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What are the health benefits of Aniseed ?

Aniseed, also called by its scientific name: Pimpinella Anisum, is a flowering plant in the family of Apiaceae. It is famous for its flavour which reminds you of Liquorice, Fennel, and Tarragon. It should not be confused with Star Anise as Star Anise belongs to Illiciaceae family.

What does it look like: Anise is an herbaceous plant that is long and shallow, while its leaves higher on stems are feathery pinnate, divided into numerous leaves. It has white flowers and fruits too. It is these greyish brown seed pods because of why it is called as ‘Aniseed’. Anise is used as food by larvae of butterflies and moths.
Originality: Aniseed is originated from the Middle East and then cultivated in Europe, USA, and North Africa. Aniseed oil was used for sacred causes by ancient Civilizations, especially by the Romans, Egyptians and Greeks. The Romans used it in a spicy cake known as ‘mustaceus’, the Egyptian used it in breads while Greeks used it for its calming behaviour on digestive area.
Cookery Uses: Anise is very sweet and enhances the magic in dish through its fragrance, and can easily be distinguished by its liquorice flavour. Its whole ground seeds are used in wide variety of regional and ethnic confectionaries, including black jelly bean, Italian pizzelle, Netherland muisies and many more. In fact, it is a key ingredient in Mexican atole de anise or champurrado, which is similar to hot chocolate. In India, it is served as a digestive after the meal. It is also used in cordials, toothpastes and mouthwashes. In India, it is used as a breath sweetener.
Liquor: Anise is used to enhance flavour of Middle East arak, Columbian aquardiente, Greek ouzo, Bulgarian mastika etc. In these liquors, it is very much clear, but the addition of water gives it a Cloudy image, a phenomenon known as Ouzo Effect. It is believed to be one of the secret ingredients in the French Liquor Chartreuse. It is also used in some root beers, such as Virgil’s in the United States. In Turkey, a popular alcoholic drink called ’raki’ is made up of these seeds.
Medicinal Usage:
The seed is good against belchings and upbraidings of the stomacke, alaieth gripings of the belly, provoketh urine gently, maketh abundance of milke, and stirreth up bodily lust: it staieth the laske, (diarrhea) and also the white flux in women. ”
— John Gerard:
— TheHerball, 1597, p. 880, side 903
These are the words said by John Gerard in his book The Herball, about the magical use of anise. Otherwise, Anise that looks like a fennel contains anethole, a phytoestrogen, that is why, it can be used to provide relief in menstrual cramps. In Europe, it is mainly used for its carminative effect, stressed by John Gerard in his encyclopaedia ‘The Herball’. The essential Anise Oil is reportedly used as an insecticide against head lice and mites. It can also be used as a liquid scent and is used for both drugs hunting and fishing as it is put on fishing lure to attract fishes.
Aniseed Oil: Aniseed Oil is prepared by extraction from Aniseed. It can be useful in the treatment of muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, bronchitis, whooping cough, colic, cramp, flatulence, indigestion, and hangovers. It is also a generic tonic to the circulatory system and the respiratory tract. It helps to calm down the tense and anxiety driven people. It eases nauseous migraines, while stimulating the lungs to expel phlegm.
Precaution: Aniseed Oil is very potent and the anethole contained in it can cause dermatitis in some individuals. It is best advised to not be used when the person is suffering from skin problem. And also, it must be avoided during pregnancy.

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