7 Historical Medical Uses Of Star Anise Essential Oil
Dangerous And Toxic Substance
From a chemical standpoint, star anise essential oil is composed primarily of anethole, which accounts for 80 to 90 percent of the oil's volume. The balance is made up of aldehyde, methyl chavicol, and anisic acid. Many products being sold as star anise essential oil are actually imposters made up of caraway or fennel oil. True anise essential oil is a dangerous and toxic substance that carries with it a real risk of causing nervous system damage that has symptoms like numbness and paralysis.
France's Ministry of Health placed stringent regulations on anise oil in 1959. Star anise essential oil is a more dangerous substance than alcohol, and it must always be stored in a fashion that keeps it safe from children. Both the anethole and the methyl chavicol found in the oil are potent toxins that make it unsuitable for public sale or amateur therapeutic use.
Its Narcotic Effects
Anise essential oil was once used as a narcotic and sedative for treating conditions like epilepsy and hysteria. It was effective in situations like this due to its ability to slow down circulation, nervous response, and respiration when administered in sufficiently high doses. As described below, smaller doses of the oil can have a diametrically opposite effect and act as a stimulant.
Historically, anise essential oil was used to treat everything, from convulsions to psychological afflictions. Even in the past centuries, though, the risks of anise oil were recognized. Extreme caution had to be taken with high dosages of anise essential oil in order to avoid adverse side effects.
Decongestant And Anti-Inflammatory
Anise oil was once considered a useful tool for treating a wide range of respiratory tract and lung afflictions, including asthma and bronchitis. Bronchitis and similar conditions that involve inflamed air passages cause symptoms like coughing, aching, shortness of breath, and fevers. Home remedies are now generally recognized as being effective only on the symptoms of bronchitis; treatment of the underlying conditions themselves are best left to healthcare professionals.
Bronchitis is essentially any condition that involves tissue inflammation in the trachea (windpipe) and bronchi (airways in the lungs). Bronchitis can be caused by many root causes, including, but not limited to, infections. Inflammation of these tissues irritates the mucous linings present throughout the respiratory system.
Its Antiseptic Properties
Anise oil has strong antiseptic properties, which once made it a useful tool for protecting wounds from sepsis and other infections. Wounds heal faster when they are treated with an antiseptic. Wound infections, like sepsis, can result in serious complications if left untreated, and they may even pose a lethal threat.
Sepsis is brought on by the release of chemicals into the bloodstream as an unintended side effect of the infection-fighting process. When the inflammation throughout the body grows severe enough, multiple organs can be damaged or even crippled. When sepsis becomes especially dangerous, it leads to septic shock, blood pressure dramatically plummeting, or even death. Sepsis is a threat to anyone with a wound, but individuals with a weakened immune system (due to youth, old age, or a pre-existing disease) are especially vulnerable.
An Effective Antidepressant
Because of the narcotic and sedative effects described above, anise essential oil was used to treat a range of psychological and neurological conditions, including depression, anxiety, stress, anger, and insomnia. Smaller doses of anise essential oil tend to have a more stimulating effect; unlocking its sedative properties requires a relatively large dosage. This sort of therapeutic use demands extreme care in order to avoid adverse side effects.
Depression is a condition that can be caused and complicated by a host of different factors. Environment, genetics, lifestyle, external stress, and otherwise-unconnected medical conditions can all contribute to depression. Depression may also be due to dietary considerations, taking medication, abusing alcohol, drugs, or other substances, and situations that involve significant hormonal changes, like pregnancy.
Its Stimulant Qualities
Anise essential oil, when used properly, can have considerable value as a stimulant. The oil can be used to promote better circulation, relieve the symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism, stimulate hormone and enzyme production, and generally energize the body's metabolism. Anise essential oil is also a stimulant for the brain and the nervous system, promoting better memory function and alertness.
Note that metabolism is the sum of chemical reactions and is composed of two different processes, which are catabolism and anabolism. The first involves breaking down the nutrients provided by your food to release the energy that your body requires; the second is putting that energy to work, creating essential compounds needed for healthy bodily functions. Proper metabolic balance requires you to attend to both of these vital processes.
Its Expectorant Properties
Anise essential oil is an excellent expectorant. In the past, it was prized for its effectiveness in this job. The oil is highly effective in loosening unwanted phlegm and mucus that are found in the respiratory system.
Star anise essential oil can be used for treating all sorts of respiratory and chest problems. It's useful for congestion, bronchitis, asthma, and much more. Because the oil is present in significant quantities in the plant's seeds, they were once smoked to treat catarrh and loosen phlegm.
Improves Your Digestion
Anise essential oil, along with other products derived from the anise plant, has long been used to encourage healthier digestion. Chewing anise seeds, incorporating anise into tasty recipes, or taking anise essential oil mixed with warm water are all traditional herbal medicine treatments for digestive problems. Anise was frequently taken after large meals to ensure hassle-free digestion.
Digestive health is more important than ever before, thanks to the significant challenges you face in trying to eat healthy today. Stress, busy schedules, and a lack of healthy food choices can put an undue strain on your diet. An unbalanced diet can lead to significant digestive health problems in the long term.
Anise seeds and the essential oils derived from them have often been used to flavor alcoholic spirits around the world. Some examples include pastis, Pernod Ricard, and anisette in France, ouzo in Greece, raki in Turkey, and arrack in the Middle East. Chinese star anise is used in many of these liquors (Pernod, for example), but there are other sources. Trustworthy anise oil for making pastis-type drinks is not currently available for public purchase.
Anise oil is used (subject to strict regulations) to add scent to a variety of culinary and pharmaceutical products, including toothpaste, mouthwash, and syrup. Anise seeds have a small role in traditional veterinary medicine, which is prescribed and fed to dairy cows to increase milk production. Whole or crushed anise seeds are also added to potpourris and other aromatic products.