Botanical Name: Syzygium anisatum
Species: S. anisatum
Common Names:Aniseed myrtle, Anise myrtle. Ringwood and Aniseed tree
Habitat: Aniseed myrtle is native to the Nambucca and Bellinger Valleys in New South Wales. It grows in subtropical rainforest, often along streams or on lower slopes; rare.
Aniseed myrtle a medium sized tree to 15m, developing a dense, spreading crown. In its natural environment, the rainforests of the Bellingen & Nambucca river valleys in north-eastern NSW, the Anise Myrtle can reach up to 45m. Lanceolate, opposite leaves are shiny green with wavy margins and a strong aniseed smell when crushed. New growth tips are a light burgundy colour. Clusters of small white flowers are borne at the ends of branchlets. Suitable for large gardens or acreage and will handle reasonable frosts but requires protection for the first two of years.
Used as a flavouring spice and herbal tea ingredient. Although previously known, it was first sold in the early 1990s as a bushfood spice, and in the mid 1990s cultivated in plantations to meet demand.
The essential oil of S. anisatum contains anethole and methyl chavicol, imparting licorice and aniseed flavours respectively.
‘Aniseed myrtle’ is the name originally coined to specifically describe high quality selections of the trans-anethole chemotype (90%+) – generally recognized as safe for flavouring. These selections are propagated from cutting for consistent essential oil quality. The aniseed myrtle selections are also low in methyl chavicol and cis-anethole (less than 0.1%).
Medicinal Uses: Research indicates that aniseed myrtle oil has antimicrobial activity, including on the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. Traditionally Aboriginal people used it medicinally as a tonic which had a vitalising effect.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.