Anise, scientifically known as "Pimpinella anisium", is always confused with staranise which is discussed by itself on our list of spices page.
The pimpinella anisium has a great licorice like flavour and is also known as aniseed, a native to eastern Mediterranean and Egypt, a very old spice, and is said to have been used in Egypt from as early as 1800 B.C.
The seeds are small and crescent like shaped, and because of its sweet like flavour, it is commonly used in cakes, cookies, candies and other baked sweets and desserts. In India and the Middle East, it is used to add great flavour to soups, stews, eggs, cheese and fruit dishes. Other culinary uses are to add flavour to fish, vegetables, poultry and alchohol drinks.
Some interesting facts and benefits of this great spice and the oil made from it;
- Whether crushed and added to a tea, or the seeds chewed after your meal, it is of great help in the digestive process. Say you are a person that always have digestive problems or problems with flatulence, you can use the seed in any one of the two ways suggested. It also neutralizes the acid in the stomach which, if you have heartburn, this will be of great help. Is very effective in the treatment of gas, bloating, nausea and colic too.
- Aniseed is vital to some main organs which includes the lung, heart, liver and brain. The oil from this spice contains anti-inflammatory,
diuretic, antiseptic and stimulant properties, thus helping the body to control and get rid of estrogen it does not need.
- Because of the great aroma and pleasant fresh scent of this spice, it is added to some oral hygiene products like mouthwash and toothpaste to improve the effectiveness.
- The oil is said to be very effective in the relief of arthritis and rheumatic pains. The affected areas, when rubbed with the oil also
stimulates blood circulation.
- The oil also is very helpful in colds like whooping cough, asthma and bronchitis, so it is used as an ingredient in cough medicines (act as an expectorant) and other medicines produced for the above colds.
- The oil is used in the production of some ointments and soaps that is very effective in improving oily skin and treating mild acne. It is also used in other skin products and perfumes.
- The oil is said to poison some insects, ointments that contain this very versatile oil is used as a natural treatment for lice and scabies.
Also keep in mind that the anise tea can be made using both the seeds and the leaves and is best when sweetened with honey.