The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

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Anise

Scientific Names

Anise

  • Pimpinella anisum L.
  • Umbelliferae
  • Umbel family

Common Names

  • Anise plant
  • Aniseed
  • Anise seed
  • Common anise
  • Hua-hsian

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Parts Usually Used

Seed
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Anise

An annual plant; the spindle-shaped, thin, woody root sends up a round, grooved, branched stem up to 1 1/2 feet high. The lowest leaves are round-cordate and long-petioled, the middle leaves are pinnate, and those at the top are incised into narrow lobes. The small, white flowers appear in compound umbels during July and August. The downy, brown ovate fruit is about 1/8 inch long and ripens during August and September. The whole plant has a fragrant odor, and the seeds taste sweet when chewed. It has a licorice-like flavor.
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Where Found

Wild Anise

Anise occurs wild but is widely cultivated. Native to the Mediterranean.
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Medicinal Properties

Antispasmodic, antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, tonic
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Biochemical Information

Essential oil with anethole, choline, fatty oil
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Most people don’t think of anise in terms of its popularity with mice, but in the 16th century, anise found wide application as a mouse-trap bait. According to several old herbals, the mice found it irresistible. The Romans served a wedding cake strongly flavored with anise seeds to help prevent indigestion caused by overeating at the marriage banquet. From this ancient practice came the tradition of baking special cakes for weddings.

Anise is called Huai-hsiang in China, eaten to relieve flatulence and griping bowels. The Herbal Almanac states the a few drops of Oil of Anise, or Oil of Rhodium on a trappers bait will entice any wild animal into the snare trap.
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Uses

Anise promotes digestion, improves appetite, alleviates cramps and nausea, cough, colds, and relieves flatulence and bad breath. Is useful as an expectorant for coughs. Anise water promotes milk production in nursing mothers, and a soothing eyewash. Said to promote the onset of menstruation when taken as an infusion. Anise oil helps relieve cramping, and spasms and is good as a stomach tonic. For insomnia, that a few seeds in a glass of hot milk before bedtime. Can be made into a salve to use for scabies or lice. A tea made from equal parts of anise, caraway, and fennel makes an excellent intestinal purifier. Because of its sweetness, anise is a good additive to improve the flavor of other medicines.

Anisette, sold in most liquor stores, has volatile oil of anise as part of the preparation. Anisette is reputedly helpful for bronchitis and spasmodic asthma. Taken in hot water, anisette is said to be an immediate palliative.

5 to 10 drops of anise oil on top of a tsp. of honey, taken every 1/2 hour before meals, is said to be helpful in some cases of emphysema. 15 drops of essence of anise added to 1 quart of hot water, used as an inhalant, will sometimes help stubborn cases of laryngitis.

Anise has a wide variety of applications in cooking as well as medicine.
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Formulas or Dosages

As seeds ripen, turning from green to gray-brown, harvest them. Alcohol extracts the medicinal properties of anise more effectively than water.

Infusion: use 1 tsp. crushed seed to 1/2 or 1 cup boiling water. Steep 10 minutes and strain. Take 1 to 1 1/2 cups during the day, a mouthful at a time.

Decoction: for colic, boil 1 tbsp. seed in 1/2 pint milk for 10 minutes; strain and drink hot.

Tincture: to prepare, add 2 oz. seed to 1/2 qt. brandy. Add some clean lemon peels and let stand in a sunny place for 20 days, then strain. Take 1 tsp. at a time.

Anise water: boil 1/2 tsp. seed in 1/2 pint water, then strain.
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How Sold

Seed
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Resource Links

LiveStrong.com: Anise for Colic

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: When Baby Arrives

Drugs.com: Anise

PubMed.gov: Neurotoxicities in infants seen with the consumption of star anise tea.

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Bibliography

Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Old Ways Rediscovered, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, published from 1954, print 1988

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

Buy It! Chinese Medicinal Herbs, compiled by Shih-Chen Li, Georgetown Press, San Francisco, California, 1973.

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Secrets of the Chinese Herbalists, by Richard Lucas, Parker Publishing Company, Inc., West Nyack, NY, 1987.

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! The Magic of Herbs in Daily Living, by Richard Lucas, Parker Publishing Co. (1988).

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

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