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Illicium  (Anise) Pimpinella anisum


Family: Carrot Family, Umbelliferae

---Synonyms---Anise, Aniseed, Sweet Cumin, star anise, illicium

Parts Used: Seed, Anethole and other aromatic compounds.


Active Compounds: 

Volatile oil, l-4%, consisting of largely trans-anethole (70-90%), with estragole (methylchavicol), anisic acid, b-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.

--Medicinal Action and Uses--- 

Expectorant, anti-spasmodic, carminative, anti-microbial, aromatic, galactogogue. 

Improves memory, get rid of oily skin, calm coughs, increases milk production for nursing mothers and serve as a natural antacid.

Commercially, it is very popular as a fragrance and a flavoring. It is very effective as a carminative (to relieve gas pains).

Used as a cough remedy, bronchitis, asthma, as a digestive aid, may be used for relieving menopausal discomforts, treating some form of prostate cancer in men. It may have potential in treating hepatitis and cirrhosis, although tests are being conducted on this.

Indications : The volatile oil in Aniseed provides the basis for its internal use to ease griping, intestinal colic and flatulence. It also has an expectorant and anti-spasmodic action and may be used in bronchitis, in tracheitis where there is persistent irritable coughing, and in whooping cough. Externally, the oil may be 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.

Anise is a stimulant and carminative; used in cases of flatulence, flatulent colic of infants, and to remove nausea. Sometimes added to other medicines to improve their flavor, correct griping and other disagreeable effects.

Illicium Inula Iris Johnny jumper Johnswort
Juniper berries Kidney root Kelp King's cureall  Kingor