Anise Seeds : 6 Effective Health Benefits

Anise seed also known as aniseed is from the same family of carrots, parsley, cumin, cilantro, caraway, dill, and celery seed. The scientific name of anise seeds is Pimpinella anisum1.

Aniseed is used in all forms of dishes and baked goods in Asia and Middle Eastern countries native are used for making ground meat and vegetables for cooking while in Germany country it is added to bakery products.

The extracts of the plant are used to flavor alcohol or liqueurs. The whole aniseeds plant is used as it has many medicinal properties.

The plant aniseed grows up to 1 meter and the plant’s flower is known as the anise seed. Anise seed has a distinct licorice-like flavor and can be used whole or crushed as spices. The anise seed is also used to make essential oil from the anise extract.

The shape of the whole seeds is tiny, curved, and brownish-gray in color. Due to its licorice-like taste, it is also used in candies, breath fresheners, and beverages like tea and coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon

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Different seeds you need to know about:

There is often confusion between the anise seed, star anise seed, and fennel seed as they have somewhat similar flavors, shapes, and colors. But there are all different. The aniseed, fennel seeds, and star anise seed all have different types of flavors and require specific conditions that are to be grown.

The star anise seed (illicium verum) is widely preferred as it is readily available and more affordable than anise seeds (Pimpinella anisum).

Anise seeds  is used as a spice in various forms such as whole anise seeds, ground anise seeds, or powdered seed form. The active component in the anise seed is the anethole which affects the odor and flavor of the seed. You can quickly grow anise plants in your garden as they are a natural insecticide. But the effects of the anise plants can only be seen after they are entirely harvested.

The aniseed is said to be rich in nutrients and has many health benefits from the skin to the heart. It is also used as a spice, unlike the fennel seed or star anise seed which are just added to the food but cannot be consumed whole.

The fruit of the anise seed plant is the aniseed. It has a history of being native to many different cultures. It is used in many recipes as it adds flavor as a spice and is also used to add the ouzo effect in different mocktails and cocktails. The Indians and Middle eastern use aniseed in their daily diet for a long period. The sweet aroma of aniseeds is the added benefit of the seeds to the cooking.

Health Benefits of Anise Seed

1. Improves Digestion

Anise seed is known for improving digestion and giving relief from diarrhea, constipation, gas, belching, bloating, gastrointestinal cramps, vomiting, sluggish digestion, and chronic diarrhea as it has carminative properties that help to improve digestion.

It also reduces acid secretion and has anti-oxidant properties.

improves digestion
By Wavebreakmedia, Unlimphotos, Copyright 2023

Ground aniseed also helps to increase the immune system leading to the reduction of many other diseases or problems. Having licorice-flavored tea and coffee having aniseeds as a main ingredient is effective for many problems and not only to improve digestion.

2. Treats Insomnia

The anise seed is said to have a relaxing and soothing organic compound known as anethole which helps to treat insomnia and other sleep-related problems2.

But, there is no scientific research to prove it but it helps in muscle relaxation and induces sleep as it is known for its antioxidant properties and has a calming effect on the person who consumes it.

insomnia
By SHVETS production, Pexels, Copyright 2023

To get the best results you can consume the powder or concoction of anise seed with hot water or have an aromatic licorice-flavored anise seed tea before going to bed. While making the tea it is recommended to not boil the aniseed for too long as it may lose all its medicinal properties and also cannot be used as an essential oil.

3. Treats Reproductive Problems in Female

Anise seed is said to reduce the pain caused during menopause as it increases the estrogen level in the body. During menopause, the level of estrogen decreases rapidly and causes more pain and lactation also increases due to the same reason.

Lactation increase is needed while breastfeeding as it may decrease due to various reasons like fatigue or stress. Also, the menstruation cycle can be regulated with the consumption of anise seeds and other female reproductive problems like vaginal dryness and hot flashes

reproductive problems
By Nadezhda Moryak, Pexels, Copyright 202

It also helps to increase bone density and reduce the risk of bone loss in many women facing menopause issues. So, try to include savoury dishes with aniseeds in your diet as they help to maintain a healthy body. The anise extract essential oil can also help to reduce menstrual cramps3.

4. Improves Respiratory Health & Reduce Inflammation

The anise seed is known for being an expectorant inside the body which helps to detach the phlegm around the lungs and throat. It also helps to get relief from other lung problems like asthma, influenza, pneumonia, sinusitis, and bronchitis. It also helps to get relief from sore throat and cough4.

respiratory problem
By mohamed_hassan, Pixabay, Copyright 2023

The anise seed is said to be high in antioxidant properties as so it is used to reduce inflammation caused by various other reasons. Long-term inflammation can result in the worsening of other conditions. So, the consumption of ground aniseed will help to reduce inflammation and maintain good health.

5. Treats Skin Problems & Balance Blood Sugar Levels

The anise seed is known for being rich in many minerals like zinc and phosphate and vitamins like B and C. Vitamin C is known for preventing oxidation damage and has free radicals which fight skin problems like dark spots, and wrinkles. It also prevents various fungi and protects from infections.

skin problem
By mayrum, Pixabay, Copyright 2023

Anise seeds are rich in many dietary fibers like p-anisaldehyde, anise alcohol, pinene, acetophenone, limonene, and estragole which protect the overall health and help to reduce the risk of diabetes.

The fibers present in the anise extract help to increase the level of insulin in the body, which in turn leads to slowing down sugar absorption in the blood thus leading to reduce the blood sugar.

6. Reduces depression symptoms

Anise extracts are said to have anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties which help to fight against depression. It is believed that having light anise extract three times daily helps to reduce postpartum depression5.

Applying anise extract essential oil helps to get relief from mild to moderate depression. The flavor and aroma of the anise seed help to give a soothing feeling.

Depression symptom
By Guzaliia Filimonova, Pixabay, Copyright 2023

Anise seeds are mostly used to add flavor and in many recipes are that why required in less than one tablespoon but it is rich in many important nutrients like iron, zinc, manganese, and calcium. Manganese is required for developing metabolism and the immune system development.

Takeaway

This guide provides insight into the different types of anise seeds and also their various health benefits. It is used for many reasons like cooking chicken or Italian biscotti and baking desserts. The licorice-flavored tea is as good as green tea.

The various health benefits of anise seed are that improves digestion, treats insomnia, treats reproductive problem in female, improves respiratory health & reduce inflammation, treats skin problem & balance blood sugar level, reduce depression symptoms & rich in nutrients.

While looking at the benefits one must not forget that there are also some side effects of consuming anise extract so if you feel an allergic reaction while consuming fennel, basil, carrot, or any other plants from the same family then they should not consume the anise seed. If you feel an allergic reaction do visit your doctor immediately.

FAQs:

Q. Does Anise have another name?
  • Anise also called aniseed or rarely anix is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia.
Q. What does anise look like?
  • Anise seeds range in color from pale brown to greenish-gray. The seeds are shaped like small, ridged crescents and often have a bit of the stem still attached. Although anise seeds look a lot like fennel seeds, they are significantly smaller. Anise is known for its natural sweetness and unmistakable licorice flavor.
Q. Can I eat anise seeds?
  • Most people can safely consume anise without the risk of adverse side effects. However, it could trigger an allergic reaction, especially if you’re allergic to plants in the same family — such as fennel, celery, parsley or dill.
  1. Gülçın, İlhami, et al. “Screening of antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of anise (Pimpinella anisum L.) seed extracts.” Food chemistry 83.3 (2003): 371-382. ↩︎
  2. Parish, James M. “Sleep-related problems in common medical conditions.” Chest 135.2 (2009): 563-572. ↩︎
  3. Yang, Nam-Young, and Sang-Dol Kim. “Effects of a yoga program on menstrual cramps and menstrual distress in undergraduate students with primary dysmenorrhea: a single-blind, randomized controlled trial.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 22.9 (2016): 732-738. ↩︎
  4. Little, P., et al. “Open randomised trial of prescribing strategies in managing sore throat.” Bmj 314.7082 (1997): 722. ↩︎
  5. Lumley, Judith, and Marie-Paule Austin. “What interventions may reduce postpartum depression.” Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology 13.6 (2001): 605-611. ↩︎

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