While there are many culinary and cosmetic uses for anise herb, Pimpinella anisum, member of the Parsley Family, many minor medical conditions and ailments can be treated using crushed anise seeds or the essential oil of anise.
Anise herb seeds have been used for centuries to help control bad breath and can be used with baking soda and salt to create flavored toothpaste plus the antiseptic properties of anise are beneficial for those with gingivitis or oral infections.
Anise can also be added to shampoo, hair conditioners and soap creating healing cleansers that have a pleasant aroma.
Creams created with the essential oil of anise have been used as insect repellants and may provide soothing relief from the sting and itch of bug bites.
Upset stomachs, especially those caused from overeating, respond well to anise candy or anise herb tea, which may help reduce nausea caused by gastroenteritis.
Homeopathic anise formulas can be used to treat colic as well as bloating and excessive flatulence and may help reduce cramping associated with many common complaints including menses, digestion irritation and indigestion.
The antispasmodic properties of anise allow it to be used for many respiratory conditions including bronchitis, whooping cough, influenza, asthma and pneumonia.
When used externally and internally anise may stimulate milk production in nursing mothers and relieve the pain associated with engorged breasts. Pregnant and nursing women should only ingest culinary quantities of anise and when making a poultice using two tablespoons of crushed seeds to one quart of water will provide soothing, safe relief.
Crushed, ground anise seeds can be added to creams to provide chest rubs that will help warm the skin and help break up lung congestion. The warming properties of anise allow it to be used as a poultice, ointment or liniment for aching muscles and joints.
Anise oil creams and washes have been used for centuries to treat body lice, scabies and other skin parasites.
Anise has anti-fungal properties which allow it to be used for many common fungal infections including athlete's foot, diaper rash and as an external rinse for vaginal yeast infections.
In addition to being a fragrant herb used in potpourri the oil of anise can be used to bait mouse and rat traps plus it is an effective insect repellant both in the garden and home.
Anise herb will grow in most temperate climates and is slug and garden insect resistant and planting them around the edges of a garden will help deter insect pests without using insecticide.
Combining equal amounts of anise and coriander in two parts of boiling water, strained and used in a spray bottle will help kill and control red mites and aphids on flower and vegetable plants.
Using the essential oil of anise as part of an aromatherapy program will break up sinus congestion, provide relief from stress related headaches and relieve tension.
Anise herb is used to flavor many foods including cookies, cakes and candies plus when combined with other herbs marinades and dry rubs for meat and fish can be created.
Anise is high in Vitamin A-C and E and contains many of the B class vitamins as well as calcium, manganese, iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus making it a logical addition to any restorative soup or stew.
People recovering from illness or injuries should eat soft, easily digested foods including soups or stews and flavoring these with herbs high in nutritional value will speed up healing and provide a well balanced diet.
At first glance, you might think anise herb doesn't have a lot of uses, but as you can see, this flavorful herb is a great candidate for your herb garden.