Pimpinella anisum

Also known as anise plant, aniseed and common anise. Anise is an annual plant which grows in the wild and is also often cultivated. The round, grooved stem grows from a thin, woody root and is up to 1 1/2 feet tall. There are three different kinds of leaves on this plant & the lower ones being round & the middle ones pinnate & and the top ones incised. Small, white flowers bloom during July and August, and the fruit which is downy and brown, ripens in August and September. When chewed, anise seeds taste sweet, and the whole plant is quite fragrant.

The seeds have antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and tonic properties. Anise can be used to promote digestion, improve appetite, alleviate cramps and nausea and to relieve flatulence. It is particularly effective for treating colic in infants. When taken as an infusion, anise is believed to promote the onset of menstruation, and the oil can help relieve cramps and spasms in the stomach. A few seeds in hot milk taken before bed is excellent for treating insomnia. Made into a salve, anise can be used for scabies or lice. Because of its pleasant taste, this plant is popularly used to improve the flavour of other herbal medicines.

An"ise (#), n. [OE. anys, F. anis, L. anisum, anethum, fr. Gr. , .]

1. Bot.

An umbelliferous plant (Pimpinella anisum) growing naturally in Egypt, and cultivated in Spain, Malta, etc., for its carminative and aromatic seeds.


The fruit or seeds of this plant.


© Webster 1913.

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