Star anise oil benefits and Side effects

Star anise oil benefits
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Star anise oil benefits are used as a mosquito repellent, and dietary supplement and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  This oil is obtained by steam distillation from the fruits or seeds of star anise (Illicium verum; family Illiciaceae) and is mainly used in the pharmaceutical and food industries. The oil is faint yellow with a highly aromatic odor and anise flavor (1).

Uses of Star anise oil

It is used as flavor enhances red-cooked dishes, as well as eggs simmered for a lengthy period in black tea,  medicinal tea, cough mixtures, pastilles, alcoholic and soft drinks, chewing gum, confectionery, bakery products, puddings, gelatine, fruit compotes, jam sweet eat and pickles. It is also used to impart aroma to soaps, perfumes, dental creams, and flavor tobacco (2).

Geographical distribution

It is native to northern Vietnam and southern China but also cultivated in France, Spain, Italy, and the Philippines

Star Anise oil composition

Star anise contains 99.55% of total oil in which the major component is trans-Anethole followed by estragol and other constituents as follows (3).

Nutrients Percentage
α-Pinene 0.13 %
α-Phellandrene 0.11 %
p-Cymene 0.06 %
Limonene 0.67 %
Linalool 0.79 %
Terpinen-4-ol 0.12 %
α-Terpineole 0.21 %
Estragole 3.68 %
cis-Anethole 0.41 %
p-Anisaldehyde 0.78 %
trans-Anethole 90.82 %
Anisylacetone 0.24 %
β-Caryophyllene 0.20 %
trans-α-Bergamotene 0.17 %
Foeniculin 1.00 %

Star Anise Oil Benefits

Star anise oil benefits are may useful for depression, inflammation, mosquitoes, insects, and anxiety. Let’s take a closer look at some of these proven health benefits below.

1. May acts as an anti-inflammatory

Acute lung injury (ALI), in which inflammation can occur results in various diseases such as sepsis, pneumonia, and trauma. The anethole found in star anise oil may prevent lung inflammation by the reduction of inflammatory cells, including neutrophils and macrophages (4).

The oil is also helpful in the possible treatment of other inflammatory diseases like skin inflammation rheumatism, and hyperlipidemia-atherosclerosis (5).

2. May treat UTI of Dogs and cats

Escherichia coliCandida albicansand Candida famata are the most common agents that cause UTIs in dogs and cats, however, star anise oil contains anethol, has antimicrobial properties thus may be used as an external and/or intravesical washes in small animals (6). Moreover, this oil also shows a wonderful effect on the treatment of otitis Externa in Dogs and Cats (7).

3. Mosquito repellents

Anethol obtained from star anise oil is natural and has larvicidal activity against mosquito larvae of Culex pipiens and Aedes aegypti, (8,9).

4. Possible antifungal properties of Star anise

Trans-anethole found in the oil of star anise strongly inhibited the mycelial growth (90%) of Botrytis cinerea, Alternaria solani, Bipolaris maydis, Fusarium graminearum, Pythium aphanidermatum, Rhizoctonia solani, and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (10).

5. Insecticidal properties

Anethol obtained from this oil show insecticide effect against Japanese Termite (Reticulitermes speratusKolbe), Blattella germanica, Lasioderma serricorne, Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky, Callosobruchus chinensis, Musca domestica L (11,12).

6. May have antioxidant properties

Star anise oil contains a high amount of antioxidants like anethole and estragole, has free radical scavenging activity, and inhibits mold growth and aflatoxin production. Thus this oil suppresses foodborne mold growth (Aspergillus flavus) and toxin formation (13).

7. Useful as a dietary supplement

Supplementation of star anise oil (400 mg/kg.) in the daily diet of laying hens enhanced laying performance and extended the shelf life of eggs and overall antioxidant status. Furthermore, this oil also helps to stimulate digestion, improve nutrient utilization, and increase the activities of pancreatic lipase and amylase. Thus star anise oil may be useful as a natural antioxidant to prevent harmful effects on public health (14, 15).

8. May treat Anxiety

Star anise oil contains trans-anethole which may act as an anxiolytic agent and possesses properties like a calming effect without sedation, as well as a lack of dependence, tolerance, or withdrawal thus this oil in aromatherapy or inhalation is very safe and helpful for the treatment of anxiety disorders (16).

9. May reduce pain

Star anise oil is a good source of anethole (75–90 %) has an estrogenic effect, and is useful in providing relief from rheumatism and lower back pain (17).

10. Possible antiviral properties

Anise essential oil contains phenols phenylpropanoids and sesquiterpenes which show wonderful antiviral effects against Herpes simplex viruses (HSV-1 and 2).

Studies suggested that this oil interacts with virions or may mask viral compounds that are necessary for viral adsorption and thus inhibit the virulence of the virus (18).

11. Potential anti-bacterial properties

Star anise oil contains antimicrobial compounds like trans-anethole which stop the growth of different bacteria Rhizopus stolonoiferSaccharomyces cerevisiae, and coli (19).

12. May inhibit platelet aggregation

Trans-anethole of the oil may inhibit blood clotting and could increase the activity of drugs like warfarin, heparin, or aspirin. Thus, this oil inhibits platelet, aggregation (20).

For other health-related benefits from star anise please read Star Anise Health Benefits and Side Effects

Side effect of Star anise oil

1. Sensitizing and irritating properties

Star anise oil (2 %) develops sensitization in patients with dermatitis whereas this oil (1%) produces irritation. Thus precaution should be needed before application (21).

2. Easily oxidize

Star anise oil is frequently adulterated because it contains high concentrations of anethole which is oxidized after some time and does not apply an undiluted form of oil.

3. Risk in pregnancy

As we know this oil inhibits blood clotting, therefore, should not use this oil in case of pregnancy or breastfeeding. Moreover, if you are taking anticoagulant or antidiabetic drugs consult your doctor before application.

4. Risk of cancer

Star anise oil contains Estragole and safrole which have phytoestrogen-like properties that sometimes result in some time cancer growth (22).

Edited By: Dr. Asha Jyoti Bharati


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