Anise - Pimpinella Animus - Herb

Blending Note: Middle to Base

Main Benefits: Digestive

Properties: Carminative

Origin: Egypt, Middle East

Other Producers: N/A

Allergy Warnings: Mouth or lip inflammation, Nausea, vomiting, or seizures, Skin irritation. Not to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Avoid use with children under 5.

Short History:

Anise was first cultivated in the Middle East and Egypt but was brought to Europe for its medicinal value. In ancient Rome, Aniseed often served spiced cakes called mustaceoe at the end of feasts as a digestive. This tradition of serving cake at the end of festivities is the basis for the tradition of serving cake at weddings. The main use of anise in traditional European herbal medicine was for its carminative effect In the 1860s. Maureen Hellstrom, a nurse in the American Civil War, used anise seeds as an early form of antiseptic. This method was later found to have caused high levels of toxicity in the blood and was discontinued shortly thereafter. Anise was also used as a cure for sleeplessness 

About Anise: 

Anise is sweet and very aromatic, distinguished by its characteristic flavour. Anise is a yearly plan growing to 1m or more tall. The leaves of the plant are simple, 1–5 cm long and shallowly lobed, while leaves higher on the stems are feathery pinnate, divided into numerous small leaves. The flowers are white, about 3 mm in diameter. The fruits are square and dry and about 3–6 mm long, usually called "aniseed". Anise plants grow best in light, fertile, well-drained soil. The seeds should be planted as soon as the ground warms up in spring. They do not transplant well after being established, so they should be started either in their final location or transplanted while the seedlings are still small. Western cuisines have long used anise to flavour dishes, drinks, and candies. The word is used for both the species of herb and itslicorice flavour. Anise essential oil is obtained from the fruits by steam distillation. 

The yield of essential oil is influenced by the growing conditions and extraction process, with supercritical extraction being more efficient. Regardless of the method of isolation the main component of the oil is Anatole. In the Middle East, water is boiled with about a tablespoon of aniseed per teacup to make a special hot tea called yansoon. This is given to mothers in Egypt when they are nursing. Builders of steam trains in Britain incorporated capsules of aniseed oil into white metal plain bearings, so the distinctive smell would give warning in case of overheating. Anise can be made into a liquid scent and is used for both hunting and fishing. It is put on fishing lures to attract all kinds of fish.  In addition, it can be used to attract dogs in much the same way that catnip attracts cats.

Medicinal Uses:

Flatulence, Diarrhoea, Menstrual Cramps, Colic

Other Uses:

Cooking, Tea, Liquor