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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Anise Medicinal Uses

Habitat 

It is a native of Egypt, Greece, Crete and Asia Minor and was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians. It was well known to the Greeks, being mentioned by Dioscorides and Pliny and was cultivated in Tuscany in Roman times. In the Middle Ages its cultivation spread to Central Europe. 

 Description

Anise is a dainty, white-flowered urnbelliferous annual, about 18 inches high, with secondary feather-like leaflets of bright green, hence its name (of mediaeval origin), Pimpinella, from dipinella, or twicepinnate, in allusion to the form of the leaves. 


Constituents

Anise fruit yields on distillation from 2.5 to 3.5 per cent. of a fragrant, syrupy, volatile oil, of which anethol, present to about 90 per cent., is the principal aromatic constituent. It has a strong Anise odour and separates in the form of shining white crystalline scales on cooling the oil. Other constituents of the fruit are a fixed oil, choline, sugar and mucilage.
Oil of Anise, distilled in Europe from the fruits of Pimpinella anisum, Anise, and in China from the fruits of Illicium anisatum, Star Anise, a small tree indigenous to China, is colourless, or very pale yellow, with taste and odour like the fruit. The oils obtainable from these two fruits are identical in composition, and nearly the same in most of their characters, but that from Star Anise fruit congeals at a lower temperature. The powdered drug from Star Anise is administered in India as a substitute for the official fruit, and the oil is employed for its aromatic, carminative and stimulant properties. The bulk of the oil in commerce is obtained from the Star Anise fruit in China. The fruits are also often imported into France and the oil extracted there. Chinese Anise oil is harsh in taste. 


Medicinal Action and Uses

 Carminative and pectoral. Anise enjoys considerable reputation as a medicine in coughs and pectoral affections. In hard, dry coughs where expectoration is difficult, it is of much value. It is greatly used in the form of lozenges and the seeds have also been used for smoking, to promote expectoration.
The volatile oil, mixed with spirits of wine forms the liqueur Anisette, which has a beneficial action on the bronchial tubes, and for bronchitis and spasmodic asthma, Anisette, if administered in hot water, is an immediate palliative.
For infantile catarrh, Aniseed tea is very helpful. It is made by pouring half a pint of boiling water on 2 teaspoonsful of bruised seed. This, sweetened, is given cold in doses of 1 to 3 teaspoonsful frequently.
Gerard said:
'Aniseed helpeth the yeoxing or hicket (hiccough) and should be given to young children to eat, which are like to have the falling sickness (epilepsy), or to/such as have it by patrimony or succession.'
The stimulant and carminative properties of Anise make it useful in flatulency and colic. It is used as an ingredient of cathartic and aperient pills, to relieve flatulence and diminish the griping of purgative medicines, and may be given with perfect safety in convulsions. For colic, the dose is 10 to 30 grains of bruised or powdered seeds infused in distilled water, taken in wineglassful doses, or 4 to 20 drops of the essential oil on sugar. For the restlessness of languid digestion, a dose of essence of aniseed in hot water at bedtime is much commended.

http://www.richters.com/Web_store/web_store.cgi?product=X1140&show=&prodclass=Herb_and_Vegetable_Seeds&source=799158.29456

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