Anise is a close relative to the carrot, fennel and parsnip family. Other common names for Anise are: aniseed, anason, anis, anasur, anisu, sweet cumin, star anise, Chinese anise. Anise has light green colored leafs and small white flowers. The plant requires a warm climate and does not like frost. Anise often gets confused with the poisonous Japanese star anise (Illicium lanceolatum). The anise seeds have been used since ancient times for their content of aromatic essential oil in traditional medicine, for cosmetics, alcoholic beverages like anisette, arrack, ouzo and raki, and in cooking.
The herb Anise (Pimpinella anisum) Koehler's Medicinal-Plants - 1887 Ripe Anise seeds give this plant its medicinal value. Seeds contain about 2.5% of fragrant oil that . The oil consists mostly of antheole and its derivatives, like diantheole and photoantheole. Methylchavicol and para-methoxyphenylacetone, flavonoids like quercetin, and cumarins are also present. The oils are extracted via distillation and the crushing of the Anise seeds. Oils are most commonly found in perfumes, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, Cough syrups, lozenges, and skin creams. Creams including ones used to kill or repel insects, scabies and lice infestation. Internally, the anise seeds are used medicinally to relief Indigestion, Colic, gas, Halitosis, bloating, abdominal cramps and to remove nausea. The seeds have mild diuretic, diaphoretic (increase sweating), expectorant (Cough up mucus) and antiseptic properties. Anis seeds also have mild oestrogenic effects most likely due to the presence of diantheole and photoantheole in the oil; promoting lactation in nursing mothers, increase libido and to relief symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Anise oil is not without side effects, as large quantities used internally can cause nausea and Vomiting, seizures and even pulmonary Edema. This is why pure anise oil should not be used internally as pulmonary Edema has occurred after ingestion of such a small quantity as 1-5ml pure anise oil. Using seeds internally is safe as they do not contain more than 2.5% oil. Used externally, pure anise oil can cause skin irritations, therefore the oil is formulated with other emollients to form an ointment in which the oil is sufficiently diluted to be safe. As with all natural products allergies can also develop which can potentially be life-threatening. Skin rashes, swelling of skin or tongue, difficulty breathing, and/or tightness in the chest could indicate a allergic reaction in which case a doctor should be consulted immediately. Anise should not be used during pregnancy and a health care provider should be consulted before the use by nursing mothers.comment be the first to comment