The many uses of Anise Plant and Seeds

anise flower, uses of anise, aniseed, remedy anise, spice aniseI enjoy my daily walk on the beach as there’s always something new to discover. On my way back home tonight I came across a huge overgrown plant with overripe flowers and seeds. It didn’t look particularly nice but its scent was so strong I couldn’t help but pick a bunch of these flowers and bring them home. Before investigating what it was and what it was used for I hung a bunch of divine-smelling flowers on my kitchen window.

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Later, I found out it was an anise plant, Pimpinella anisum, The strong smell is due to the high concentration of anethole in the plant , and that it can be used in many different ways. I thought I’d share my newly acquired wisdom:

What is anise good for:

1. Aniseed is very aromatic and can be used to flavor many dishes, drinks, and candies. I’ll have to buy the culinary anise extract,  start cooking with it, and share the recipes. The Romans used to serve aniseed spiced cakes as a digestive aid after their opulent meals – sounds like a good start.

2. Anise has been used to treat menstrual cramps and dysmenorrhea as it  contains large amounts of  phytoestrogen

  1. Aniseed has a powerful carminative effect. In plain English, it treats flatulence and stomach pains. A simple aniseed plant or seed hot water infusion should do the trick.
  2. Some people simply chew anise seeds after meals simply to freshen up their breath but anise is an effective natural remedy for halitosis. If you’re making your own toothpowder or DIY toothpaste, anise, adds great flavor.
  3. When trying to lose weight anise ingredients can curb your appetite so you don’t eat as much.
  4. Anise essential oil is a natural repellent for mites, fleas, nits, and other little bugs.
  5. Drink anise tea infusions to alleviate the symptoms of colds, coughs, sore throat, blocked nose, bronchitis, and asthma… add a few drops of essential anise oil in a tissue and breathe in – this will unblock anything.
  6. Anise scent has a calming effect on the mind and body, hence it helps in keeping insomnia at bay, relaxing and relieving stress.

I’d say there are quite a lot of uses for a plant that can be found sometimes growing wildly near Mediterranean beaches.

Anise preparations are an excellent remedies for asthma, bronchitis, coughs, insomnia, menstrual cramps, stress as well as digestive disorders such as flatulence, bloating, colicky stomach pain, nausea, and indigestion.

No wonder that so many natural remedies producers are using the anise plant in Essential Oil; Tea; Cough Syrup (Jakemans Anise Throat & Chest Lozenges); Toothpaste (DailyCare Toothpowder, Anise,); Pet Grooming products; Scents (Anise Scent)  and anise extract. A whole lot of products on my shopping list now.

Pure Anise Extract brings a licorice flavor to Italian favorites including biscotti, pizzelle, and breads as well as dozens of other cakes and cookies in your recipe collection. A few drops can also be used to replace ground or whole anise seed. You can also use 1 tsp. of pure Anise Extract to replace 1-2 tbsp. of anise liqueur in your recipes. Ingredients: Alcohol, Oil of anise Alcohol Content: 88% Kosher Certified Size: 4 oz.