Aniseed oil is oil that is extracted by steam distillation from the dried ripe fruit and seeds of the herb Pimpinella anisum (also known as P. officinale and vulgare), of the Umbelliferae family. It is popularly used in aromatherapy to alleviate the discomfort of introverted and fearful people, boosting the lungs and easing migraines and headaches. Aniseed is a rich source folate, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It is also enriched with potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese and selenium.
Aniseed is native to the Middle East but is now cultivated in Europe and North Africa. It is an annual herb with feathery leaves, tiny white flowers and grayish-brown seeds. The seeds and the oil they produce contain thymol, terpineol and anethole, which can be used to treat pectoral affections and coughs.
When used as a lozenge, aniseed is an effective expectorant. Aniseed oil contains antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic, insecticide, laxative and parasiticide properties and is known to relieve any ailment and is commonly found as an ingredient in some mouthwashes and toothpaste where its antiseptic properties helps to freshen the breath and keep teeth clean.
- Aniseed oil is used to alleviate flatulence and to remove phlegm and catarrh in the bronchial passageways.
- To treat menstrual discomfort or muscle aches, 2-3 drops of aniseed oil can be used in one ounce of carrier oil and massage on affected area.
- For asthma, bronchitis, colds, coughs, flu, and whooping cough, use 2-3 drops in a steam inhalation.
- It is known to stimulate the appetite and increase urination
- Aniseed oil can give relief from rheumatic and arthritic pains by stimulating blood circulation by reducing the sensation of pain in the affected areas.
- Aniseed oil is used as a sedative for anxiety, depression, anger, and stress as well as for symptoms such as insomnia due to its tranquilizing and relaxing effects.
- Aniseed oil cures constipation and aid in digestion.
- Aniseed oil can be used to heal wounds faster.
Aniseed oil must be avoided during pregnancy and high doses of the oil can be toxic due to its narcotic properties.