Aniseed is a familiar kitchen herb of the carrot family. Native to the Mediterranean region it has long been used as a spice and medicine in ancient Egypt, Crete and Greece. It was first mentioned in the Ebers papyrus, which dates back to 1500BC. In Egypt it was valued so highly that it was used as a payment of tithe, a tradition King Edward I picked up on in a later era, levying taxes on its import to raise funds for restoring the London Bridge. The Scythians used it in their funeral rites to prepare the corpse of the king. The Romans on the other hand, baked it into their wedding cakes, known as 'mustacae', probably because of Aniseeds reputed aphrodisiac properties. Pillows stuffed with Aniseed have been used to induce restful sleep and ward off nightmares. It is used as the basis of several strong spirits: Ouzo, Raki and Pernod. Animals seem to be attracted to by its scent - it is used as bait for mice, and dogs also love the smell- the fake rabbit used in greyhound racing is treated with anise oil.
Some aromatherapiests consider this oil too dangerous to use in their regular practice. It is decongesting and can be used for conditions of the respiratory system such as bronchitis and coughs, and for digestive troubles such as cramps, colic, bloating and indigestion. Use with caution as it contains compounds that may irritate the skin and may also cause nervous system disturbances. Keep away from epileptics.
Used in love magic to open the heart chakra and clear emotional blockages that may prevent one from finding love. Worn as a magical perfume it may help finding contentment and happiness. It safeguards the soul on spirit journeys and astral travel and offers protection against nightmares. It may be used to open the inner eye to prepare for divination rituals and psychic channelling. Use it as a special offering if your spirit or totem animals are dogs, or to invoke Anubis.
A highly volatile, light, sweet, aromatic scent that blends well with other spicy aromas such as Amyris and Amber.