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Herb Information
Name: Anise
Biological Name: Pimpinella anisum

Carrot Family, Umbelliferae

Other Names: Anise, Aniseed, Sweet Cumin, star anise, Chinese anise, illicium
Parts Used: Seed, Anethole and other aromatic compounds.
Active Compounds:

Volatile oil, l-4%, consisting of largely trans-anethole (70-90%), with estragole (methylchavicol), anisic acid, b-caryophylline, anisaldehyde, linalool, anise ketone (methoxyphenylacetone); the polymers of anethole, dianethole and photoanethole; an Egyptian variety carvene, carvone, and alpha-zingiberene.


Coumarins, such as bergapten, umbelliferone, scopoletin


Flavonoid glycosides including rutin, isovitexin, quercetin, luteolin, and apigenin glycosides


Phenylpropanoids, including l-propenyl-2-hydroxy-5-methoxy-benzene-2- (2- methyl-butyrate)


Misc. lipids, fatty acids, sterols, proteins and carbohydrates.


This herb had been used for many centuries. The ancient Greeks, including Hippocrates, prescribed it for coughs. Ancient Romans used Anise in a special cake that concluded their enormous feasts. Historically, the herb was used because of its flavor (licorice flavor), as an aid for digestion, as an aphrodisiac, for colic and to combat nausea.

Ancient Chinese physicians used the herb as a digestive aid, flatulence remedy, and breath freshener. Early English herbalists recommended the herb for hiccups, for promoting milk production for nursing mothers, fro treatment of water retention, headache, asthma. Bronchitis, insomnia, nausea, lice, infant colic, cholera, and even cancer.

Remedies For

Expectorant, anti-spasmodic, carminative, anti-microbial, aromatic, galactogogue. 

Improves memory, get rid of oily skin, calm coughs, increases milk production for nursing mothers and serve as a natural antacid.

Commercially, it is very popular as a fragrance and a flavoring. It is very effective as a carminative (to relieve gas pains).

Used as a cough remedy, bronchitis, asthma, as a digestive aid, may be used for relieving menopausal discomforts, treating some form of prostate cancer in men. It may have potential in treating hepatitis and cirrhosis, although tests are being conducted on this.

Indications : The volatile oil in Aniseed provides the basis for its internal use to ease griping, intestinal colic and flatulence. It also has an expectorant and anti-spasmodic action and may be used in bronchitis, in tracheitis where there is persistent irritable coughing, and in whooping cough. Externally, the oil may be used in an ointment base for the treatment of scabies. The oil by itself will help in the control of lice. Aniseed has been demonstrated to increase mucociliary transport and so supporting its use as an expectorant. It has mild estrogenic effects, thought to be due to the presence of dianethole and photoanethole, which explains the use of this plant in folk medicine to increase milk secretion, facilitate birth and increase libido.

Anise is a stimulant and carminative; used in cases of flatulence, flatulent colic of infants, and to remove nausea. Sometimes added to other medicines to improve their flavor, correct griping and other disagreeable effects..


A very popular herb in the ancient Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medical systems for many centuries. There are many different varieties of aniseed. The most common variety is the ash colored kind from Spain. Anise belongs in the same botanical family as parsley and carrots.


Make a tea by adding 7 tsp of aniseeds to 1 quart of boiling water and then simmering the contents down to 1-1/2 pints. Strain and add 4 tsp each of honey and glycerin (as a preservative). Take 2 tsp of this syrup every few hours to relieve hacking coughs.

Take 2 tbsp three times daily to strengthen the memory.

For flatulent colic mix Aniseed with equal amounts of Fennel and Caraway. For bronchitis it combines well with Coltsfoot , Horehound and Lobelia

Preparations & Dosage:

Infusion: the seeds should be gently crushed just before use to release the volatile oils. Pour one cup of boiling water over l-2 teaspoonfuls of the seeds and let it stand covered for 5 to l0 minutes. Take one cup three times daily. To treat flatulence, the tea should be drunk slowly before meals.

Oil: one drop of the oil may be taken internally by mixing it into half a teaspoonful of honey.


USA: Generally recognized as safe
UK: General sales list
Canada: approved as an over-the-counter drug
France: Traditional Medicine
Germany: Commission approved as an over-the-counter drug.

Although many herbalists recommend anise as a remedy for morning sickness during pregnancy, it is not recommended for use during pregnancy. If your physician recommend against taking any birth control pills, avoid using anise as it has some estrogen activity. Estrogen may contribute to migraine headaches and abnormal blood clotting and promote the development of certain types of brain tumors.

FDA considers anise as generally safe if used as recommended for otherwise healthy, non-pregnant, non-nursing adults. High doses of anise oil (several teaspoonfuls) may cause nausea and vomiting. Use only in consultation with your doctor.

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