About the farm
Aniseed Myrtle on this property has only just been brought back into production after 20 years by Native Oils Australia.
This is called a regenerative harvest, and will be followed up in 2022 with a secondary cut and distillation. The farm has been family owned for 6 years, and is slowly being brought back to its former glory. Aniseed Myrtle is only one of the amazing crops they produce, also growing many native fruits and trees.
History & Traditional Uses
A rainforest tree growing to 40 metres, Aniseed (also known as Anise) Myrtle is very rare in the wild, limited to Bellinger and Nambucca Valleys of New South Wales.
Anise Myrtle is grown in plantations around northern New South Wales. These plantations were actually planted for the herb or bush tucker markets until the ‘rediscovery’ of its unique essential oil.
Anise Myrtle is a new oil to the aromatherapy industry and has the potential to supersede traditional Aniseed essential oils on the basis of a superior Anethole content and a superior, fresher Anise aroma.
Anise Myrtle essential oil is extracted via steam distillation of the stems and branches.
There is little known about the traditional uses of anise myrtle, although it has been reported that the trees were harvested during World War 2, when aniseed flavouring was in short supply. The leaves are believed to have been made into a tonic with a vitalising effect. S. anisatum previously named Backhousia anisata J. Vickery after James Backhouse, a 19th century English nurseryman and Quaker missionary.
Anise myrtle is viewed a traditional food of Australia by FSANZ and has been exported to the EU prior to 1997. It is listed for inclusion in the Codex Alimentarius.
Agriculture, Harvesting & Distilling
Aniseed Myrtle as an essential oil is relatively new to the essential oil market due to its rarity. Being found in the far eastern parts of Australia close to the coast the plant would have been documented by the earliest settlers. It is only recently that the essential oil was distilled and its high Anethole content made Aniseed Myrtle extremely desirable.
Aniseed Myrtle Essential Oil has its roots in the early use of the herb.
The trees are harvested and are then steam distilled for around 1 hour. The harvesting is done by unique farm machinery designed by the farmers themselves. Leaves are cut, a vacuum sucks the leaves into a bin and the leaves are placed into a stainless steel boiler.