Can Anise Cure What Ails You?

The licorice-flavored herb anise contains high levels of health-boosting compounds called phenylpropanoids.

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A team of researchers isolated 22 compounds in anise essential oils, and found some phenylpropanoid compounds that were unique to anise, and four of the compounds had never before been identified in any plant.

Aside from effectively controlling aphids and the plant fungus Colletotrichum, the compounds also showed promise for human health problems. Specifically, some of the compounds were effective against:

Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria in humans.
Mycobacterium intracellulare, a bacterium that can cause illness in people with compromised immune systems.
Further, some phenylpropanoids had anti-inflammatory and phytoestrogen properties.

The researchers suggested that compounds in anise essential oils may be useful for developing pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals.
Sources:
Science Daily March 12, 2008
Pure and Applied Chemistry 2007, Vol. 79, No. 4, pp. 539-556

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