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Herbalism For Your Day: Anise, Star & Otherwise

by Katrina Rasbold

Anise and star anises are two different herbs from two different plants, but they share the same scent profile because of anethole, an essential oil produced by both plants. The flavor is slightly different with star anise being more bitter.

star anise

Common anise is in the same family as dill, cumin, fennel, and caraway.  It is the anise flavor most commonly found in foods.

Star anise comes from a tree that is related to the magnolia family. It is used most often in Asian cooking. When ground, common anise and star anise may be used interchangeably in cooking, although the star anise is twice as potent in taste as the common anise. It gets its name from the unusual way in which its seeds grow.

Magically, we use star anise for astral travel and increasing psychic connection in incenses. Anise, both common and star, are often used in protection incenses and those used to encourage meditation and reaching the higher self.

It promotes good health and wards off evil spirits and the evil eye.  Wrap a pinch of anise in a cloth and carry it in your pocket as a protection amulet.

Place star anise in a small pound with lavender for good sleep without nightmares.

Common anise

Combine either form of anise with bay leaves to add to a mojo bag or bath for protection and purification.

Inhaling smoke from anise is said to cure headaches.

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Katrina Rasbold is a professional Witch, published author, priestess, and editor of Green Egg Magazine. She and her husband, Eric, are the creators of the CUSP spiritual path and owners of Crossroads Occult. She and Dahlia Rose host the popular livestreamed video broadcast “Crossroads of Cognizance” most Thursday afternoons. You can reach her through

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