Next time you go to a super store or herbal store, be sure to pick up some anise seeds in your trolley bag. Why you ask? It is because these simple-looking brown seeds are more than what they appear to be. They are worth your every penny, be it in terms of medical benefits or culinary benefits.
Scientifically referred to as Pimpinella Anisum, this is a native plant of the Middle-East and Mediterranean region which has been used since the ancient times. They are thought to be first utilized by Egyptians in preparing oils, scented candles, foods, drinks and of course medicines. They are commonly referred to as aniseed, hua-hsian or sweet cumin.
It often comes as a surprise to many that this plant comes from the carrot family. Usually 2 to 3 feet long, this plant adorns itself with stunning white flowers by the middle of the year providing an attractive aesthetic view. Even the seeds look like curved commas measuring 3 to 4 millimeters. Apart from being aesthetically appealing, they possess a sweet taste and nice rich aroma of essential oil.
Should you spend your valuable money merely to enjoy the view of anise plant and seeds? No. Instead get informed about its various herbal benefits through this article to know that it is really worth your money.
Health benefits of anise:
It is known to have anti-oxidant, disease-preventing, and health promoting properties.
Its seed has a number of vital compounds such as estragol, anise alcohol, acetophenone, limonene and anethole (essential oil) which gives it the sweet flavor.
It possesses numerous essential B-complex vitamins such as pyridoxine and thiamin; minerals such as calcium, iron, copper and potassium, which aids in controlling blood pressure and producing red blood cells; and anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C and vitamin-A.
Its seed oil is utilized in the making of medicines such as anti-septic, digestive, stimulant and tonic due to its disease-preventing characteristics.
It can also be used as an effective cure for ailments and disorders such as asthma, runny nose, cough, and indigestion.
Anise seed is a popular remedy for curing digestive disorders such as diarrhea and vomiting, for ensuring normal bowel movements and for improving appetite.
It is also popular for treating respiratory problems such as asthma, cough, bronchitis, influenza and so on, since the seed plays the role of an expectorant.
- Playing the role of an effective mouthwash, anise seed also aids in preserving oral health by removing bad breath and oral inflammation with the help of its antimicrobial and antibacterial ingredients.
- It can also help in curing a number of skin disorders such as scabies, lice and various infections. In fact it is known as one of the best antiseptic which does wonders in healing wounds.
It helps stimulate milk production in mothers via its rich supply of anethole and also eases cramps and facilitates child birth. It is also very beneficial for babies in treating problems such as abdominal pain.
Its seeds, oils, leaves, spices and grounded powder are used in cooking, especially in sweet and savory cuisines such as soups, breads, cakes and so on. They can also be used in preparing drinks, especially in herbal tea and liqueurs.
So next time you visit your local super store to do your weekly or monthly shopping, get some fresh anise seeds that are concealing inside an entire surreptitious universe of essential vitamins, compounds and oils that can provide you with both medicinal and culinary benefits. However, before indulging in its secret universe, be careful not to use them excessively because it might lead to dehydration and other problems such as allergies. Moreover, dodge buying them in huge quantities as they tend to lose their rich flavor after a couple of months. Also try to keep away from seeds with broken tips or old ones since they possess less essential oil. Make the most of these nourishing flavorful seeds, before resorting to artificial chemicals and medications that have side effects tagging along with them. After all it is not only about your hard-earned money, but also about your valuable health.