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Anise

Parts Used & Where Grown

The seeds of this aromatic plant are used as both medicine and as a cooking spice. Anise comes from Eurasia but is now grown in gardens all over the world.

How It Works

The active constituents in anise, particularly the terpenoid anethole, are contained in its volatile oil. The volatile oil gives the plant a delightful flavor and has been combined with other less pleasant tasting medicinal herbs to offset their taste. The oil is also antispasmodic, helping to relieve intestinal gas and spasmodic coughs.1 Anise has been combined with cathartic laxatives to help reduce the spasmodic cramping they can cause.2 It may also have modest antiparasitic actions and has been recommended by some practitioners to treat mild intestinal parasite infections.1 Anethole has been documented to have phytoestrogen activity in test tubes and animals;4 the relevance of this to humans is unknown. No clinical trials have been conducted to support any of these uses, though anise is approved for use by the German Commission E for relieving coughs and indigestion.5

References

1. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenberg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield,UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1985:203-4.

2. Mills SY. Out of the Earth: The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine. Middlesex, UK: Viking Arkana, 1991:290

3. Albert-Puleo M. Fennel and anise as estrogenic agents. J Ethnopharm 1980;2:337-44.

4. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998:82-3.

5. Forster HB, Niklas H, Lutz S. Antispasmodic effects of some medicinal plants. Planta Med 1980;40:303-19.

6. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 425-6.

7. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1988, 185-6.

8. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 198.

9. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenberg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield,UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1985:203-4.

10. Schulz V, Hänsel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy: A Physicians' Guide to Herbal Medicine. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1998, 159-60.

11. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenberg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield,UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1985:203-4.

12. Hoffman D. The Herbal Handbook: A User's Guide to Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1988, 67.

13. Boyd EM. Expectorants and respiratory tract fluid. Pharmacol Rev 1954;6:521-42 [review].

14. Meinking TA. Infestations. Curr Probl Dermatol 1999;11:73-120 [review].

15. Meinking TA. Infestations. Curr Probl Dermatol 1999;11:73-120 [review].

16. Bingel AS, Farnsworth NR. Higher plants as potential sources of galactagogues. Econ Med Plant Res 1994;6:1-54 [review].

17. Chopra RN, Chandler AC. Anthelmintics and Their Uses in Medical and Veterinary Practice. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Co, 1928.

18. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenberg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield,UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1985:203-4.

19. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenberg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield,UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1985:203-4.

20. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998:82-3.

21. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenberg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield,UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1985:203-4.

22. Bingel AS, Farnsworth NR. Higher plants as potential sources of galactagogues. Econ Med Plant Res 1994;6:1-54 [review].

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.