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What is Aniseed Myrtle?

Aniseed myrtle (Syzygium anisatum) is an Australian native food, also known as anise myrtle or ringwood. Abundant in the subtropical region of Northern New South Wales (Gumbaynggirr land), aniseed myrtle is a medium to tall tree, typically found alongside other native species, like cinnamon myrtle and lemon myrtle.

Anise myrtle can be harvested year round in well-drained, nutrient-rich soils. When picked and dried, the leaves boast a subtly sweet licorice flavour, and can be added as a spice to hearty meals, distilled as oil or brewed to make tea. Indigenous Australians traditionally used aniseed myrtle as a medicinal tonic. 

First time you’ve heard of this little-known herb? Then read on as we explore the nutritional characteristics, benefits and side effects.

Health Benefits of Aniseed Myrtle

There’s a good reason why aniseed myrtle has been used as a medicinal herb.

It’s incredibly rich in antioxidants, which help to neutralise an imbalance of free radicals (caused by our regular exposure to pollutants and toxins). As a result, antioxidants are known to reduce the risk of many diseases. 

Aniseed myrtle is also rich in magnesium which can boost energy, fight inflammation and promote good health. It also has antifungal and anti-microbial properties, which can assist immunity and protect against common diseases.

Finally, aniseed myrtle is rich in Vitamin C and D, which are linked to many desirable health benefits, such as boosting immunity, heart health and maintaining strong bones and teeth. 

Uses of Aniseed Myrtle

Aniseed myrtle can be used in place of star anise or fennel (which both share that licorice flavour). Add it fresh to curries, stews, soups, bread or biscuits, or dry the leaves to make a nourishing, revitalising tea. Aniseed myrtle has also been used in cosmetic and body care products (although this is less common). 

Side Effects of Aniseed Myrtle

There are limited reports into the side effects of aniseed myrtle, largely due to its low demand and limited research. Its closely related plant, lemon myrtle, which shares similar properties.

Guayusa with Aniseed Myrtle

At Ayusa Tea, we have combined the smooth, full-bodied taste of Guayusa with Australian aniseed myrtle. In doing so, we have combined the knowledge of two ancient tribes – the Indigenous Kichwa people of Ecuador and Indigenous Australians. 

Together, these leaves create a revitalising, energising and health-giving drink. 

Discover Guayusa with Aniseed Myrtle today. 

Written by Natasha Fair, founder of Ayusa Tea. 

Resources:

http://www.agrifutures.com.au/farm-diversity/anise-myrtle/ 

https://anfab.org.au/main.asp?_=Anise%20Myrtle

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124166417000237 

https://tuckerbush.com.au/aniseed-myrtle-syzygium-anisatum/

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