In Eternal Memory of Eric Cech, Ananda’s Founder “The best business model I can hope for is one that will run out of business.” – Eric Cech Eric’s business mindset was otherworldly. He admitted in casual conversation to his wife Anita one day: “The best business model I can hope for is one that […]
Digestive Health, Liver Disease, Pneumonia,
Head Lice & Exhibiting Antioxidant Activity
It’s hard to believe that one essential oil could have so many, plentiful benefits~
It’s often difficult to find significant research on any one particular essential oil, so we’re thrilled to be able to share several studies that have been done on the therapeutic benefits of Aniseed essential oil.
Since Anise has been used for centuries for both culinary and medicinal purposes, we suppose a deeper look into this plant is warranted, as well as suited for the curious, and the practicality of keen minds.
Anise seed extract, Pimpinella anisum, belongs to the carrot (Umbelliferae) family and grows to be about 2-3 feet tall. It has a distinctive licorice like smell and taste. It is native to Egypt, Asia Minor, Crete, and Greece. Around the world, it is commonly used for its various properties including a digestive aid, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Way back when… Egyptians used it to “freshen the heart”; the Greeks and Romans used it as a “pick me up”; in Biblical times, anise was so highly prized that it was often used for tithes, offerings, and payment of taxes in Palestine. The essential oil itself is clear to pale yellow in color. It has a sweet licorice odor. Aniseed is commonly used today for targeting stomach issues, flatulence and added to flavor candy, liquor, beverages, and spice blends. Aniseeds are delightfully fragrant mainly because of their high concentration of anethole. Precautions about using Aniseed oil are at the bottom of this page.
~Five Impressive Studies on Aniseed Essential Oil Detail It’s Many Uses~
I. Liver Health
In one published study in the Journal of Iran Basic Medical Science, Aniseed essential oil provides antioxidant activity that protects against toxicity that causes liver damage. Aniseed essential oil was investigated with regards to liver induced damage. In their study, they injected a well-known liver toxic agent, CCl4, which is a known causative agent for liver damage. They then exposed the damaged liver with Aniseed essential oil and found that Aniseed essential oil does, in fact, protect against CCl4 by decreasing liver cell death and increasing enzymatic levels in the liver that protect it from damage. The study concluded that Aniseed essential oil does, in fact, have antioxidant activity due to the abundance of polyphenolic compounds that have been well known as antioxidant agents, and therefore the protection against liver cells results. 
Known as an effective antibacterial, Aniseed essential oil was studied for its ability to help reduce effects of pneumonia. Streptococcus pneumonia is bacterial pneumonia that is spread from human to human contact and is easily treatable with antibiotics, however, due to excessive use of antibiotics, antibiotic-resistant strains are now becoming more prevalent.
Gradinaru et al. performed a study in which they examined the effects of Aniseed essential oil alone and in combination with antibiotics that are commonly used for the activity of fighting against of S. pneumonia. They discovered that Aniseed oil is 90% comprised of trans-anethole and almost all combinations of Aniseed essential oil with antibiotics showed the best antibacterial effects without diminishing antibiotic efficacy. 
TRY: Diffuse Aniseed oil and inhale directly. Aniseed also can calm your nerves and ease congestion, coughs, and colds. Aniseed oil also pairs well with spicy oils like caraway, cardamom, cedarwood and mandarin essential oils.*
Aniseed essential oil has also shown to have high antioxidant activity. Due to the vast array of healing properties reported and available studies, a review of pharmacological properties of Aniseed essential oil was done via Asie Shojaii et al. From all the scientific studies available, Aniseed oil was shown to be richly composed of fatty acids and to exhibit high antioxidant actions against most reactive oxygen species including nitric oxide. It was shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal effects against most pathogens, promote muscle relaxation by acting directly on muscle receptors and work as an anticonvulsant by increasing the threshold for clonic seizures. 
IV. Gastro-Intestinal Health
Additionally, Aniseed elicits GI relief. It has been proven to inhibit gastric mucosal damage that is induced by ulcers, it can help alleviate constipation, help with menstrual cramps and postmenopausal hot flashes, and even help with inflammation. A study on Type 2 Diabetic patients shows improvement in fasting blood glucose and decreasing overall serum cholesterol levels via supplementation with Aniseed oil. It’s believed the chemical anethole, found in anise is what helps digestive disorders, constipation and it als0 helps prevent anemia by facilitating the absorption of vitamin B-12.
TRY: To relieve stomach cramps, mix five drops of anise oil with one tablespoon of almond oil and massage unto your stomach. Diffuse it, or Add 5 drops to a handkerchief and inhale. It’s useful for settling digestive problems and can also benefit migraine and vertigo sufferers.*
We also find Roman Chamomile, highly effective for belly aches. Just rub a few drops onto your belly.
NOTE: Before applying aniseed oil to your skin, do a skin patch test to make sure you’re not allergic to the oil. If you’re not, add 2-3 drops of the oil to 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba.
V. Head Lice
Aniseed could also help in ridding nasty head lice. In a study in Iceland found that a combination of Aniseed essential oil (together with cinnamon, thyme, peppermint, and nutmeg) was effective in targeting lice. The phenols, phenolic ethers, ketones and oxides (1,8 cineole) appear to have weight components of these essential oils when used on lice. The procedure involved (1) the combination of all the essential oils in alcohol to attack lice directly and then (2) rinsed the next day with the essential oil blend, vinegar, and water. It’s unclear which protocol (1) or (2) worked, but it does.
Bama’s Biscochito Recipe
(Bama, is the adoring nickname we now use for Grandma in our family. Years ago, as a toddler one of our kids used to call out for ‘Bama’ because the word Grandma was not yet pronounceable! Enjoy~)
Just in time for Fall – get a jump on trying these out and once perfected, make them for the Holidays as is with the tradition for this lovely treat. Biscochitos are the New Mexico State cookie. Really! Once you’ve had them made (from this recipe) you’ll understand why. In our family, we don’t dare have Christmas dinner without them! Like the good ole days, these are not gluten nor fat or sugar free but you will remember how Grandma bakes and you’ll snicker at yourself for indulging in the sweetness of life! After all we have to remember why all the greatest gourmet chefs in France or on the Farm wouldn’t dare think of making a cookie without fat and sugar. (aka, and forever Bama… as one of our kids used to call her because the word Grandma was not yet pronounceable to the growing toddler!)*
Mix til creamy:
1 Cup sugar, 2 Cups lard (Morrell Lard), 2 Eggs
you can substitute the lard for butter or shortening, but note it changes the taste,
of which the traditional cookie is known
1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp Anise seeds
OR- try Aniseed oil 3-5 drops and 1 tsp Anise seeds (you’ll
want the actual seeds for the texture)
5 Cups flour, 1/2 Cup half & half, 1 tsp of Lemon extract or Vanilla extract or Whiskey
you can also use 1/4 Cup orange juice in lieu of the above extracts
Roll out the dough (as you would pie crust) and press with a shaped cookie cutter
Add more milk if needed. Bake at 400
A 2012 study showed that aniseed interacts with certain drugs. If you use fluoxetine, codeine, diazepam, pentobarbital, imipramine or midazolam, do not use aniseed oil. It may alter the efficacy of the drugs on your body and central nervous system. Do not ingest without consulting with your naturopath. Taking in as little as one to five milliliters can cause nausea, vomiting, seizures and pulmonary edema. Aniseseed contains Phenyl-propane-ethers. It can be used neat on the skin, it’s used in food flavoring in moderation. Try only 1 drop at a time for flavoring, add as needed as it is very concentrated. Keep it away from heat if possible. Add it last. For example, say you made a syrup, you’d add it to the sauce after it was pulled off the stove. Heat changes or destroys the molecule structure. It can be used therapeutically in tinctures and in honeys. ONLY use a pure, non-diluted, organic essential oil. This holds true for other ingredients generally used as spices or in flavoring foods like thyme, cinnamon, fennel, peppermint, etc.
Mikella Zgliczynska contributed to researching and writing this article.
 Akram Jamshidzadeh, Reza Heidari, Mojtaba Razmjou, Forouzan Karimi, Mahmood Reza Moeiin, Omid Farshad, Amin Reza Akbarizade, and Mohammad Reza Houshangi Shayesteh. An in vivo and in vitro investigation on hepatoprotective effects of Pimpinella anisum seed essential oil and extracts against carbon tetrachloride-induced toxicity. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2015 Feb; 18(2): 205–211
 Asie Shojaii and Mehri Abdollahi Fard. Review of Pharmacological Properties and Chemical Constituents of Piminella anisum. ISRN Pharm. 2012;2012:510795
 Gradinaru AC, Miron A, Trifan A, Spac A, Brebu M. Aprotosaoaie AC. Screening of antibacterial effects of anise essential oil alone and in combination with conventional antibiotics against Streptococcus pneumoniae clinical isolates. Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2014. 18 (2): 537-43.
Battaglia, Salvatore. “ The complete Guide to Aromatherapy.” International Center of Holistic Aromatherapy. Second Edition, 2003.