Monday, November 2, 2009

Anise Essential Oil - Smells Like Licorice!

Happy Monday from and! We are busy this morning bottling our pure anise star essential oil and the scent of delightful licorice has saturated our office! Anise essential oil is one of our best selling oils. Why is that? Is it truly loved for its licorice like aroma?
The Anise herb is native to Asia and China. It is known for its flavor, which resembles licorice, fennel, and tarragon. The anise plant is an herbaceous annual plant that grows to three feet tall. The leaves are at the base of the plant and are very simple. They are about two to five centimeters long and shallowly lobed. The leave higher on the stems are feathery pinnate and divided into numerous leaves. The flowers of the anise plant are white and about three millimeters in diameter. They are produced in dense umbels. The anise fruit is an oblong dry schizocarp that is about three to five millimeters in length. The seedpods are referred to as aniseed.
Anise is sweet and very aromatic. It can be distinguished by its licorice-like flavor. It is widely used in a variety of regional and ethnic confectioneries, including British Aniseed balls, Austrailain Humbugs, New Zealand Aniseed wheels, Italian pizzelle, German pfeffernusse and springerle, Netherland Muisjes, Norwegian knots, and Peruvian Picarones. Anise is a key ingredient in Mexican “atole de anis” which is similar to hot chocolate. It is taken as a digestive after meals in India.
Anise was used in ancient Rome as flavoring. However, it contains nutrients like calcium and iron. This herb was added to foods to prevent indigestion when eating large quantities of food. Additionally, it was used to help with bad breath. Hippocrates recommended this herb to relieve both coughs and congestion.
The oil and seeds of the anise plant are used to provide anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are B vitamins, calcium, choline, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Primarily, anise provides extraordinary benefits for support of colds, colic, coughs, gas, indigestion, absent lactation, excessive mucus, and pneumonia.
We also sell organic anise star pods, anise seeds, and anise star powder. If you want a great treat try making some homemade anise bread and cookies. The recipes is below! Have a great day!

ANISE BREAD(by machine or hand)
3 tsp active dry yeast
4 C. unbleached flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp unbleached sugar
1¼ C. room temperature milk
1 room temp egg
2 tsp bruised anise seed

Place ingredients into machine according to the order specified by the machine's manufacturer and proceed to make bread.

HAND METHOD - Using the same ingredients above, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Warm the milk to 100° F. Combine yeast, sugar and 2 Tbsp of the warm milk and let sit for 10 minutes. Beat the egg and stir into the remaining milk, then add seeds. Combine the flour and yeast mixtures. Add the egg/milk mixture and stir well. When dough begins to hold together, turn out and knead for 8 minutes or till smooth and elastic. Place in oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or till doubled. Punch down, turn out and knead again for about 5 min. Shape into a loaf and place in oiled bread pan. Let rise about 40 min while covered with a towel. Bake at 400° F for 40 min.


2 eggs
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 C. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp crushed anise seed.

Sift together flour and baking soda and set aside. Beat eggs till light and add sugar gradually. Continue beating for 3 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture. Add seeds. Beat 5 minutes. Drop 1/2 tspfuls of batter on cookie sheet. Dry at room temp for 18 hours then bake at 325° F about 12 minutes or till they begin to brown.