Notoriously known for its use in the kitchen for making sweets and liqueurs, anise is an aromatic plant that also boasts numerous medicinal properties and is highly appreciated in phytotherapy (ie the practice that uses herbs and plants to cure well-being). and the health of mind and body) since the times of the ancient Egyptians and Romans who exalted the benefits on the digestive system and on the nervous system.
Anise belongs to the Umbelliferae family and there are several species, among which the most famous are star anise, peppered anise and green anise. It is a plant that has always been widely used both in the kitchen and in herbal medicine in both the Eastern and Western traditions: it is easy to cultivate and is also ready for use in the form of seeds, oil or essence on the market .
The taste of anise is very sweet, close to that of fennel (to which it is united by some properties) with a mint aftertaste. The part of this plant that is mostly used is the seeds, where the greatest number of aromatic and above all medicinal properties is concentrated.
The beneficial effects
Anise has known calming properties, which is why it is often used to relieve headaches, even very strong ones, and coughs. In this regard, in particular, to the anise are associated mucolytic properties that intervene in the treatment of cough, pertussis and bronchitis.
This plant also manages to calm the intestine and to regularize its activity, so it is very suitable for people who suffer from constipation and want to regain intestinal regularity in a natural way.
Not by chance, in fact, another medicinal property of the anise is that of the digestive system and its functions: in addition to regularizing the intestine, the anise also helps to free the abdomen from the gases that are the cause more common than meteorism, flatulence, grumbling in the stomach and belching. Furthermore, it is particularly useful in relieving swelling in the stomach and spas.
Those who suffer from halitosis, then, find an anise a valid ally since among the benefits of this aromatic plant there is that of perfuming the breath and keeping it fresh for a long time. Furthermore, thanks to its sweet and very aromatic flavor, anise is used since ancient times, it is not to flavor foods but also to make some medicines more good: both for adults and for children, add a little of anise to a medicine with an unpleasant taste help "send the pill down" painlessly.
Furthermore, anise has important benefits against stress, nervous system disorders and is particularly useful for calming anxiety and insomnia.
Finally, for women the anise turns out to be a real panacea in many stages of life. Firstly, the anise regulates the menstrual flow and then helps to increase the milk supply even if it is always good not to use it too much.
Anise is mainly composed of carbohydrates and proteins, but it also has a fair amount of water, fibers, mineral salts (iron, zinc, calcium, potassium and phosphorus), vitamins (A, B and C) and fats. 100 g of anise seeds correspond to about 330 calories.
How to take anise
To enhance its many beneficial properties for the organism, anise should be consumed in seeds that can be chewed or sucked, placed over the tongue, given also their particularly pleasant taste.
Moreover, the seeds are the main basis for the preparation of an herbal tea: just let them infuse in hot water for about 10 minutes, filter everything and then sweeten the herbal tea with a teaspoon of honey. Obviously, anise-based herbal teas are already commercially available and available in practical single-dose filters: these are very practical products to use, especially outside the home, and which often combine the properties of anise with those of other herbs and plants such as in the case of anise and fennel preparations.
The last way to take anise is through the essential oil obtained from the seeds and found on the market in herbal medicine: it is recommended to take it before meals, in doses that vary according to the type of disorder to be treated.
Finally, there are also many anise-based products such as syrups and candies that are particularly suitable for coughing.
The intake of anise does not present particular contraindications for health, even if in some cases its use must be kept under control by moderating carefully the daily doses. In particular, during pregnancy and lactation it is good to rely on the instructions of your doctor to establish the exact daily dose of anise.
Finally, those who are allergic to anethol must refrain from eating or eating foods, drinks and other types of anise-based preparations, as well as touching the plant as they may incur contact dermatitis.