Pimpinella anisum L. (Apiaceae)
Anise is an herb it was brought to Europe for its medicinal value. The seed (fruit) and oil, and less frequently the root and leaf, are used to make medicine. The therapeutic properties of aniseed oil are antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, insecticide, laxative and anti parasites. Aniseed oil can be useful in the treatment of muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, bronchitis, whooping cough, colic, cramp, flatulence, indigestion, catarrh and hangovers. In foods, anise is used as a flavoring agent. It has a sweet, aromatic taste that resembles the taste of black licorice. It is commonly used in alcohols and liqueurs, such as anisette and ouzo. Anise is also used in dairy products, gelatins, meats, candies, and breath fresheners. In manufacturing, anise is often used a fragrance in soap, perfumes and sachets.
Botanical description and occurrence:
Anise is native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Anise is an herbaceous annual plant growing to 1.0 m or more tall. The leaves at the base of the plant are simple and 1–5 cm long and shallowly lobed, while leaves higher on the stems are feathery pinnate, divided into numerous small leaflets. The flowers are white, approximately 3 mm in diameter, produced in dense umbels. The fruit is an oblong dry schizocarp 3–6 mm long, usually called "aniseed".
Why to have the plant in your garden:
Anise we are grown in the garden as decorative and useful plants. The taste of whole plant and seeds is sweet and spicy, the odor is aromatic and agreeable. It has healing effects also in the form of tea. Anise plants grow best in light, fertile, well-drained soil. The seeds should be planted as soon as the ground warms up in spring. The plants do not transplant well, so they should be started in their final location from direct sowing or can be transplanted while the seedlings are still small.
Links to scientific articles (if it is possible):
Tabanca, N., Demirci, B., Ozek, T., Kirimer, N., Baser, K. H., Bedir, E., Khan, I. A., and Wedge, D. E. Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis of essential oils from Pimpinella species gathered from Central and Northern Turkey. J Chromatogr A 6-9-2006;1117(2):194-205.
M,H. Pourgholami, S. Majzoob, M. Javadl, M. Kamalinelad, G.H.R. Fanaee, M. Sayyah. The fruit essential oil of Pimpinella anisum exerts anticonvulsant effects in mice. Journal of Etnopharmacology, Elsevier, Volume 66, Issue 2, August 1999, Pages 211–215