Pimpinella anisum – plant family: Apiaceae/Umbelliferae
Type of plant: Flowering herb growing 2–3 feet high with white flowers and fern-like leaves
Part used: Seeds
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
Info: Aniseed is also known as anis or anise (not to be confused with star anise, which is a different essential oil). Aniseed is widely used as a flavoring in food and drink, as well as by the pharmaceutical and dentistry industries. Widely used in historical times, including by the Greeks and Romans, particularly for disorders of the digestive system.
Principal places of production: Spain, Egypt, Central and South America, Indonesia, India, China
When buying look for: A colorless to pale-yellow liquid with a spicy-sweet aroma, typical of aniseed
Therapeutic properties: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, stomachic
Therapeutic uses: Coughs, bronchitis, catarrh, flatulence, intestinal spasm, indigestion, and digestive-linked migraines and headaches; calms nervous digestive tract conditions
Blends well with: Angelica seed, bay laurel, black pepper, caraway seed, cardamom, cinnamon leaf, clove bud, eucalyptus peppermint, fennel (sweet), geranium, ginger, grapefruit, lemon, orange (sweet), peppermint, spearmint, tangerine
Precautionary advice: May cause irritation on highly sensitive skins; a skin patch test is advisable. Best avoided during pregnancy and while breast-feeding. GRAS status.