Pimpinella anisum L., a plant belonging to the Umbelliferae family, is one of the oldest medicinal plants. It is an annual grassy herb with 30–50 cm high, white flowers which grows in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, West Asia, the Middle East, Mexico, Egypt, and Spain. Anise is primarily grown for its fruits (aniseeds).

What are the active components of aniseeds?

-Aniseed contains 1.5–6.0 mass % of a volatile oil consisting primarily of trans –anethole

– 8–11 mass % of lipids rich in fatty acids, such as palmitic and oleic acids,

– 4 mass % of carbohydrates, and 18 mass % of protein

Anise has been used in Iranian traditional medicine (especially its fruits) as carminative, aromatic, disinfectant, and galactagogue. Anise seeds are used as analgesic in migraine and also as carminative, aromatic, disinfectant, and diuretic in Iranian traditional medicine. Aniseed can also increase milk production, menstruation, urine, and sweat secretion and making good complexion. In some traditional texts, anise is mentioned for melancholy, nightmare, and in treatment of epilepsy and seizure.

Aniseeds have various properties such as antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant, muscle relaxant, analgesic and anticonvulsant activity.

What aniseed is used for:

-reduce morphine dependence and has beneficial effects on dysmenorrhea and menopausal hot flashes in women

-digestive, carminative, and relief of gastrointestinal spasms

-in lactating women increases milk and also reliefs their infants from gastrointestinal problems

-relaxant effect


-gastric ulcer (anise can inhibit gastric mucosal damage)

– Nausea (patients who used the aromatherapy treatments reported relief.)


– ease childbirth

-increase sex drive

– Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Effect

– antiviral activities against herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, human cytomegalo virus, and measles virus

– anise tea shows weak antioxidant activity

– nicotine dependence

-antidiabetic – decrease fasting blood glucose

– decrease in serum cholesterol and triglycerides in aniseed treated and coriander seed-treated patient was observed

– treat lice

Anise is safe for most people and children. It is safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women in the amounts typically found in foods. Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis or uterine fibroids:  If you have any of these conditions that might be worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use anise. – Source: ISRN Pharm. 2012; 2012: 510795., fotó: Pixabay