Anethole (formally 1-methoxy-4-[(1E)-prop-1-en-1-yl]benzene) is an anisole derivative, often considered a medicinal plant compound. Also known as Anise Camphor, Anethole is the major constituent of the oils of Anise (Pimpinella Anisum), Star Anise (Illicium Verum), and Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare). Widely used as a flavouring and aroma agent, Anethole is a staple of the flavours and fragrances sector.
The American Chemical Society confirms that fragrant oils have been extracted from anise and fennel plants since the Renaissance, but in 1866 German chemist Emil Erlenmeyer established the structure of the primary substance derived from these Oils. We can thank Erlenmeyer, then, for allowing various industries to enjoy the uses and benefits of Anethole.
Uses of Anethole Oil
As the main bioactive compound in over 20 plant species, Anethole is a powerful flavourant offering flavours similar to liquorice, while impregnating the products it is used in with a beautifully sweet smell. As a result, this terpene is largely used in the:
- Food industry
Benefits of Anethole Oil
Going further than imbuing flavour and aroma, Anethole also offers various powerful health benefits:
- Anethole has proven to be highly beneficial to human health, holding anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and chemo-preventive, antidiabetic, immunomodulatory, neuroprotective, or antithrombotic properties
- According to a study published by ResearchGate on Anethole and its role in chronic diseases, plants containing Anethole were traditionally used to treat nervous disturbances, inflammation, gastro-intestinal problems, and respiratory tract issues – and these benefits still ring true today
- The National Library of Medicine reports that Anethole may be effective in treating and preventing Periodontitis (PD) – one of most prevalent worldwide chronic inflammatory diseases
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