Star Anise is a Star when it comes to fragrance….but it is much more than Fragrance…
Here is the complete review and benefits of a star…
Illicium verum is thought most likely to be native to southern China and northeast Vietnam. It has been cultivated since about 2,000 BC, and it is difficult to determine whether plants growing in these areas are wild or naturalised.
Star anise is cultivated in China, Laos, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hainan and the Philippines.
Fruits & seeds of Illicium verum
Overview: An evergreen tree up to 15 m tall. Trunk about 25 cm in diameter with white bark.
Leaves: Glossy, leathery leaves are held in bunches of three to six.
Flowers: Solitary, yellow-green, sometimes flushed pink to dark red, with 7–12 tepals, up to 20 stamens (male organs) and usually 7–9 carpels (female organs). Usually produced from March to May and from August to October in China.
Fruits: Star-shaped, consisting of a ring of single-seeded, dark reddish-brown carpels attached to a central column. The fruits are fleshy, but on drying become woody and wrinkled. Usually produced from September to October and from March to April in China.
How to make your own star anise macerated oil:
Take a recycled glass jar with a proof lid, pour the jar with 1/3 of dried star anise fruits and seeds, ppour and fill with vegetal oil.
I would choose macadamia oil or hazelnut oil for cosmetics and would definitly use sesame oil if you want to make your own mouthwash (it seems weard but this is a perfect and very healthy base for mouthwash, sesame oil is helping to balance your mouth’s bacterial flora, the flavor of anise and the antioxidant effect are great as well…and you can add some clove and mint essential oils…)
Close your jar, and let the mixture brewse for 4 to 6 weeks. Shake it every day. After these 6 weeks of brewsing, filter the mixture and keep your oil in a dry cool place…you can add a few drops of rosemary essential oil as a natural preservative.
Your oil is ready to use in diy cosmetic recipes or for massage.
Star anise is rich in tannin,, confering your oil with very interresting anti oxidant benefits. This tannin is catching free radicals and are part of the UV attack fight, as well as the anti aging fight. It is to be added that tannins are blocking some enzymes responsible for skin aging.
Tannins are also astringent substances , though you can use macerated oil with star anise as anti perspirent because it is thitening pores. Its powerful fragrance and deodorant is a plus to use in your body lotion and cream diy cosmetics.
Is frequently used in famous perfumes like:
Belle d’Opium from Yves Saint Laurent.
This bewitching and addictive fragrance is a Floral Oriental blend of Classical notes such as Pepper, Star Anise, Jasmine, Lily, Patchouli and Resins. Belle d’Opium is an intoxicating blend, perfect for a woman who loves the spotlight.
Food & drink
Star anise fruits are harvested just before ripening, when the essential oil content is high, and used to produce a spice which is similar in flavour to aniseed. Star anise is widely used in Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian cuisines and is one ingredient of Chinese five spice (along with cloves, fennel seeds, Chinese cinnamon and Sichuan pepper). In China star anise is generally used in pork and chicken dishes. It is chewed after a meal to sweeten the breath.
Star anise is used in production of alcoholic beverages such as Galliano, sambuca, pastis and some types of absinthe. It is used to flavour Thai iced tea and sometimes as a cheaper substitute for anise in mulled wine.
Star anise is used in Chinese traditional medicine as a stimulant and expectorant, to relieve flatulence, to increase libido and as a tea to cure rheumatism. It is commonly used to flavour cough mixtures and pastilles. Seeds are chewed to aid digestion.
It has been used as a source of shikimic acid, a primary precursor in the production of anti-influenza drugs such as Tamiflu.
Illicium verum is also cultivated as an aromatic ornamental in tropical climates, on account of its small, scented flowers and fragrant leaves.
Star anise oil is used in soap, toothpaste, tobacco and perfume. The distinctive glossy brown fruits make an attractive addition to pot-pourri. Powdered bark is used as incense.