Green anise (Pimpinella anisum): properties and benefits
The green anise, and the multiple therapeutic properties of this plant
The green anise or Pimpinella anisum , is an annual plant that grows in height, on average from 30 to 70 centimeters, and with alternate lower and upper opposite leaves. Flowering occurs at the beginning of the summer with small flowers and gathered in umbels, while the seeds are very small and oval brown in color with lighter streaks. The period in which the plant turns out to be more balsamic is August, in this period its sweet aromatic flavor emerges. When we generally talk about Anise we are pointing to three plants that belong to different families but share the same flavor and aroma: green anise, star anise, Pepper anise. The other element that accumulates these three plants is the origin, that is the East.
Speaking instead of its properties the first thought goes to its digestive function, in fact its seeds favor digestion by fighting abdominal swellings but not only, it can be a valid aid in cases of intestinal fermentation problems and flatulence all thanks to a particular substance called anethole. The anetol is present in large quantities in its essential oil and for this essential oil the food industry uses it in the production of liqueurs but also in ice cream and desserts. If in everyday life we want to make the most of this aromatic property, we can chew a few seeds after meals in order to improve digestion and perfume the breath.
Still in folk medicine, the seeds are used to prepare herbal teas that can stimulate the production of breast milk, giving it a pleasant taste and also in the suckling child they have an antispasmodic sedative action.
The other interesting aspect is its mild sedative power that can be fully exploited on various problems, for example:
- Common headache : in this case its function is double because besides the sedative action we have the regulation of the blood circulation;
- Dry or greasy cough: in addition to reducing coughs, we have a strong refreshing action that is also useful in the presence of sore throats, in addition, it softens the secretions of the respiratory system;
- Gastritis : when it is of nervous origin it intervenes calming, also becoming a valid antispasmodic.
Few know this plant for its aphrodisiac action, already in the Greco-Roman era they used to chew the seeds before a sexual relationship. In addition to using it in the kitchen as an aphrodisiac spice, in cases of decreased sexual desire we can drink a glass of seed infusion every night.
Its contraindications are linked more to its essential oil in fact it must be taken into account that the internal use of the essential oil, in high doses is toxic having narcotic properties. As for the intake of anise it is usually well tolerated and we can commonly find it as an ingredient in many foods but in the event that hives develop, respiratory symptoms or cutaneous manifestations after ingesting it can be in the presence of an intolerance. Those who are allergic to phenol can not take it and it is also inadvisable to all people who are using Fans, cortisone or estrogen drugs. Who has a very light complexion or very delicate skin,
Here are some examples of the use of green anise in the preparation of herbal teas:
Herbal tea after digestive meal (for 1 person)
- 1 small spoon of green anise seeds
- 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
Bring a cup and a half of water to a boil in a saucepan, with the seeds placed in a colander, for 7 minutes. After 5 minutes of rest you can drink sweetening to taste.
Antifermentative herbal tea:
You can use the same herbal tea recipe of herbal tea after a digestive meal but adding a piece of ginger in the resting phase (5 minutes)
Increase in milk production
- Galega 50 gr
- Green anise 25 gr
- Fennel 25 gr
Bring 1 liter of water to the boil, turn off the heat and pour 4 tablespoons of the mixture, leaving it to infuse for 15 minutes. This herbal tea should be drunk during the day.