Tag Archives: Anise

Illicium floridanum

Botanical Name : Illicium floridanum
Family: Schisandraceae
Genus: Illicium
Species: I. floridanum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Austrobaileyales

Common Names: Aniseed Tree, Florida anisetree, Purple Anise, Star Anise, Florida anise, Stink-bush

Habitat : Illicium floridanum is native to South-eastern N. America – Florida to Louisiana. It grows in lowland wet areas, often in sandy soils along streams, swamps and at the head of bays, in light woodland and thickets.

Description:
Illicium floridanum is an upright, rounded, aromatic, evergreen shrub that grows to 6-10′ tall. Smooth, glossy, elliptic, dark olive-green leaves (to 6″ long) emit an anise-like aroma when crushed. Nodding, dark red flowers (to 2″ diameter), each with 20-30 strap-shaped petals, bloom in spring (April-May). Flower aroma is malodorous. Fruit is a star-shaped cluster of follicles. Purple anise is protected in Florida as a threatened species.

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It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are a deep carmine red or maroon with narrow widely separated petals. The whole plant and especially the flowers have a fishy smell, hence the common names stink-bush, dead fish tree, or wet dog bush. The crushed foliage, however, has an aroma akin to lemon-lime or aniseed.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Foundation, Pest tolerant, Massing, Screen, Specimen, Woodland garden. Prefers a light, moist well-drained loam and a sheltered position Prefers a humus-rich lime-free soil. A plant of woodland shade in its native habitat, in the less sunny British climate it succeeds in sun or semi-shade. This species is not very cold-hardy, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c, only succeeding outdoors in the mildest areas of Britain. A slow-growing tree, the whole plant is very aromatic. The bruised leaves have a strong scent of aniseed, whilst the flowers have a powerful spicy odour. Suckers can spring up at some distance from the parent plant. Special Features:Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, North American native, Fragrant foliage, Wetlands plant, Suitable for cut flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation :
Seed – it does not require pre-treatment and can be sown in early spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give some protection from the cold over the winter for the first year or two. Layering in early spring. Takes 18 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Pot up the cuttings when they start to root and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out after the last expected frosts. Suckers are sometimes produced at some distance from the parent plant. These suckers can be potted up in early spring, then grown on for a year before planting them out into their permanent positions.

Medicinal Uses: Not known.

Other Uses: Not known.

Known Hazards: Although no mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, at least one other member of the genus has a fruit that is poisonous in quantity.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illicium_floridanum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Illicium+floridanum
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=e647

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Cicely (Myrrhis odorata)

Botanical Name:Myrrhis odorata
Family:    Apiaceae
Genus:    Myrrhis
Species: M. odorata
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Apiales

Common Names: Cicely or Sweet Cicely,Myrhh

Habitat :Cicely is native to mountains of southern and central Europe, introduced and naturalized elsewhere in cultivated areas. I grows on woodland margins, roadside verges, river banks and grassland.

Description:
Cicely is an herbaceous perennial plant  growing to 2 m [6 ft 6 in] tall, depending on circumstances. The leaves are 2-4-pinnate, finely divided, feathery, up to 50 cm long, with whitish patches near the rachis. The plant is softly hairy and smells strongly of aniseed when crushed. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles.The plant is self-fertile. The flowers are white, about 2–4 mm across, produced in large umbels. The fruits are slender, 15–25 mm long and 3–4 mm broad.
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Cultivation: 
Prefers a moist rich soil in a shady position. Thrives in all soils in sun or shade. This species is hardy to about -15°c according to one report whilst another says that it is hardy to at least -20°c. Plants often self-sow freely. Sweet cicely used to be quite widely cultivated as a food plant but is now only occasionally grown in the herb garden. This is a shame since it is an extremely useful and tasty plant to grow and can provide food all year round. A good bee plant.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe since stored seed is difficult to germinate. The seed can be sown in an outdoor seedbed or, if supplies are limited, it can be sown in pots in a cold frame. Thin the seedlings in the outdoor bed as necessary (eat the thinnings) and transplant the young plants into their final positions in the following spring. Prick out the pot-grown seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in spring. Division in spring or autumn. Remove the tapering tap root and cut the remaining root into sections with at least one eye per section and replant in their permanent position.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. Excellent raw, the leaves have a delicious sweet aniseed flavour and are liked by the majority of people who try them. They are also used as a flavouring for vegetables, and are an important ingredient of the herb mix ‘bouquet garni’. They can be cooked with tart fruits in order to reduce their acidity. The plant produces fresh leaves from late winter to early the following winter. The leaves can also be dried for later use. It is best to prevent the plant from flowering if the leaves are required for culinary use, because they lose their flavour when the plant is in flower. Root – raw or cooked. A similar flavour to the leaves. So long as it is not too old, the root can be boiled and mixed with other vegetables or added to salads. Seed – raw or cooked. An aniseed flavour, it is usually used as a flavouring but can also be eaten raw whilst it is still green and before the fibrous coat has formed. It makes an excellent mouth freshener. A tea is made from the leaves.

Medicinal Uses:
Cicely  has a history of use as a medicinal.The whole plant, including the seed, is aromatic, carminative, expectorant and stomachic. It is useful in the treatment of coughs and flatulence, and also as a gentle stimulant for the stomach. The root is antiseptic and a decoction has been used to treat snake and dog bites. An ointment made from the roots has been used to ease gout and soothe wounds.

Other Uses:
The leaves and the seed make good polishes for wood. You just rub them over the wood and then rub the wood with a clean cloth to remove any greenness. It is particularly good on oak panels, giving a lovely glossy finish and an aromatic smell.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Myrrhis+odorata
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicely

Broad Bean

Botanical Name : Vicia faba
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Vicieae
Genus: Vicia
Species: V. faba
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales

Synonyms. : Faba vulgaris Moench, Faba bona Medik., Faba equina Medik.

Common Name :Broad Bean, Fava Bean, Field Bean, Bell Bean or Tic Bean

Habitat :Broad Bean is  native to north Africa and southwest Asia, and extensively cultivated elsewhere. A variety is provisionally recognized.

Does not occur in the wild. It was grown in ancient times (cultivated for 2-3 thousand years), but only by purposeful cultivation. In Russia, it has been cultivated since the 6th to 8th century. In the USSR, it was cultivated as basic fodder almost everywhere, but the cultivated area was not large (around 20 thousand hectares). The greatest areas of cultivation are in Byelorussia and Ukraine, the Baltic states, and the Altai region.

Description:
Annual plant. Taproot is strongly branched, penetrates to a depth of 80-150 cm. Colonies of nodule bacterium, which enrich soil with nitrogen, are formed on the roots. Stalk thick, strong, upright, bare or slightly pubescent, tetrahedral, hollow, 10-150 (200) cm tall, branching only at base. Leaves paripinnate, large, pulpy, without tendrils (the axil of leaf ends with soft cusp); with 1-4 pairs of leaflets, 4-8 x 2-4 cm, elliptical, glaucous-green (with a waxen bloom), bare; stipules up to 2 cm long, ovate-triangular, dentate, with nectaries. Peduncles 0.9-3 cm long. Flowers large, up to 3.5 cm long, 2-6 (12) per cluster. Calyx tubular, bare. Corolla white or pinkish with violet veins, spathes with a black maculae. Self-pollinator, but sometimes cross-pollinated. Fruit is a bean with 2-4-8 seeds. Beans very large, 5-10 (35) x 1.5-4 cm, oblate, cylindrical or oblong-cylindrical, pulpy, short pubescence, with bare sutures, green color when young, brown and black color when mature, coriaceous, on 1-4 in axil. Seeds 0.5 to 4 cm long, usually flat, oval, with lateral, pressed elliptical or linear scar, dark violet, red-brown, light yellow or green in color. The beans are differentiated by size: large seed grade (weight of 1000 seeds is 800-1300 g), middle seed grade (weight of 1000 seeds is 500-700 g) and small seed grade (weight of 1000 seeds is 200-450 g). Large seed grade is cultivated as a vegetable.

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Cultivation:
Broad beans have a long tradition of cultivation in Old World agriculture, being among the most ancient plants in cultivation and also among the easiest to grow. It is believed that along with lentils, peas, and chickpeas, they became part of the eastern Mediterranean diet in around 6000 BC or earlier. They are still often grown as a cover crop to prevent erosion, because they can over-winter and because as a legume, they fix nitrogen in the soil. These commonly cultivated plants can be attacked by fungal diseases, such as rust (Uromyces viciae-fabae) and chocolate spot (Botrytis fabae). It is also attacked by the black bean aphid (Aphis fabae).

The broad bean has high hardiness cvs. This means it can withstand rough climates, and in this case, cold ones. Unlike most legumes, the broad bean can be grown in soils with high salinity. However, it does prefer to grow in rich loams.

In much of the Anglophone world, the name broad bean is used for the large-seeded cultivars grown for human food, while horse bean and field bean refer to cultivars with smaller, harder seeds (more like the wild species) used for animal feed, though their stronger flavour is preferred in some human food recipes, such as falafel. The term fava bean (from the Italian fava, meaning “broad bean”) is sometimes used in English speaking countries, however the term broad bean is the most common name in the UK.

Culnilary Uses;
Broad beans are eaten while still young and tender, enabling harvesting to begin as early as the middle of spring for plants started under glass or over-wintered in a protected location, but even the main crop sown in early spring will be ready from mid to late summer. Horse beans, left to mature fully, are usually harvested in the late autumn. The young leaves of the plant can also be eaten either raw or cooked like spinach.

The beans can be fried, causing the skin to split open, and then salted and/or spiced to produce a savory crunchy snack. These are popular in China, Colombia, Peru (habas saladas), Mexico (habas con chile) and Thailand (where their name means “open-mouth nut”).

Broad bean purée with wild chicory is a typical Puglian dish in Italy.

In the Sichuan cuisine of China, broad beans are combined with soybeans and chili peppers to produce a spicy fermented bean paste called doubanjiang.

In most Arab countries, the fava bean is used for a breakfast dish called ful medames.

Fava beans are common in Latin American cuisines as well. In central Mexico, mashed fava beans are a common filling for many corn flour-based antojito snacks such as tlacoyos. In Colombia they are most often used whole in vegetable soups. Dried and salted fava beans are a popular snack in many Latin countries.

In Portugal, a fava bean (usually referred to as fava in Portuguese) is included in the bolo-rei (king cake), a Christmas cake. Traditionally, the person who gets fava has to buy the cake the following year.

In the Netherlands, they are traditionally eaten with fresh savory and some melted butter. When rubbed the velvet insides of the pods are a folk remedy against warts.

Broad beans are widely cultivated in the Kech and Panjgur districts of Balochistan Province in Pakistan, and in the eastern province of Iran. In the Balochi language, they are called bakalaink, and baghalee in Persian.

Medicinal  uses:     
Broad beans are rich in tyramine, and thus should be avoided by those taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors.

The ground dried beans have bee used to treat mouth sores. In New Mexico, a paste made of ground beans and hot water is applied to the chest and back as a treatment for pneumonia.

Raw broad beans contain the alkaloids vicine, isouramil and convicine, which can induce hemolytic anemia in patients with the hereditary condition glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD). This potentially fatal condition is called “favism” after the fava bean.

Broad beans are rich in L-dopa, a substance used medically in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. L-dopa is also a natriuretic agent, which might help in controlling hypertension.

Areas of origin of the bean correspond to malarial areas. There are epidemiological and in vitro studies which suggest that the hemolysis resulting from favism acts as protection from malaria, because certain species of malarial protozoa such as Plasmodium falcipacrum are very sensitive to oxidative damage due to deficiency of the glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase enzyme, which would otherwise protect from oxidative damage via production of glutathione reductase.

The seed testas contain condensed tannins of the proanthocyanidins type  that could have an inhibitory activity on enzymes

Medicinal Uses;
The ground dried beans have bee used to treat mouth sores. In New Mexico, a paste made of ground beans and hot water is applied to the chest and back as a treatment for pneumonia.

Other Uses;
*In ancient Greece and Rome, beans were used in voting; a white bean being used to cast a yes vote, and a black bean for no. Even today the word koukia  is used unofficially, referring to the votes.

*In Ubykh culture, throwing beans on the ground and interpreting the pattern in which they fall was a common method of divination (favomancy), and the word for “bean-thrower” in that language has become a generic term for seers and soothsayers in general.

*In Italy, broad beans are traditionally sown on November 2, All Souls Day. Small cakes made in the shape of broad beans (though not out of them) are known as fave dei morti or “beans of the dead”. According to tradition, Sicily once experienced a failure of all crops other than the beans; the beans kept the population from starvation, and thanks were given to Saint Joseph. Broad beans subsequently became traditional on Saint Joseph’s Day altars in many Italian communities. Some people carry a broad bean for good luck; some believe that if one carries a broad bean, one will never be without the essentials of life. In Rome, on the first of May, Roman families traditionally eat fresh fava beans with Pecorino Romano cheese during a daily excursion in the Campagna. In Northern Italy, on the contrary, fava beans are traditionally fed to animals and some people, especially the elderly, might frown on human consumption. But in Liguria, Northern Italy too, fava beans are loved like in Rome, and consumed fresh, alone or with fresh Pecorino Sardo or with local salami from Sant’Olcese. In some Central Italian regions was once popular and recently discovered again as a more fancy food the “bagiana” a soup of fresh or dried fava beans seasoned with onions and beet leaves stir fried, before being added to the soup, in olive oil and lard (or bacon or cured ham’s fat).

*In Portugal, a Christmas cake called Bolo Rei (“King cake”) is baked with a fava bean inside. Whoever eats the slice containing it, is supposed to buy next year’s cake.

*In ancient Greece and Rome, beans were used as a food for the dead, such as during the annual Lemuria festival.

*In some folk legends, such as in Estonia and the common Jack and the Beanstalk story, magical beans grow tall enough to bring the hero to the clouds.

*The Grimm Brothers collected a story in which a bean splits its sides laughing at the failure of others. Dreaming of a bean is sometimes said to be a sign of impending conflict, though others said that they caused bad dreams.

*Pliny claimed that they acted as a laxative.

*European folklore also claims that planting beans on Good Friday or during the night brings good luck.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicia_faba
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.agroatlas.ru/en/content/cultural/Vicia_faba_K/

http://digilander.libero.it/ipdid/photos-eng/vicia-faba—fava-bean.htm

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Caraway

Botanical Name: Carum carvi
Family:    Umbelliferae
Genus:    Carum
Species:C. carvi
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Apiales

Common Names:Caraway,Meridian fennel, Persian cumin

Other Names:
carvies (Scottish), wild cumin, Roman cumin, Persian caraway

Habitat :Caraway is native to western Asia, Europe and Northern Africa.The plant prefers warm, sunny locations and well-drained soil.

Description:
Caraway or Persian cumin (Carum carvi) is a biennial plant in the family Apiaceae, native to Europe and western Asia and Northern Africa, the Mediterranean and much of Europe. It falls into both categories of herb and spice, as it is the seeds that are used primarily, but if you grow it yourself , the leaves and the root are also edible. Caraway has been found in food dating back to 3000 BC making it one of the oldest cultivated spices. The Ancient Egyptians buried their dead with caraway to ward off evil spirits. It was also used as a food and a medicine in Ancient Greece and Rome. A Greek physician, Dioscorides prescribed oil of caraway to young ladies to rub into their skin and restore a healthy glow. Julius Caesar’s army ate a bread made of caraway root (chara). During the middle ages the use of caraway spread up from the Arabian pensinsula and into Northern Europe. Old herbal legends describe caraway’s power to keep things from getting lost or stolen. It was used in an ancient love potion, and it was also believed that if you tucked some into your possesions they would be protected from theft. As well it is known to be attractive to fowl and is used to keep chickens and pigeons from straying

The plant is similar in appearance to other members of the carrot family, with finely divided, feathery leaves with thread-like divisions, growing on 20–30 cm stems. The main flower stem is 40–60 cm tall, with small white or pink flowers in umbels. Caraway fruits (erroneously called seeds) are crescent-shaped achenes, around 2 mm long, with five pale ridges.

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Cultivation and uses:

Caraway is a biennial that takes two years for full life cycle, after it produces seeds it dies off. It can reach a height of 30-80cm with foliage that is frilly like the foliage of carrots. It has a thick root, similar to a parsnip and hollow fluted stems. The clusters of small flowers can be white, yellow or green. It is an easily grown plant that prefers a well drained soil and a sunny spot. After it flowers, the seed produced are brownish in colour, are ribbed and slightly cresent shaped. It resembles cumin and the two are often confused in Asia. It is commercially cultivated all over Europe as well as in Turkey, India and North African. Dutch caraway is considered to be of high quality and Holland is one of the largest producers.

The fruits, usually used whole, have a pungent, anise-like flavor and aroma that come from essential oils, mostly carvone and limonene. They are used as a spice in breads especially rye bread. Caraway is also used in liquors, casseroles, and other foods, especially in Central European and Scandinavian cuisine, for instance sauerkraut. It is also used to add flavor to cheeses such as havarti.

The roots may be cooked as a root vegetable like parsnips or carrots.

In one of the short stories in Dubliners by James Joyce, a character eats caraway seeds to mask the alcohol on his breath.
Culinary Uses
Caraway seeds can hold their flavour for months stored in airtight containers and kept away from light. It is suggested to add seeds after a dish is cooked, as a long simmer may turn the flavour bitter. It has a sweet warm aroma with a flavour similar to aniseed and fennel. It figures prominently in the cuisines of Germany, Austria, eastern Europe and Scandinavia. It seems to have a special affinity for apples, pork and sausages.The spice seems to counter act the fattiness of pork, duck and goose. It is an essential taste in sauerbraten, sauerkraut and rye bread. Smoked and skimmed milk cheeses from Austria, Germany, Hungary Holland and Scandinavia contain whole seed. There are medieval recipes for caraway flavoured cheese that are still in use today. (Dutch cheese). There are many liquers are flavoured with caraway (Kummel, Akuavit gins and Schnapps). It can also be used in cakes cookies, soups, omelets, rice and pasta dishes, cheese spreads and vegetable dishes. In Elizabethan times it was used to flavour bread, cakes and fruit, particularly apples. It was popular with english tea in a seedcake, similar to a pound cake served warm with butter. Caraway seeds were customarily chewed to freshen breath. The essential oil extracted from caraway is used to flavour liquers, mouthwashes, toothpastes and chewing gums

Medicinal Properties and Uses
The primary medical benefit of caraway is its effect on digestion. It is a carminative which means it helps with gas and digestion. It is helpful to chew caraway seeds after a heavy meal. It has been used for colic as it is a light sedative and it can be used to settle a queasy stomach (antispasmodic).Akvavit and several liqueurs are also made with caraway, and a tisane made from the seeds is good for colic, loss of appetite, digestive disorders and to dispel worms. Caraway seed oil is also used as a fragrance component in soaps, lotions, and perfumes.

Caraway water is well known for its carminative effect, particularly for babies.  This property of the seeds has been known and used from ancient times until today.  Caraway is also used as a flavoring for children’s medicines.  It is a good digestive and stomachic.  Other properties it is believed to have are: antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, appetitive, emmenagogic, expectorant and galactagogic (stimulates the secretion of bile).   It was used in cases of dyspepsia, diarrhoea and even hysteria.   Dioscorides is quoted as recommending pallid girls to take a tonic of caraway oil.  Modern researchers have discovered that two chemicals (carvol and carvene) in caraway seeds soothe the smooth muscle tissue of the digestive tract and help expel gas.  Antispasmodic, which appear to be present in caraway, soothe not only the digestive tract but other smooth muscles, such as the uterus, as well.  Thus, caraway might relax the uterus, not stimulate it.  Women may try it for relief of menstrual cramps.  For a pleasant-tasting infusion that might help aid digestion, relieve gas or menstrual cramping, use 2-3 teaspoons of bruised or crushed seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep 10-20 minutes.  Drink up to 3 cups a day.  If you prefer a tincture, take -1 teaspoon up to three times a day.  Low-strength caraway infusions may be given to infants for colic and gas.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Help taken from:www.theepicentre.com and en.wikipedia.org

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

Anise

Botanical Name:Pimpinella anisum.
Family:
Apiaceae
Genus:
Pimpinella
Species:
P. anisum
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Apiales

Habitat:
Anise is native to  Eastern Mediterranean or Western Asia.

Synonyms: Anisum vulgare (Gaertn.), A. officinarum (Moench.), Anise, Anisum, Anisi fructus, common aniseed

Parts used: Fruits (sometimes incorrectly called “seeds”).
Cultivated : Southern Europe, North Africa, Near East, China, Pakistan, Mexico, Chile, USA
Taste/smell:Sweet and very aromatic. A similar fragrance to that of cicely.( licorice-like, sweet)

Etymology: The spice gained its Latin name anisum as a result of confusion with dill, known in Greek as an?son. Names of anise in virtually all European languages are derived from anisum.
The Sanskrit name shatapushpa means “one hundred flowers” and refers to the flower cluster. The Hindi name saunf properly denotes fennel, of which anise is incorrectly thought to be a foreign variety. To distinguish anise clearly from fennel, the specialised terms patli saunf “thin fennel” or vilayati saunf “foreign fennel” are often used. Some languages refer to the sweetness of anise, e.g. Greek glykaniso “sweet anise”, or name anise as a sweet variant of other spices, e.g. Indonesian jinten manis and Arabic kamun halu “sweet cumin” (a name sometimes also used in English). Arabic has another, similar name habbu al-hulwa “sweet grains”. The Portuguese term erva doce “sweet herb” may denote anise, fennel or sweetleaf (stevia rebaudiana).
The genus name pimpinella is Late Latin for “narrow-ribbed fruit”.
Major Uses: pastries, candies, liquors

Description:

Anise, Pimpinella anisum, is an herbaceous annual plant in the family Umbelliferae grown primarily for its fruits which are used as a spice. The plant has a grooved stem and alternately arranged leaves. The lower leaves are round with a toothed edge and petioles which can be between 4 and 10 cm (1.6–3.9 in) in length. The upper leaves are feathered and become progressively shorter towards the top of the plant. The aniseed plant produces umbels of white flowers and an oval, flattened, hairy fruit with a single seed. Anise can reach a height of 45–60 cm (17.7–23.6 in) and is an annual plant, surviving only one growing season. Anise may also be referred to as aniseed and originates from the Mediterranean.

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Several spices have been called anise. The native of Egypt, Pimpinella anisum, is anise seed or aniseed, while China is the source of Illicum verum, star anise. In the past, dill, caraway and fennel seeds were confused with anise seed.
Useful Parts: The seeds have been used widely in cooking, and are popular in spicy cakes. The oil of anise  is often used in artificial licorice, and gives its distinctive taste to liqueurs such as anisette and raki. Anise is used in many processed foods and in cough medicines, and is often included in pet foods for the flavor it imparts.
Edible  Uses:In Western cuisine, anise is mostly restricted to bread and cakes although fruit products are occasionally aromatised with anise. In small dosage, anise seeds are sometimes contained in spice mixtures for sausages and stews. Their main applications are, however, anise-flavoured liqueurs, of which there are many in different Mediterranean countries including rak? in Turkey, ouzo in Greece and pernod in France. In many cases, oil of anise is partially or wholly substituted by oil of star anise in these products.

In the East, anise is less known and both fennel and star anise are more easily available and more popular. Anise may substitute for fennel in North Indian recipes, but it is a less suitable substitute for star anise in Chinese foods.
Anise appears occasionally in Mexican recipes, but native anise-flavoured herbs (Mexican tarragon and Mexican pepper-leaf) are more commonly used. Anise is an acceptable substitute for both, although tarragon is even better.
Several plants generate an aroma comparable to that of anise. Within the apiaceae (parsley) family, fennel and cicely copy the aroma of anise perfectly and chervil and dill also resemble anise, although their fragrance is less pure. In Far Eastern cuisines (India, Iran and Indonesia), no distinction is made between anise and fennel and the same name is usually given to both of them. In the Philippines star anise is very popular and is referred to as “anise” for short.

Constituents:
As with all spices, the composition of anise varies considerably with origin and cultivation method. These are typical values for the main constituents.

*Moisture: 9-13%
*Protein: 18%
*Fatty oil: 8-23%
*Essential oil: 2-7%
*Starch: 5%
*N-free extract: 22-28%
*Crude fibre: 12-25%
*Essential oil yielded by distillation is generally around 2-3% and anethole makes up 80-90% of this.

Medicinal Properties: Over the centuries, anise has been reported to have numerous medical benefits, but there is no evidence that it offers any pharmacologic benefit. It is thus a flavorful digestive spice that may be soothing, stimulating or carminative (relieving gas) in different individuals, and it is a popular taste in drinks, confections and simple proprietary medicines.

Anise is a carminative and an expectorant. It is also a good source of iron. One tablespoon of anise seeds sprinkled on cookies, bread or cake provides 16% of the RDA for a woman and 24% of the RDA for a man. A 1990 study tested the effect of certain beverage extracts on the absorption of iron. The results showed that anise was the most effective of the extracts tested in promoting iron absorption. The authors recommended offering this as a preventive agent to iron deficiency anemia. To make a carminative tea that may relieve intestinal gas, crush 1 teaspoon of anise seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10-20 minutes and strain. Drink up to 3 cups a day. In a tincture, take  1 teaspoon up to three times a day. Diluted anise infusions may be given cautiously to infants to treat colic. For older children and people over 65, begin with low-strength preparations and increase strength if necessary. Some people simply chew the anise seeds. Early English herbalist Gerard suggested anise for hiccups. It has also been prescribed as a milk promoter for nursing mothers and as a treatment for water retention, headache, asthma, bronchitis, insomnia, nausea, lice, infant colic, cholera and even cancer. America’s 19th century Eclectic physicians recommended anise primarily as a stomach soother for nausea, gas, and infant colic.

Modern uses: Science has supported anise’s traditional use as a treatment for coughs, bronchitis, and asthma. According to several studies the herb contains chemicals (creosol and alpha-pinene) that loosen bronchial secretions and make them easier to cough up. Another chemical (anethole) acts as a digestive aid. Anise also contains chemicals (dianethole and photoanethole) similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. Scientists suggest their presence probably accounts for the herb’s traditional use as a milk promoter and may help relieve menopausal discomfort. One report shows that anise spurs the regeneration of liver cells in laboratory rats, suggesting a possible value in treating hepatitis and cirrhosis. While there are no studies that support using anise to treat liver disease in humans, anise looks promising in this area.

Other Miscellaneous Uses:
*In the 1860s, American Civil War nurse Maureen Hellstrom used anise seeds as an early form of antiseptic. This method was later found to have caused high levels of toxicity in the blood and was discontinued shortly thereafter.

*According to Pliny the Elder, anise was used as a cure for sleeplessness, chewed with alexanders and a little honey in the morning to freshen the breath, and, when mixed with wine, as a remedy for asp bites (N.H. 20.72).

*The Biblical “anise” mentioned in some translations of Matthew 23 is dill (A. graveolens), rather than this plant.

*In 19th-century medicine, anise was prepared as aqua anisi (“Water of Anise”) in doses of an ounce or more and as spiritus anisi (“Spirit of Anise”) in doses of 5–20 minims.

*In Pakistani and Indian cuisines, no distinction is made between anise and fennel. Therefore, the same name (saunf) is usually given to both of them. Some use the term patli (thin) saunf or velayati (foreign) saunf to distinguish anise from fennel, although Gujarati has the term anisi or Sava.

*In the Middle East, water is boiled with about a tablespoon of aniseed per teacup to make a special hot tea called yansoon. This is given to mothers in Egypt when they are nursing.

*Builders of steam locomotives in Britain incorporated capsules of aniseed oil into white metal plain bearings, so the distinctive smell would give warning in case of overheating.

*Anise can be made into a liquid scent and is used for both drag hunting and fishing. It is put on fishing lures to attract fish.

*Anise is frequently used to add flavor to mu’assel, particularly the double apple flavor.

*Anise is one of the three odors used in K9 Nosework.

Historical View :
Oil of anise possesses the same aromatic, carminative, and stimulant properties as anise fruits, and as already noticed is commonly preferred to them as a medicine, and is alone official in the British Pharmacopoeia.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
unitproj.library.ucla.edu
http://www.aidanbrooksspices.blogspot.com/2007/10/anise.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anise