This herb is one of those that is so common that practically everyone has smelled it, tasted it, and probably even has it in their kitchen right now! This is true whether you are from the West or the East, North or South. When you were small your mother may have given you tea made of the seeds of this herb. If you have ever tasted licorice candy, you will begin to get an idea of what the flavor of anise is all about. I always thought that the flavor I tasted was from the licorice, but it turns out that it wasn’t after all!
The scientific name for this herb is “Pimpinella anisum”, and the essential oil is usually steam distilled. It is derived from the “fruit” of the plant, which looks like little greenish seeds. One of the best (and most common) ways to have anise is to make it into a tea, but the oil is lovely, and if you have ever had anise candy, you would know why people love it.
Although anise is originally probably from the vicinity of ancient Egypt, and was also known in ancient China, it is now being cultivated almost all over the world. This is one of those universal herbs that are well-known all over the world, and the history of anise seed use is ancient. Anise in ancient times was superstitiously known as the herb that protects against the evil eye.
From a medicinal point of view, anise is one of the most valuable herbs, as it is good for many different things and it smells and tastes wonderful. People even give it to babies when they are crying a lot also, because it is so safe. For babies, the most common use is for colic and gas, and it is great for calming down a fitful baby, in order to help him sleep.
Anise is good for colds and the flu. If you suffer from a cough, you will get a great deal of relief from anise seed. Bronchitis sufferers can either drink a lovely, soothing tea made of anise (along with other herbs like fennel and peppermint), or rub an essential oil blend with anise oil added onto their chest, for immediate relief. Anise is particularly great for helping to get the phlegm out of phlegm conditions. And it has immense value when it comes to asthma sufferers. It is also known as beneficial for people who smoke, in order to reduce the effects of the smoking and again, to reduce the phlegm. In this respect, steaming with hot water and some anise seed essential oil would be of great use.
People who suffer from digestive problems will also do well to use anise in order to get relief. Gas, colic, and upset stomach will all benefit from anise. It is particularly useful with laxatives, since they are prone to causing abdominal discomfort. The anise will reverse that effect and help to get rid of or reduce that problem. On the flip side, anise is also great for those who are suffering from diarrhea! In the same vein, it is great for nausea, and halitosis (bad breath) too.
Anise oil has even been known to be used in order to get rid of lice! Along the same lines, you could also employ it for your animals, and they sure would smell great!
For breastfeeding mothers, there is nothing better, because it not only helps with increasing the milk production, but it also relays benefits to the baby (such as calming and reducing colic, as mentioned before).
Anise oil is great for those suffering from after exercise muscle pain. Just rub an oil blend containing anise essential oil in order to get relief. Those suffering from rheumatic pain will also be wise to try this treatment.
Anise is said to be great for the concentration, and great for a general tonic. For ladies who suffer from a lack of menstruation, or difficulty therewith, anise will be a great help.
Since ancient times anise has been used for those suffering from epilepsy, and convulsive disorders, and recent research has shown that, indeed, there is benefit to be found in anise. It is also a great general relaxant and tonic.
Even though anise is so safe that even babies can take it, still, remember the less is more rule. That is always important no matter how safe the herb is that you are taking. Again, less is more!