Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Anise is an aromatic herb from the Southwest Asia and Mediterranean region . It is mainly grown in India, Europe, Southwest Asia, , and parts of South America. Anise belongs to the Apiaceae family and is a flowering plant. Anise plant grows up to 1-3 ft in height and bears white to yellowish-white flowers. The fruit is 3mm-long when ripe, oval shaped and grey-green in color.

Anise is largely considered as a safe herb. However, it can have side-effects on people allergic to anethole, which is the chief component of this herb. Excessive use of Anise oil is known to cause nausea, vomiting and seizures, especially in the case of infants. Concentrated Anise oil can also cause irritation on sensitive skin.

Though the entire plant exudes ‘anisey’ aroma, only the fruit is used for consumption and medicinal benefits. Anise has an assortment of healing properties. It helps in relieving gas and other digestion-related disorders. Additionally, it helps in curing anemia by improving digestion, which promotes absorption of iron. Anise aids laxation of mucous and works as an expectorant. These qualities help in curing cough, asthma and bronchitis. It also has antibacterial and antiseptic properties and is known to soothe pain and relax muscles. Nursing women can benefit from this herb as its seeds help in increasing the production of breast milk. The seeds are used in various herbal medicines used to cure impotence and frigidity. Anise tea can be helpful in alleviating morning sickness. Topical application of Anise oil is also
known to help in curing lice and scabies.

Apart from the medicinal benefits, Anise is also used to add flavor to alcoholic drinks and various foods like breads, desserts, cakes, candies, curries, etc. Aniseed oil is also used to add fragrance to perfumes and soaps.

Anise is an annual herb and needs at least 120 frost-free days to mature. The seeds are sown in early summer in dry, light soil. Anise can also be planted as seedlings. The distance between two plants should ideally be 4 inches

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