Anise (Pimpinella anisum)

Anise (Pimpinella anisum), also called aniseed, is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Its flavor has similarities with some other spices, such as star anise, fennel, and liquorice. It is widely cultivated and used to flavor food and alcoholic drinks, especially around the Mediterranean. It served as a carminative in herbal medicine.

As with all spices, the composition of anise varies considerably with origin and cultivation method. The typical values for the main constituents are: Moisture: 9–13%, Protein: 18%, Fatty oil: 8–23%, Essential oil: 2–7%, Starch: 5%, N-free extract: 22–28%, Crude fibre: 12–25%, In particular, the anise seeds products should also contain more than 0.2 milliliter volatile oil per 100 grams of spice.

Anise essential oil can be obtained from the fruits by either steam distillation or extraction using supercritical carbon dioxide.

Anise is sweet and very aromatic, distinguished by its characteristic flavour. The seeds, whole or ground, are used for preparation of teas and tisanes (alone or in combination with other aromatic herbs).

Anise is used to flavor Greek ouzo; Italian sambuca; Bulgarian mastika; French absinthe, anisette, and pastis; Spanish Anís del Mono, Anísado and Herbs de Majorca.

The main use of anise in traditional European herbal medicine was for its carminative effect (reducing flatulence), as noted by John Gerard in his Great Herball, an early encyclopedia of herbal medicine. 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.

Find Organic AnisaEssential Oil in the following BVO Products.


For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.