Pimpinella anisumAniseed

Family: Umbelliferae

Names: Anise, Aniseed

Habitat: Originally from Egypt and Asia Minor but now widely cultivated in warmer climates.

Description of Aniseed:

Anise is a dainty, white-flowered umbelliferous annual, about 18 inches high, with secondary feather-like leaflets of bright green, hence its name (of mediaeval origin), Pimpinella, from dipinella, or twice pinnate, in allusion to the form of the leaves.

Pimpinella_anisum, aniseedCultivation of Aniseed:

Sow the seed in dry, light soil, on a warm, sunny border, early in April, where the plants are to remain. When they come up, thin them and keep them clean from weeds. Allow about a 30cm each way. The seeds may also be sown in pots in heat and removed to a warm site in May.

The seeds will ripen in the UK in good seasons if planted in a warm and favourable situation, though they are not successful everywhere, and can hardly be looked upon as a remunerative crop. The plant flowers in July, and if the season prove warm, will ripen in autumn, when the plants are cut down and the seeds threshed out.

Collection: The ripe dry fruits should be gathered between July and September.

Part Used: Dried fruit.


Culinary uses of Aniseed:

Widely used in cooking as a spice for flavouring cakes and soups. It can also be used to make refreshing cordials.

Anise_aniseed_PimpinellaAnisumMedicinal uses of Aniseed:

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


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 maybe used in bronchitis, in tracheitis where there is persistent irritable coughing, and in whooping cough. Externally, the oil maybe 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.

Felter & LLoyd considered it a “stimulant and carminative; used in cases of < b>flatulence, flatulent colic of infants, and to remove nausea. Sometimes added to other medicines to improve their flavour, correct griping and other disagreeable effects…”


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

Preparations & Dosage of Aniseed:

Infusion: the seeds should be gently crushed just before use to release the volatile oils. Pour one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the seeds and let it stand covered for 5 to 10 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.

Other uses:
my aniseed fairyEsoteric uses of Aniseed:

Gender: Masculine. Planet: Jupiter. Element: Air. Deities: Apollo, Mercury.

Protection. Purification. Youth. Deals with inner, personal issues related to lack of fulfillment. Helps one to become more open to happiness and enjoy company of others. Put in dream pillows to protect from nightmares. Brings protection when traveling in the astral. Include anise in hand-fasting and wedding cakes.


The chemistry:

  • Volatile oil, l-4%, consisting of largelytrans-anethole (70-90%), with estragole (methylchavicol), anisic acid, [[beta]]-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.
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