It is sweet and very aromatic, distinguished by its licorice-like flavor.
The therapeutic virtues of the anise have been known since the ancient times. Pythagoras claimed that the anise enhanced man's strength, cured insomnia, stimulated appetite, made men more fertile and facilitated digestion.
Anise is from parsley family and, like parsley it is used as a mouth freshener from a long time back.
Anise seeds can be steeped in boiled water at home to produce home made mouth wash. Many mouthwashes and tooth paste available in market contain anise. It is a sweet, warming and stimulating herb with estrogenic and expectorant effect, traditionally regarded to have aphrodisiac properties.
It is helpful in removing excess mucous from the lungs and digestive track. It has been used for colic in children, as an antispasmodic, and an antifungal. It can help prevent fermentation and gas in the stomach and bowels, thus relieving bloating and belching after meals. Anis is a mild diuretic and can stimulate added production of milk in nursing mothers. It has been mostly used for digestion issues including indigestion, nausea and gallbladder cleansing. It can also help asthma and bronchitis.
The anethole contained in anise has excellent expectorant qualities, as well as antimicrobial activities.
Anise is used to flavor Middle Eastern Arak, Colombian Aguardiente, French spirits Absinthe, Anisette and Pastis, Greek Ouzo, Bulgarian Mastika, German Jagermaister,Italian Sambuca, Peruvian and Spanish Anis, Mexican Xtabentun and Turkish Raki. It is believed to be one of the secret ingredients in the French liqueur Chartreuse.
The tea from anise seeds:
The infusion is made from one tea-spoon of anise seeds boiled in 250 ml of water for 30 seconds. One cup of tea is to be drunk after the main meals. This tea treats bronchial asthma, cough, a slow digestion.