Cultivated since 2000 BC, the Japanese would plant this tree in their temples and on tombs, and use the pounded bark as incense. This essential oil may solidify, and if so, must be warmed to be brought back to a liquid state. The thick consistency attests to the purity of the oil. Star anise is an antioxidant that is rich in tannins and believed to block some enzymes responsible for aging. Some advanced formulators are using this intense essential oil as a natural preservative and anti-aging ingredient.