Anise (Pimpinella anisum) is from the parsley family, and its ripe seeds and oils are the parts of the plant more often used for medicinal purposes.(1)

It has warming properties.  If someone tends to regularly run more cold, herbs with warming properties tend to be more helpful for them from a healing perspective.

Anise helps to relax smooth muscles, hence being helpful for spasms or cramps within the body.  This relaxation benefit can be helpful for places like the abdomen and lungs.  Thus, anise has been used for asthma and digestion.(2) It has also been shown to reduce damage to stomach mucosa in the case of ulcers, and aromatherapy with anise oil has been shown to ameliorate nausea.(3)

It may also assist with breast milk production(2) and reduce menopausal hot flashes.  It possesses estrogenic properties. (3)

Anise, native to Southwest Asia, Middle East and Mediterranean regions, has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.  In Iran, they have been used as a disinfectant for hands as well as a pain reliever for migraines.  Anise oil has demonstrated a significant analgesic effect that has been deemed comparable to morphine and aspirin at the 30-minute mark, and its anti-inflammatory benefits comparable to indomethacin.  It has been used for urinary tract infections, particularly pyelonephritis and cystitis.  It can be used to increase menstruation, sweat, and urine secretions.

Anise has been helpful for teeth polishing, as well as melancholy or depressed moods.  It has been used in Morocco for digestive, gynecological, neurological and respiratory concerns, in Turkey for weight loss, and in Egypt for kidney stones.

It is furthermore an antioxidant and has hypolipidemic properties, causing reductions in cholesterol and triglycerides.  Its hypoglycemic benefits have been demonstrated through decreases in fasting blood sugar, and it has been shown to decrease lipid peroxidation while also increasing serum levels of carotene and Vitamin A.  It has aided in wound healing as well.  Together with ginger, it has been shown to provide immunomodulatory benefits.(3)

References

  1. Natural Medicines Database. Accessed May 28, 2024. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=582#mechanismOfAction
  2. Tilger, S. Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth. 2nd Wise Acres, LLC; 2009.
  3. Soussi M, Yaagoubi W, Nekhla H, et al; A Multidimensional Review of Pimpinella anisum and Recommendation for Future Research to Face Adverse Climatic Conditions. Chemistry Africa. 2023 Mar 23:1–20. doi: 10.1007/s42250-023-00633-3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10035495/#:~:text=It%20is%20often%20used%20as,is%20sold%20as%20a%20spice.

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