Anise, Pimpinella anisum, is an aromatic annual herb with feathery leaves, umbels of yellow flowers and ridged, gray green seeds. It is native to the Mediterranean coasts cultivated Spain, Turkey and Egypt for over 4000 years. The seeds have been used medicinally for digestive and respiratory ailments and as a flavoring in foods and liqueurs such as French anisette and Greek ouzo.
We still value the traditional uses of Anise today as an herb that stimulates the body to secrete fluids clearing out congestion and settling digestion. Anise is used as an expectorant and anti-spasmotic for respiratory conditions relieving symptoms of influenza, sinusitis, whooping cough and asthma. As a digestion aid, Anise can be used by all ages to ease nausea, indigestion, flatulence, bad breath and as a colic remedy for children. Anise is high in anethol, a compound that has similar effects of estrogen which can ease period pain, promote menstruation, and increase breast milk production. It has also been used to treat impotence and can increase the libido in both men and women.
The seeds of anise are licorice flavored making it a tasty additive in herbal tea blends. For flatulence and digestion, Anise blends well with Fennel and Caraway. Respiratory symptoms combine Anise with Coltsfoot, White Horehound and Lobelia. The essential oil can be used in baths or topically for lice and scabies, the internal use is not recommended. Pregnant women should avoid large doses of Anise except what would be used in cooking.
The following article is for educational purposes and not intended for diagnosis. Always consult your health practitioner when needed.