Native to Southeast Asia, the beautiful star shaped seeds of Star Anise have a long tradition of use in Chinese medicine, where they are known as ba jiao hui xiang - meaning ''Eight-horned Fennel''. In China, it plays a pivotal role as one of the spices of the famous 5 spice mixture. The Japanese species, Illicium anisatum (syn. Illicium religiosa) is highly revered as a Shikimi or Buddha tree and is often planted in temple grounds and near burial sites - However, its seeds, which have sometimes been confused with the Chinese species, are highly poisonous. The powdered seeds and bark are an important ingredient of Japanese incense blends.
TraditionalIn aromatherapy, the oil finds use in the treatment of muscle aches and pains, rheumatism and arthritis. It is also aids bronchitis and coughs as well as digestive conditions such as colic, cramps, indigestion and colds.
MagicalThe oil can be used in cleansing waters for ritual purification and cleansing ceremonies. As a magical perfume or anointing oil it is used to protect against negative energies and to attract good spirits. Used as an offering to lend wings to prayers, it may open the doors to the heavens and please the Gods, thus invoking their benevolence. Used in rites of passage it gives direction to the soul and helps it connect with its highest purpose.