Anise

Anise, also called aniseed or anix is a herb that is native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia.

Updated: October 11, 2021

Anise:

Anise, also called aniseed or anix is a herb that is native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia.

Some facts about Anise:

  • The flavor and aroma of its seeds are similar to other spices, such as fennel, star anise and liquorice.
  • It is used to flavor food, candy and alcoholic drinks.
  • Anise can be used for upset stomach, intestinal gas and runny nose.
  • Anise can be used as a diuretic to increase urine flow, an expectorant to increase productive cough and as an appetite stimulant.
  • Anise can be used for women to increase milk flow while nursing, start menstruation, treat menstrual discomfort or pain, ease childbirth and increase sex drive.
  • Anise can be used by men to treat symptoms of male menopause.
  • Seizures, nicotine dependence, insomnia, asthma and constipation can be treated by using anise.
  • Anise can be applied directly to the skin to treat scabies and psoriasis.
  • Anise can be used as a flavoring agent in food as it has a sweet and aromatic taste.
  • Anise is used in alcohols and liqueurs, such as ouzo and anisette.
  • Anise can also be used in dairy products, meats, gelatins, candies and breath fresheners.
  • Anise is often used as a fragrance in soap, creams, perfumes and sachets in manufacturing.
  • Anise may have estrogen like effects and may also act as insecticides because of the chemicals present in it.

Uses & Effectiveness of Anise:

  • Taking anise powder daily for 4 weeks can help reduce stomach discomfort, bloating and pain in people who have indigestion problem.
  • Taking a capsule containing anise oil daily can help reduce pain and bloating in people with IBS.
  • The pain severity and duration during the menstrual cycle can be reduced by taking a specific product containing anise, saffron and celery seed.
  • Coughing and sleep discomfort in people with allergic asthma can be reduced by drinking one cup of a tea containing anise and other ingredients.
  • Constipation in some people can be improved by drinking an herbal tea containing anise, fennel, elderberry, and senna daily for 5 days.
  • Feelings of depression in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be improved by taking a capsule containing anise oil daily for 4 weeks.
  • The blood sugar levels in people with diabetes can be lowered by taking anise seed powder daily for 2 months.  
  • Applying a combination of oil containing anise oil, coconut oil and ylang ylang oil to the scalp helps to get rid of head lice.
  • The symptoms of menopause like hot flashes can be reduced by taking anise seed extract daily for 4 weeks .
  • The headache can be improved by a small amount by applying a cream containing anise oil to the forehead area at the start of a migraine.
  • The symptoms of PMS can be improved by taking anise extract one week before menstruation, and continuing for 3 days after.
  • Anise can be helpful for cough, increasing breast milk, increasing sex drive,itchy skin infection caused by mites (scabies), scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis), spasms and starting menstrual periods.
  • Anise essential oil can be extracted from the fruits by either steam distillation or extraction using supercritical carbon dioxide.

Side Effects of Anise:

  • Anise is likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts typically found in foods for most adults.
  • The powder and oil of Anise are possibly safe when taken as medicine for up to 4 weeks.

Precautions & Warnings of Anise:

  • Anise is likely safe for pregnant and breast feeding women when taken as part of a normal diet.
  • Avoid using Anise as a medicine in large dose during pregnancy and breast feeding to stay on safe side as there is not enough is known about the safety of using Anise as a medicine during pregnency and breast feeding.
  • Anise is likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts typically found in foods for most children.
  • Anise is possibly safe when applied to the scalp in combination with other herbs in short term.
  • Some allergic reactions can occur in some people who are allergic to other plants that are similar to anise such as asparagus, caraway, celery, coriander, cumin, dill, and fennel.
  • Don't use anise if ou have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen as Anise might act like estrogen.
  • Using anise should be avoided in hormone sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis or uterine fibroids.
  • Stop using anise at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery as it can interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery.

Interactions of Anise:

  • Taking anise along with birth control pills can decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills as it might have some of the same effects as estrogen.
  • Avoid taking anise along with birth control pills such as ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel, ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone and others.
  • You should use an additional form of birth control such as a condom if you take birth control pills along with anise.
  • Taking anise along with estrogen pills can decrease the effects of estrogen pills.
  • Avoid taking anise along with estrogen pills such as conjugated equine estrogens, ethinyl estradiol, estradiol and others
  • Do not take anise if you are taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex) as anise might decrease the effectiveness of tamoxifen (Nolvadex) by affecting estrogen in the body. Tamoxifen is used to help treat and prevent estrogen sensitive cancers.

Dosing of Anise:

  • 500 mg of a specific product containing the combination of anise extracts, saffron and celery seed can be taken three times a day for the first three days of menstruation for menstrual discomfort.
  •  9 grams of anise powder daily for 4 week can be taken for indigestion.
  • 200 mg of anise oil in a coated capsule can be taken three times daily for 4 weeks for irritable bowel syndrome or IBS which can cause stomach pain.

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