What is Anise Seed | Anise benefits | What is Aniseed Benefits

Anise or aniseed is an herb well known for its aromatic seeds. Anise seed is an excellent herbal remedy to ease indigestion, infant colic, bloating, belching and flatulence. Anise has expectorant properties which makes it useful in the treatment of bronchitis. Anise benefits have been acquired for long and ayurveda is promoting the use of anise herb. The properties of anise to boost the immune system as well as relax the body are remarkable. Aniseed also helps the body control and release required amounts of estrogen.


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Pimpinella anisum Apiaceae Also called Aniseed, Common anise.


A highly aromatic low-growing plant, anise originated in the Middle East and was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians. Dainty yellow-and-white flowers on upright stems are followed by aromatic greyish fruits (known as seeds) that have a warm, sugary taste.


Parts used

  • Seeds
  • Seeds are gathered in autumn after flowering.
  • They are dried, and must then be stored in a dry, dark place.
  • The essential oil is extracted and used in cough lozenges and many other pharmaceutical preparations, herbal medicines, foods and drinks.

Constituents

The seeds contain between 1-6 per cent essential oil. Up to 90 per cent of the oil is anethole, which gives anise its distinctive aroma. Other constituents are coumarins including bergapten, flavonoids and sterols.


Medicinal uses

Anise has long been used in remedies to ease indigestion,infant colic, bloating, belching and flatulence. Its effectiveness is largely due to its antispasmodic action, which is also thought to ease period pains. Anise increases fluid secretion in the intestine, thus helping to stimulate digestion.


Anise has expectorant properties making it useful in the treatment of bronchitis. The expectorant action of both anise and its main active constituent, anethole, have been proven in animal studies cited in the European Monographs on the Medicinal Uses of Plant Drugs.


The European Monographs also mention studies of the antibacterial, antifungal and insecticidal properties of the essential oil. Externally, the undiluted oil can be applied to get rid of head lice. It is also used in an ointment for treating scabies.


Anise seeds are thought to be mildly oestrogenic and have long been used in traditional medicine to ease childbirth, stimulate milk production and regulate periods. Anise was also reputed to increase libido in both sexes. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmaco/ogy in 1980 showed that certain anethole-based compounds are responsible for many hormone-mimicking effects.


PREPARATION AND DOSAGE

for Internal Use
TO TREAT digestive problems and coughs.
INFUSION Put 0.5-1 g seeds into a cup of boiling water. Drink two or three times a day after meals.
TINCTURE (1:4 in 45% alcohol) Take 5-10 drops, three times a day in a little cold water after meals.


POWDER Take 3g a day in food.


TO TREAT colic


DECOCTION Boil 1 dessertspoon of seeds in 250ml of milk for 10 minutes and strain. Drink two or three times a day after meals.


For external use


TO TREAT scabies and lice CREAM Apply to the affected area as directed on the label.


IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR


Cultivation

Sow the seeds at the plant's flowering time in late spring. Anise is a hardy plant that likes a rich, well-drained sandy soil. Choose a sunny or lightly shaded spot.


CAUTIONS

  • No toxic effects have been reported to date.
  • Do not take iron supplements when taking anise.
  • Do not use when pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Do not sunbathe when taking anise as it may trigger sensitisation to sunlight.
  • High doses of essential oil may cause nausea and vomiting.
  • Avoid creams if you have an inflammatory skin condition or if you experience any allergic reaction.


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