Green anise: medicinal properties, method of use and benefits

Green anise: medicinal properties, method of use and benefits

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Pimpinella anisum





Green anise, scientific name Pimpinella anisum belonging to family of Apiaceae it is native to the Middle East even if it is now so widespread that it can be considered native to our lands.

It is a plant that has a stem which can reach a meter in height, hollow inside.

The leaves they are different according to the position they have in the plant: those placed lower are oval, provided with a long sheathing petiole while those placed higher along the stem, have a much shorter petiole and are deeply engraved.

THE flowers they are small, arranged in umbels and whitish in color. It blooms throughout the summer.

The fruit it is an achene which ripens in August-September.


Green anise is rich in essential oils and proteins.

Its properties are: antispamasmodic, carminative, expectorant, galattogogo, stimulating is excellent digestive.

As an antispasmodic it is excellent for mild nervous disorders even when they occur in the gastrointestinal and respiratory system.


Only the fruits are used (improperly called seeds), collected together with the umbrellas in late summer and dried in ventilated and dark places and then beaten to extract the seeds.


Green anise seeds are steam distilled to extract essential oils from the characteristic aroma.

The seeds and essence are used in cooking to flavor foods.


The origin of green anise is quite obscure. It is thought to have been introduced from Asia but the place where it has always grown spontaneously is unknown.

Due to its strong flavor it is often used in the pharmaceutical industry to mask the taste of drugs with a particularly unpleasant taste.

Caterina Sforza, a lady from Forlì, made a tonic by distilling three different plants (rosemary, sage, basil, carnation, mint, nutmeg, elderberry, juniper, cinnamon, white roses and red roses and incense) with anise to obtain that chelei he called "Heavenly Water".

There is also another type of anise, thepeppery anise,scientific name Xanthoxylum piperitium belongs to the family ofRutaceae. It is native to the Far East and is widely used in Asian countries while in Europe it is not very widespread and little known.


The essence of green anise in large doses can be toxic especially if it has not been stored properly, that is to say in hermetically sealed containers and in the dark.

L'anise green or Pimpinella anisum, is an annual plant that grows in height, on average from 30 to 70 centimeters, and with alternate lower and opposite upper leaves. Flowering occurs in early summer with small flowers gathered in umbels, while the seeds are very small and oval in brown with lighter streaks. The period in which the plant is more balsamic is August, in this period its sweet aromatic flavor emerges. When we generally talk about anise, we are indicating three plants that belong to different families but share the flavor and aroma: green anise, star anise, peppery anise. The other element that unites these three plants is the origin, that is, the East.

Speaking instead of its properties, the first thought goes to its digestive function, in fact its seeds promote digestion by fighting abdominal swelling but not only, it can be a valid help in cases of intestinal fermentation problems and flatulence all thanks to a particular substance called anethole. Anethole is present in large quantities in its essential oil and for this essential oil the food industry uses it in the production of liqueurs but also of ice creams and sweets. If we want to make the most of this aromatic property every day, we can chew a few seeds after meals in order to improve digestion and perfume the breath.

Also in folk medicine, the seeds are used to prepare herbal teas that can stimulate the production of breast milk, also giving it a pleasant taste and also exert an antispasmodic sedative action in the infant.

The other interesting aspect is its mild sedative power which can be fully exploited on various problems, for example:

  • Common headache: in this case its function is double because in addition to the sedative action we have the regulation of blood circulation
  • Dry or oily cough: in addition to reducing coughing we have a strong refreshing action also useful in the presence of a sore throat, plus it thins the secretions of the respiratory system
  • Gastritis: when this is of nervous origin it intervenes by calming, also becoming a valid antispasmodic.

Few people know this plant for its aphrodisiac action, already in Greco-Roman times it was used to chew the seeds before sexual intercourse. In addition to using it in the kitchen as an aphrodisiac spice, in cases of decreased sexual desire we can drink a glass of seed infusion every night.

Its contraindications are more closely related to its essential oil, in fact it must be taken into account that the internal use of essential oil, in high doses, is toxic as it has narcotic properties. As for the intake of anise, it is usually well tolerated and we can commonly find it as an ingredient in many foods, but if hives, respiratory symptoms or skin manifestations develop after ingesting it, there may be an intolerance. Those who are allergic to anethole cannot take it and it is also not recommended for all people who are using NSAIDs, steroids or estrogens. Those with very fair complexions or very delicate skin should not take green anise in conjunction with sun exposure as it increases the phenomenon of photosensitization, exposing them more to erythema, redness and sunburn

Here are some examples of the use of green anise in the preparation of herbal teas:

Herbal tea after digestive meal (for 1 person)

  • 1 teaspoon of green anise seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds

Bring one and a half cups of water to a boil in a saucepan, with the seeds placed in a colander, for 7 minutes. After 5 minutes of rest you can drink sweetening to taste.

Anti-fermentation herbal tea:

You can use the same herbal tea recipe as the herbal tea after digestive meal, adding a piece of ginger in the resting phase (5 minutes)

Increased milk supply

  • Galega 50 gr
  • Green anise 25 gr
  • Fennel 25 gr

Bring 1 liter of water to a boil, turn off the heat and pour in 4 tablespoons of the mixture, leaving everything to infuse for 15 minutes. This herbal tea should be drunk throughout the day.

Benefits of star anise

One of the benefits of star anise the best known and best known are the digestive and stomach virtues, since it acts as:

  • Carminative: That is, it helps reduce gas or flatulence.
  • Stomach: it is a good digestive, helping in case of heavy or difficult digestion.

In addition, it is a stimulant and diuretic herb, which means that it helps reduce fluid retention, in turn helping to eliminate accumulated toxins and fluids.

Although it was once known to relieve colic in babies, we recommend that you first consult your pediatrician about its use in this regard, precisely because of its toxicity.

Anise properties 2 "> Properties

A large number of people have heard of anise solely for the fact that it is used as an aromatic component within the industrial manufacturing process involving sweets and liqueurs.

However, this is not the only use of anise, since this annual herbaceous plant can boast another important set of properties and beneficial effects for the human body, which we often tend to underestimate or ignore.

In fact, when the anise is taken as a herbal tea, it allows to perform a stimulating action against the glandular secretions: specifically, it acts on the maternal gland, also allowing an increase in the quantity of breast milk that is produced. and, at the same time, it improves its quality.

Anise also has important calming properties: this plant is also often used for the treatment of headaches and is also particularly effective for all those people who suffer from headaches or brain fatigue, without forgetting the complications of the bronchi. or cough problems.

The beneficial properties of anise also extend to the digestive system, since it improves its functioning, it also manages to perform a relaxing and calming activity on the intestine and is also an excellent help for all those people who suffer from constipation.

Among the main uses of anise, we also find that relating to the activity against intestinal fermentation: in cases where there is the need to fight flatulence and grumbling, the anise manages to be particularly effective.

The seeds of anise they also have beneficial properties for the throat, since they allow it to carry out a refreshing action for the fragrance of the breath.

Among the various information about anise it is also right to highlight the quantity of calories: for 100 grams of anise seeds, about 337 caloric units are taken.


LпїЅanice, whose scientific name пїЅ пїЅPimpinella anisumпїЅ, is part of the Umbelliferae family and is an annual herbaceous plant, cultivated for many centuries now due to its important properties.

Star anise

Lпanice starry is part of the Magnoliaceae family and is also commonly called with the name of Chinese пїЅanice or badianaпїЅ. LпїЅanice starry, despite the name, is not part of the family.

Green anise

LпїЅanice verde is an annual herbaceous plant that grows spontaneously in the Mediterranean basin and, when it blooms, it is characterized by having purple flowers.


Anise is an annual herb, which can boast a simple root, which has been cultivated for many centuries now due to its aromatic and medicinal properties. The leaves of this plant, which is part of it.


But let's see the best recipes and preparations based on natural remedies Do not waste for our health, based on green anise, according to the advice contained in the book 20 medicinal plants for the home pharmacy by Jordi Cebrián (Antonio Vallardi Editions).


A level tablespoon of seeds per cup.

Preparation: Boil the aniseed infusion for 1-2 minutes, leave to decant and filter. Its sweet taste does not require the addition of honey or sugar.

Doses: A cup at the end of meals, especially if they are consumed difficult to digest such as fried foods. Children 7-12 years old should give half the dose and 2-6 year olds one quarter the adult dose.


One teaspoon of seeds for each cup of water

Preparation: Boil for a minute, leave to infuse and filter.

Doses: a cup twice a day of pure infusion or mixed with fruit juice.


For each cup of water, a level spoonful of a mixture composed in equal parts of green anise, galega, fennel and mint.

Preparation: Boil the infusion for one minute, let it rest for 10 minutes and strain.

Doses: 2 cups a day


One teaspoon of green anise per cup of water

Preparation: Boil for 1-2 minutes, leave to infuse for 6-10 minutes and strain.

Doses: a cup after meals, pure or mixed in the bottle.


For each cup of water, one level spoonful of a mixture made up of equal parts of green anise, lemon verbena, common verbena, boldo and mint.

Preparation: Boil the water, pour the mixture and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Doses: a cup after large meals.


250 cl of water for every two tablespoons of a mixture composed in equal parts of green anise, lavender, pau d’arco, santolina and hops.

Preparation: Boil the infusion for 2-3 minutes, let it cool and filter.

Application: immerse the part in the infusion or apply compresses soaked in liquid over the area affected by athlete's foot or mycosis, repeating the operation several times a day until healing. The effect can be reinforced by applications of garlic or lemon juice.

Differences between these two types of anise

Green anise or Pimpinella anisum it is a plant closer to parsley and is typical of the Mediterranean and Central Asia. Its seeds are similar to fennel, which is why they are often confused and it has a flavor reminiscent of licorice.

Star anise or Illicium verum, meanwhile, comes from a completely different shrub from the eastern end of Asia, which has no filial relationship to green anise. Its seeded fruit is what is consumed and where the essential oil is extracted.

Both plants, however, share some medicinal properties, such as optimal for various digestive problems or discomforts, to calm the nervous system and both contain anethole, its main component.

From phytotherapy various treatments are suggested useful to relieve the various symptomatic manifestations related to irritable colon, and among the remedies that satisfy various virtues, we recommend the use ofgreen anise, whose botanical name is Pimpinella anisum. It is a plant that has several active ingredients such as essential oil, E-anethole and coumarins to which to attribute beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal level. In the herbal field it is suggested the use of green anise essential oil which activates a relaxing action on the muscles, through the relaxation of the smooth muscles of the intestine, a regularization of motility is also implemented, thus attenuating the series of intestinal disorders that give rise to spasms and pains in the abdomen and bloating. To calm this series of typical ailments of irritable bowel syndrome but also of spastic colitis, it is advisable to prepare an herbal tea based on green anise plant extracts in association with fennel or lemon balm extracts, in this way the virtues of the different medicinal plants. More information can be found on Irritable bowel syndrome natural remedies: the action of medicinal plants.

green anise irritable colon

Pimpinella anisum, in addition to guaranteeing an effective spasmolytic action, is also able to exert an anti-meteoric activity, so it is indicated as a natural remedy for patients suffering from irritable bowel with a prevalence of manifestations related to intestinal bloating. Among the various applications of use of green anise in the herbal field, in addition to its use in the natural treatment against symptoms related to irritable bowel, this plant is used to solve various digestive disorders, in fact, the phytotherapeutic remedy is used in the following cases: to counteract the formation of abdominal swelling, to inhibit intestinal fermentation processes, to avoid episodes of belching and flatulence. For other information, see the article Irritable Colon Natural Remedies.

Video: Anise Herbs Benefits for Health. Uses and Warnings.