Anise has commonly been used as a digestive aid, to help with coughing, reduce menopausal and menstrual issues, and to repel insects. The key anethole constituent comprises over 75% of the essential oil, with a possible estrogenic effect.
Due to anise's licorice-like flavor, it has been used as bait while fishing, since the taste entices fish.
Over 60 research articles were cataloged on anise. Human studies were found related to its qualities as a digestive aid, female health herb, and anti-tussive. It has also demonstrated insecticidal and repelling action and is antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral in vitro. Other in vitro studies show anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, smooth muscle relaxing, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, anticonvulsive, and andi-depressive potential. More research is warranted. Click the button below for a detailed review of research.
Latin Name: Pimpinella anisum
Anise is an annual herb with white flowers and greenish yellow seeds, growing in warm climates like Turkey, Iran, India, and Egypt.
Anise seeds are used as tea infusions at about 3 grams per day for an adult. Essential oil is added to topical preparations as a mild spasmolytic and antibacterial, or added to a diffuser for its aromatic qualities.
Oil is steam distilled from the seeds, and contains only 1.5% - 5% essential oil. It is thin, but congeals below 68 degrees. It has a clear to pale yellow color and smells and tastes like black licorice.