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.
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.