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Anise – (Pimpinella anisum)


Anise is a dainty plant with small white flowers grown in umbels. The leaves are feathery and small. Native to Egypt and Asia Minor, the herb is now grown in many places all over the world. It requires long summers to ripen seeds, although it will make a sweet garden plant elsewhere. It is reputed to be able to avert the Evil Eye and nightmares. It has the true flavor of licorice, and it is the oil that is used to flavor licorice candy. An interesting historical note is that in 1305, King Edward I of England declared the herb a drug, and taxed importers accordingly to maintain and repair the London Bridge.

Key Medicinal Uses

Internally – Anise can be taken as a tea to increase milk in nursing mothers. It can be used to help COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), constipation, cough and parasites. It is gentle enough to use for children and infants. It is useful for flatulence and colic, as well as other gastrointestinal upset. It is currently used in many commercial cough syrups and sore throat remedies.

Externally – Anise can be used as an insect repellent when the oil is mixed with other oils. The herb's oil is antiseptic, and can be used with other oils to flavor aromatic liquid dentifrices.

Other Uses - Anise can be used in combination with oils for lice. It is commonly used as a culinary seasoning. It is mixed with spirits to create the liqueur Anisette and as a food is often used in dog food, since dogs are attracted to the scent. It is also said that a little oil will attract mice and rats to the trap, and if rubbed on fishing line, will make the fisherman more successful.

Herbs to Combine/Supplement

It can be combined with ylang ylang and coconut oil to treat head lice. The oil is useful against insects, especially when combined with sassafras oil and carbolic oil.

Parts Used

Seeds - The seeds (fruit) of the plant is the only portion used medicinally.


Most people tolerate this herb very well although a few people will have allergic reactions. It appears that the herb is safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding and there are no known drug interactions.

Preparation and Dosage

One half teaspoon of seeds can be taken three times daily for indigestion. A tea can be made from ½ teaspoon of crushed seeds and 1 cup of water. Let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Three cups of this tea can be taken every day.

Anise Herbal Remedies Top