Pimpinella anisum or Anis is a plant, from Apiaceae family. The origin of pimpinella is Mediterranean region and West Asia. Anise as a spice is very popular in Western and eastern cuisines. The flowers of the plant are white and small, it’s interesting that sanskrit name to this plant “shatapushpa” means “a hundred of flowers”. Its fruits are called “seeds”, although from the botanical point of view it isn’t correct. These “seeds” are very aromatic and sweet. To be used, they should be dried and cleaned. Pimpinella fruits may be of different size. The largest Anis is Spanish, this kind of Anise is commonly used in pharmaceutical sphere.
Seeds or fruits, root, oil and leaves of anis are used to make medicine. For instance, pimpinella (anis) tea is easy to cook and very healthy. It is also used as an ingredient of pills. Anis helps to fight against colic, flatulence, asthma, nicotine dependence, bloating, seizures, and insomnia. It is used for intestinal gas, upset stomach. Anis acts like wonderful diuretic, expectorant, appetite stimulant, estrogenic remedy. Using pimpinella anisum is very popular among women as it helps to start menstruation, increase urine flow, ease childbirth, and treat menstrual pains. It is said that anis also may help to treat such skin problems as psoriasis, lice and scabies. Pimpinella oil possesses antiseptic properties and can be used against insects.
In culinary this herb can be used in cooking, baking, adding to teas and liqueurs and even pasta.
As any plant anis may cause side effects. Pregnant women should avoid taking anis as a remedy, but as a spice and fragrance it is safe. Sometimes anis may cause allergic reactions. So be sure that you aren’t sensitive to anis, before using it.