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Herbal Medicine Materia Medica
Pimpinella anisum


Names : Anise

Habitat : Originally from Egypt and Asia Minor but now widely cultivated in warmer climates.

Collection : The ripe dry fruits should be gathered between July and September.

Part Used : Dried fruit.

Constituents :

  • Volatile oil, l-4%, consisting of largelytrans-anethole (70-90%), with estragole (methylchavicol), anisic acid, [[beta]]-caryophylline, anisaldehyde, linalool, anise ketone(methoxyphenylacetone); the polymers of anethole, dianethole and photoanethole; an Egyptian variety carvene, carvone, and alpha-zingiberene.
  • Coumarins, such as bergapten, umbelliferone, scopoletin
  • Flavonoid glycosides including rutin, isovitexin, quercetin, luteolin, and apigenin glycosides
  • Phenylpropanoids, including l-propenyl-2-hydroxy-5-methoxy-benzene-2- (2- methyl-butyrate)!
  • Misc. lipids, fatty acids, sterols, proteins and carbohydrates.
Actions : Expectorant, anti-spasmodic, carminative, anti-microbial, aromatic, galactogogue.

Indications : The volatile oil in Aniseed provides the basis for its internal use to ease griping, intestinal colic andflatulence. It also has an expectorant and anti-spasmodic action and maybe used in bronchitis, in tracheitis where there is persistentirritable coughing, and in whooping cough. Externally, the oil maybe used in an ointment base for the treatment of scabies. The oil by itself will help in the control of lice. Aniseed has been demonstrated to increase mucociliary transport and so supporting its use as an expectorant. It has mild estrogenic effects, thought to be due to the presence of dianethole and photoanethole, which explains the use of this plant in folk medicine to increase milk secretion, facilitate birth and increase libido.

Felter & LLoyd considered it a "stimulant and carminative; used in cases of < b>flatulence, flatulent colic of infants, and to remove nausea. Sometimes added to other medicines to improve their flavor, correct griping and other disagreeable effects.."

Combinations : For flatulent colic mix Aniseed with equal amounts of Fennel and Caraway. For bronchitis it combines well with Coltsfoot , Horehound and Lobelia

Preparations & Dosage : Infusion: the seeds should be gently crushed just before use to release the volatile oils. Pour one cup of boiling water over l-2 teaspoonfuls of the seeds and let it stand covered for 5 to l0 minutes. Take one cup three times daily. To treat flatulence, the tea should be drunk slowly before meals. Oil: one drop of the oil may be taken internally by mixing it into half a teaspoonful of honey.

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 About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......moreDavid Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH
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