniseed oil

Characteristic of anethole

Colour of aniseed oil

Colorless to pale yellow

Appearance of aniseed oil

Transparent liquid

aniseed essential oil components

The composition of aniseed  oil varies depending on where it is produced. However, in general, the oil is composed between 80-90% of Anethole, which is responsible for its smell, as well as some of its properties and benefits. The structure of anethole is similar to the catecholamines adrenaline.

Other chemical components found in aniseed oil are estragole (10-15 percent), eugenol, butyric, stearic, and anisic alcohol.





Anisic alcohol


The therapeutic properties of aniseed oil are as follows:

  • Antiseptic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Carminative
  • Expectorant
  • Stomachic

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