Dried seeds of Pimpinella anisum
Parts used: Seeds
Habitat: A short-lived annual growing up to 60cm, native to North Africa and some Mediterranean islands. Cultivated widely in light, rich weed-free soils.
Constituents: Essential oil (2-4%) mainly anethole. Flavonoids including rutin, quercetin, apigenin, luteolin and others. Coumarins including bergapten. Fatty oil (8-11%), phenylpropanoid glycosides, choline, protein. Vitamins B, and E; potassium, calcium, iron, sulphur and magnesium.
Actions: Expectorant, Carminative, Spasmolytic, Parasiticide
History and Folklore: A long history of culinary use and in the production of liqueurs alongside widespread traditional medicinal use. More esoteric uses include: the addition of aniseed oil capsules in bearings of steam locomotives to produce a distinctive smell upon overheating, and as a sweet smelling lure in fishing.
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