Anise or Aniseed herb is the greenish-brown, ridged seeds of Pimpinella anisum plant. Besides being a flavouring agent, anise seeds offer innumerable health benefits due to their anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Also known as sweet cumin, the sweet flavour of aniseed resembles the flavour of black licorice. Anise seed, anise oil, the root, and the leaf all are used for medicinal purposes.
Nutritional facts of Anise
Anise seed provides a good quantity of numerous essential micronutrients. They are low in calories and rich in iron and fibre. It contains a small quantity of manganese.
100 gm of whole anise seed contains 337 calories, 17.6 gm of protein, 15.9 gm of fats, 50.02 gm of carbohydrates, 14.6 gm of fiber, 37 mg of iron,23 mg of manganese, 646 mg of calcium, 0.9 mg of copper, 0.7 mg of vitamin B6, 21 mg of vitamin C, and 311 IU of provitamin A.
Potential Health Benefits of Anise…
Decreases symptoms of menstrual disorders
Aniseed contains anethole, which is an estrogenic agent. Dianethole and photoanethole are derivatives of anethole that help in decreasing the symptoms of menstrual disorders, increases the production of breast milk, facilitates birth, and promote menstruation.
Regulates blood sugar levels
1. The active content of anise, anethole helps regulate the blood sugar levels.
2. Anethole, further enhances the function of pancreas cells which produce insulin.
1. Aniseed helps in enhancing lactation in breastfeeding mothers.
2. The diantheole and photoantheole content of anise have an estrogenic effect that enhances lactation.
Maintains oral health
1. Anise seed helps maintain oral health.
2. The anti-microbial and the anti-bacterial properties of anise seeds makes it an ideal ingredient of a mouth wash. It helps fight against foul breath and also oral swelling.
Produces a sedative and narcotic effect
1. The anise essential oil possesses a narcotic and a sedative effect thus, relaxing the epileptic and hysteric attacks by decreasing blood circulation, respiration, and nervous response.
2. Aniseed is useful in preventing seizures, sedating nervous conditions, convulsions etc.
1. Anise has excellent antibacterial properties thus, protects against the harmful strains of bacteria. It exhibits antibacterial action against 67 strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
2. The extracts of anise blocked the growth of E. coli, a type of bacteria that causes a broad range of symptoms.
3. Compounds present in anise such as anethole, linalool, and shikimic acid helps fight against bacteria.
Other possible benefits…
Apart from the above-mentioned health benefits, anise seeds produce a few more such as protects against the formation of harmful free radicals in the body, fight against fungal infections, boost heart health,fights Flu, treat irritable bowel syndrome, reduces the frequency and severity of their hot flashes.
A few other possible benefits are it improves digestion, relieves cataract, manages sleeping disorders, manages cough and asthma, enhances libido, regulates menstruation, decreases symptoms of depression, and protects against stomach ulcers.
How to use Anise?
Aniseed is the form of seeds, oil, and fresh young foliage is used for cooking. The entire seeds or grounded powder is used. It is used in various ways, some of them are as follows:
- In sweet dishes.
- To flavour drinks, alcoholic beverages, coffee, and tea.
- As flavouring base for sauces, cakes, soups, breads, and biscuits.
- Added to the dough for fruit fillings for pies, baked goods, and ground meat before baking.
How to make Anise Tea?
Take one cup of water in a pan and boil it.
Add 2 whole star anise pods. Steep it for approximately 10-15 minutes.
Strain it and serve hot.