Aniseed: What are the Health Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects of Aniseed?

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. What is Aniseed? 
3. Cultivation
4. Characteristics and Chief Constituent
5. Ayurvedic properties of Aniseed
6. Health Benefits & Uses of Aniseed
7. What are the Side Effects of Aniseed? 
8. Frequently Asked Question

1. Introduction

Welcome to an aromatic journey into the captivating realm of Aniseed, where the enticing scent meets a myriad of potential health benefits and versatile applications. Aniseed, with its distinct licorice-like flavor, has a history rich in both culinary and medicinal traditions that span across cultures and centuries.

In this post, we embark on a comprehensive exploration of Aniseed, delving into its remarkable health advantages, diverse uses, and the possible considerations one should be aware of. From soothing digestive discomfort to adding depth to culinary creations, Aniseed's role extends beyond a mere spice to a multi-faceted gem.

Join us as we delve deeper into the captivating world of Aniseed, uncovering its potential to aid digestion, enhance respiratory comfort, and contribute to overall well-being. As we embrace its unique flavor and scent, we will also consider the potential side effects and sensitivities that might arise.

Whether you're an aspiring chef, a wellness enthusiast, or simply intrigued by the treasures that nature offers, Aniseed invites you to explore its aromatic charm and the secrets it holds for enhancing both your dishes and your vitality. Let's journey together into the aromatic realm of Aniseed, where each seed carries a world of possibilities.

2. What is Aniseed?

Aniseed botanical name is Pimpinella Anisum, some other common names are vilayti sauf, anise, sweet fennel, anisoon, and saurif. It is native to the Mediterranean region and cultivated in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Assam, and Odisha.

Aniseed is an annual culinary herb belonging to ajwain or celery family, its fruits are called aniseed, and it is one of the oldest spices. The seeds are ground-grey to greyish-brown in color, oval, and 3.2 to 4.8 mm in length.

It has a pleasant odor and nice taste; the aniseed plant requires sunshine and warmth and does not grow satisfactorily in the tropical lowlands.

Aniseed: What are the Health Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects of Aniseed? 2022

3. Cultivation

Aniseed is a native of the Middle East, it was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians who valued both its medicinal properties and culinary uses. It was also known to the early Greeks and Romans, it is now cultivated in Europe, Asia Minor, India, and Mexico.

4. Characteristics and Chief Constituent

The aniseed contains moisture, a substantial amount of protein, fatty oil, and crude fiber besides essential oil, sugars, starch, ash, and choline.

Its oil is a colorless or pale-yellow liquid with a characteristic odor and taste of the fruit. Its oil has now replaced the fruits for medicinal and flavoring purposes.

The chief constituent of aniseed oil is anethole which is present in large quantities and is responsible for giving characteristic flavor to the oil.

The oil contains methyl chavicol, p-methoxyphenyl, acetone, and a small number of terpenes and sulfur compounds of a disagreeable odor.

5. Ayurvedic Properties of Aniseed

Aniseed, known as "Shatapushpa" in Ayurveda, is a fragrant spice with various health benefits.

Ayurvedic properties of aniseed:

1. Rasa (Taste): Aniseed is believed to have a combination of sweet (Madhura) and pungent (Katu) tastes.

2. Virya (Potency): It is heating in nature (Ushna Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is pungent (Katu Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Aniseed is generally considered balancing for Vata and Kapha doshas and may increase Pitta dosha due to its heating nature.

Ayurvedic Uses:

  1. Digestive Health: Aniseed is known to support healthy digestion by promoting the secretion of digestive enzymes, reducing gas, and relieving indigestion.

  2. Respiratory Health: It is used to manage respiratory conditions like cough, congestion, and bronchitis due to its expectorant and antispasmodic properties.

  3. Anti-inflammatory: Aniseed contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for managing inflammatory conditions.

  4. Carminative: It has carminative properties, helping to alleviate gas and bloating in the digestive system.

  5. Antioxidant: Aniseed contains antioxidants that contribute to overall well-being and cellular health.

  6. Mental Clarity: The aroma of aniseed is believed to have a clarifying effect on the mind, promoting mental clarity and alertness.

  7. Menstrual Health: In Ayurveda, aniseed is sometimes used to support menstrual health and alleviate menstrual discomfort.

6. What are the Health Benefits and Uses of Aniseed?

Aniseed is valued for its medicinal properties to relieve flatulence, catarrhal matter, and phlegm, these properties are due to the presence of its essential oil.

Aniseeds contain 1.5–5% essential oil and are used as a flavoring and aromatic agent in fish products, ice cream and sweets, and gums.

It is also used in alcohols and liqueurs, such as anisette and ouzo. Aniseed is also used in dairy products, gelatins, meats, candies, and breath fresheners.

Anise is often used as a fragrance in soap, creams, perfumes, sachets, and shampoo.

Its oil is beneficial in digestion, and carminative, and gives relief to gastrointestinal disorders, it is also beneficial for upset stomach, intestinal gas, and runny nose.

In women, consumption of aniseed increases milk in lactating mothers and reliefs their infants from gastrointestinal problems.

It helps to start mensuration and treat menstrual discomfort or pain, ease childbirth, and increase sex drive. Some people apply anise directly to the skin to treat lice, scabies, and psoriasis.

Here are some Health Benefits and Uses of Aniseed

For Asthma

Due to its expectorant properties, aniseed is beneficial in treating asthma, one cup of tea of aniseed with chamomile, saffron, fennel, caraway, licorice, cardamom, and black seed is beneficial in allergic asthma.

For Cataract

Aniseed is useful in treating cataracts, taking six grams of aniseed daily in the morning and evening is advised.

 The other way of taking is to powder an equal weight of aniseed and coriander seeds and mix it with an equal weight of unrefined sugar. About 12-gram doses of this mixture are to be taken in the morning and evening.

For Digestive Disorders

Aniseed is an ideal medicine for expelling wind from the stomach, it can be taken as an infusion with other digestive like ginger, cumin, and pepper. Gripe water for infants contains aniseed extract.

An easy way to prepare the infusion is to mix a tsp. of aniseed in a cup of boiling water and leave it covered overnight. The clear fluid is then decanted and taken with honey.

This is an ideal treatment for indigestion, especially for a gurgling tummy, it is also useful in preventing gas and fermentation in the stomach and the bowels.

For Insomnia

A tea made from aniseed is considered beneficial in treating sleeplessness, it is prepared by boiling 375ml of water and adding a tsp. of aniseed. The water should be covered with a lid and allowed to simmer for 15 minutes, strained, and taken hot or warm.

Honey and hot milk may be added to taste, it should be sipped either after meals or before going to bed. Aniseed should not be boiled too long; it loses digestive properties and essential oil during the process.

Menstrual Discomfort

Anise works wonderfully in menstrual discomfort, it helps to reduce pain severity and duration during the menstrual cycle.

Other Uses

Head Lice: Due to its fungal properties, aniseed is used externally as an insecticide against small insects such as lice, mites, and vermin.

Cooking: The seeds are used to flavor curries, cakes sweet, cookies, and biscuits, aniseed oil is employed in medicine as an aromatic carminative to relieve flatulence.

Being a mild expectorant, it is used as an ingredient in beverages and liquors, it is a popular flavoring agent in dental preparations and mouthwashes.

7. What are the Side Effects of Aniseed?

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’t have any side effects, but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have unique health issues.

Here are some side effects of Aniseed

  • Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take Aniseed without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
  • Do not take Aniseed, if you are Aniseed from any kind of critical disease.
  • If you are on diabetes or hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming Aniseed.
  • If you are above 65 years old and want to start Aniseed, consult the doctor, and talk about your health conditions.
  • If you are on any supplements, vitamins, or herbal medication, consult the doctor before taking Aniseed.
  • Aniseed may interact with other medicines like blood sugar or blood pressure allopathy medicines.

Note: This post is about educating the benefits and uses of Aniseed, consult the Ayurvedic doctor before starting.

Visit Yipisale to read articles about: Curry Leaves, Celery, Ayurvedic Skin Care, Fasting.

8. Frequently Asked Question

Q - Is fennel and aniseed the same?

Fennel seeds and Aniseed both are different in terms of taste, flavor, medicinal purpose, and uses. Both are used in cooking for different traditional uses. Aniseed is sweeter than fennel seed and it has a strong flavor than fennel seed. 

Q - What is aniseed good for?

Aniseed is valued for its medicinal properties to relieve flatulence, catarrhal matter, and phlegm, increase milk in lactating mothers, it is also good for it is also good for upset stomach, intestinal gas, and runny nose.

Q - Are anise and licorice the same?

Anise and Licorice both are different in terms of look, benefits, uses, and medicinal properties. Anise taste like black licorice because it contains anethole which is the main reason for the licorice flavor in anise. 

Q - What is the difference between aniseed and cumin?

Aniseed and Cumin both are different in terms of look, benefits, uses, and medicinal properties. They both have different flavor profiles, aniseed is sweet than cumin. Aniseed flavors like licorice and cumin have some earthy and slightly bitter taste. 

Q - Does drinking aniseed water daily reduce weight?

Drinking aniseed water helps to improve digestion and treats constipation and bloating, which helps to reduce weight. it helps to reduce the storage of fat by increasing the absorption rate of vitamins and minerals in the body.


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