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Anise SeedAnise Seed
 


Scientific Names
 
Pimpinella Anisum L
 
Umbelliferae
 
Umbel family
 
Common Names
 
Anise plant
 
Aniseed
 
Anise seed
 
Common anise
 
Hua-hsian
 
Parts Usually Used
 
Seed
 
Description of Plant(s) and Culture
 
An annual plant; the spindle-shaped, thin, woody root sends up a round, grooved, branched stem up to 1 1/2 feet high. The lowest leaves are round-cordate and long-petioled, the middle leaves are pinnate, and those at the top are incised into narrow lobes. The small, white flowers appear in compound umbels during July and August. The downy, brown ovate fruit is about 1/8 inch long and ripens during August and September. The whole plant has a fragrant odor, and the seeds taste sweet when chewed. It has a licorice-like flavor.
 
Medicinal Properties
 
Antispasmodic, antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, tonic
 
Biochemical Information
 
Essential oil with anethole, choline, fatty oil
 
Legends, Myths and Stories
 
Most people don't think of anise in terms of its popularity with mice, but in the 16th century, anise found wide application as a mouse-trap bait. According to several old herbals, the mice found it irresistible. The Romans served a wedding cake strongly flavored with anise seeds to help prevent indigestion caused by overeating at the marriage banquet. From this ancient practice came the tradition of baking special cakes for weddings. Anise is called Huai-hsiang in China, eaten to relieve flatulence and griping bowels. The Herbal Almanac states the a few drops of Oil of Anise, or Oil of Rhodium on a trappers bait will entice any wild animal into the snare trap.
 
Uses
 
Anise promotes digestion, improves appetite, alleviates cramps and nausea, cough, colds, and relieves flatulence and bad breath. Is useful as an expectorant for coughs. Anise water promotes milk production in nursing mothers, and a soothing eyewash. Said to promote the onset of menstruation when taken as an infusion. Anise oil helps relieve cramping, and spasms and is good as a stomach tonic. For insomnia, that a few seeds in a glass of hot milk before bedtime. Can be made into a salve to use for scabies or lice. A tea made from equal parts of anise, caraway, and fennel makes an excellent intestinal purifier. Because of its sweetness, anise is a good additive to improve the flavor of other medicines. Anisette, sold in most liquor stores, has volatile oil of anise as part of the preparation. Anisette is reputedly helpful for bronchitis and spasmodic asthma. Taken in hot water, anisette is said to be an immediate palliative. 5 to 10 drops of anise oil on top of a tsp. of honey, taken every 1/2 hour before meals, is said to be helpful in some cases of emphysema. 15 drops of essence of anise added to 1 quart of hot water, used as an inhalant, will sometimes help stubborn cases of laryngitis. Anise has a wide variety of applications in cooking as well as medicine.

 

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 *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease.