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Anise

Pimpinella anisum

Herbs gallery - Anise



Common names

  • Anise
  • Aniseed
  • Anise Plant
  • Common Anise
  • Hua-hsian
  • Sweet Cumin

In the ancient Chinese as well as the traditional Indian or Ayurvedic system of medicine, the herbal remedy anise has assumed a very popular stature and its utilization in various herbal medications is seen in both systems for many centuries now. The most commonly known type of anise is the ash colored variety from Spain, although, there exists several varieties of the aniseed-with more or less similar properties as an herbal remedy. Related to the common parsley and the common garden carrot, the anise belongs to the same botanical family of plants - the Umbelliferae family.

The herbal tea made from the anise can help improve memory function, it can reduce or stop oiliness in the skin, and it can be used to calm down a nagging and persistent cough in patients. The anise is also used to increase the production of breast milk in nursing mothers and at the same time, it serves as a natural antacid and can be used to replace either Tums or Rolaids in the treatment of heartburn and indigestion in affected individuals. These wonderful remedial benefits can be obtained by preparing anise herbal tea. Prepare this tea by bringing a quart of water to a boil using a pot or saucepan. When the water has begun to boil, you can then add about seven teaspoons of the herbal aniseed, and gently reduce the heat and simmer the content down to one pint or half a pint. Following this, gently strain the liquid and add four teaspoons each of honey and glycerin- which can be obtained from a drugstore, and used to preserve syrup tea-while the water is still warm. To bring relief from hacking and persistent coughs, take two teaspoons of this syrup once about every few hours. This herbal syrup can also be used to strengthen memory functions, by taking two tablespoons thrice every day for a period of a few months. To treat skin problems drink two teaspoons of the herbal tea form-made by excluding the addition of glycerin and honey-once or twice every day, the herbal tea can also be used to fulfill milk needs and can be used to bring relief from stomach problems and other disorders associated with the digestive system.

Egypt has seen the cultivation of Anise for at least 4,000 years, and the plant grows wild in that country. Some of the Pharaonic medical texts show that the anise seeds were used as an herbal diuretic, and such remedies were also used in the treatment of different digestive problems, and as a remedy to relieve toothache and pain. Even the ancient Greeks were familiar with the medicinal use of this herb. Early in the 1st century AD, the Greek scientist, Dioscorides wrote that the anise "warms, dries and dissolves” various symptoms in the body, he said the anise “facilitates breathing, relieves pain, provokes urine and eases thirst" in patients affected by such symptoms. This herb also saw widespread and popular use in the renaissance period.

Parts used

Seeds, essential oil.

Uses

The herbal remedies derived from the seeds of the anise are famous for their ability to bring about a reduction in gas and bloating affecting a person, they are also able to settle the problems related to digestion. Remedies derived from anise seeds are very commonly used with infants and children to induce relief from cases of colic, and these remedies are also given to people of all ages to help in relieving the symptoms associated with indigestion and nausea arising as a result of different reasons. Another beneficial effect of the anise seeds, mainly their antispasmodic properties are very helpful in effectively dealing with the symptoms of menstrual pain, with the discomfort during asthma attacks, in the treatment of the whooping cough, as well as in the treatment of other spasmodic coughs, and cases of bronchitis in different patients. The use of these anise seeds derived remedies for their expectorant action is often suggested to treat these different respiratory ailments and disorders. At the same time, the remedies made from the seeds of the anise are also believed to be able to bring about an increase in the production of breast milk; furthermore these remedies may be beneficial in the treatment of impotence and frigidity in individuals affected by such ailments. The essential herbal oils derived from the anise are also used in the treatment of similar complaints in patients. The essential herbal oil is also a topical remedy, and it is used for the external treatment accorded to lice and to treat cases of scabies in patients.
It is suggested that the essential oil must be consumed by patients when they are under careful and responsible professional supervision. Women in the term of pregnancy must also abstain from taking anise, with the exception of minute amounts, such as those normally used during cooking.

Other medical uses

Habitat and cultivation

The areas of the world such as North Africa, western Asia and the eastern Mediterranean are regions where the plant grows in the wild-anise is native to these geographical regions, though it present cultivation is widespread. These days, the anise plant is very widely cultivated for its seeds; these have a medicinal value and are also used as a flavoring agent in cooking as a part of some traditional cuisines.
The plant is an annual herb. It is usually cultivated these days and not harvested from the wild, the seeds are sown in dry and light soils in the early summer. The anise is also planted as thin seedlings at four inches apart in the fields. To produce fully ripened seed heads, the anise requires at least 120 frost free days in a year.

Constituents

Anise contains a volatile oil (comprising 70-90% anethole, together with methyl chavicol and other terpenes), furanocoumarins, flavonoids, fatty acids, phenylpropanoids, sterols, and proteins. Anethole has an observed estrogenic effect, and the seeds as a whole are mildly estrogenic. This effect may substantiate the herb's use as a stimulant of  breast-milk production.

Potpourri with anise seeds

  • 4 Tbs. anise seeds
  • 2 Tbs. ground clove
  • 2 Tbs. ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 4 drops rose oil
  • 1 cup unrefined salt
  • 12 cups of fragrant rose petals
  • 1 cup fine salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh ginger root, sliced
  • 2/3 cup powdered orris root

Dry the rose petals to a leathery texture. Mix coarse and fine salt, and layer petals 1/2 inch deep with salt. Store in a dry, dark, airy place for 10 days, and stir daily till moist potpourri base has formed.
Mix in the remaining ingredients. Seal the jar and cure for 6 weeks. Turn into decorative containers.

Comments

From Anita - Jan-21-2011
I am so glad you had the recipe for the anise tea. I used it many years ago when I had bleeding ulcers from taking a medicine the dr. gave me. It worked very fast and cured the bleeding ulcers by just taking one bottle of the tea, I then started using licorice root and only had to use one bottle of them in capsule form. That was back in the 90s and I have had no problem since. I was looking for the recipe for my sister and found it on your website.
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