Common Names

Anise Seed, Aniseed

Botanical Name

Pimpinella anisum

Family

Apiaceae

Medicinal Uses

Aromatherapy, Colds, Congestion, Cramps/abdominal, Culinary/Kitchen, Digestion, Herbal Steam, Herbal Teas, IBS, Lice, Pet, Scabies

Properties

Abortifacient, Anodyne, Antibacterial, Aphrodisiac, Aromatic, Calm, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Expectorant, Galactagogue, Nervine, Stimulant, Stomachic, Tonic

Parts Used

Seeds, essential oil

Constituents

choline, sugar, mucilage. the essential oil contains up to 90 percent anethole.

Habitat

Hot summers needed for seeds to ripen. Native to Eurasia and N. Africa

Side Effects

Anise seeds contain anethole, a plant hormone similar to human estrogen, that promotes menstruation, and lactation in nursing mothers. Narcotic in large doses and should not be used while pregnant and in young babies. The essential oil is for topical use only.

How to Prepare

1. Sweet and very aromatic, anise can be used in tea, or in baking and cooking, the taste compliments cookies, cakes, and pasta dishes.

2. For a simple anise seed tea, you can use either ground or whole seeds. Grounding or crushing the seeds will release more oil. You want to add about 2 teaspoons per 8 ounces of hot water. Let the tea steep for 10 minutes, then filter the beverage. Other medicinal herbs can be added to the simple anise tea as desired. Ginger root, honey, and lemon are popular and pair nicely with the licorice flavor of anise.