Anise

Anise (Hui Xiang, Ba Jiao Hui Xiang)

Anise/Star Anise (Hui Xiang)

Botanical Name: Western – Pimpinella anisum. Eastern – Illicium verum.

Anise, also called aniseed, is widely cultivated to flavor food and drinks. It is especially popular in the Mediterranean where it is native. Star anise (Illicium verum) is an evergreen plant from a different family, though it has similar properties and flavor as anise. Anise is a useful carminative, reducing flatulence, it is used by many cultures as digestive after feasting. Due to its estrogen-like properties, it can also help reduce menopausal symptoms. It is also used to fight lice, and help increase lactation.

Below is an overview of Anise/Star Anise (Hui Xiang), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Anise/Star Anise (Hui Xiang).

Have we sparked your interest?

Sign up, FREE, for access to all of WRI Healing Herb Fact Sheets and Exclusive Member Only Offers! Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Find Out More!

Take full advantage of the healing powers of herbs! What do they treat? How can they be used? Get an Eastern and Western perspective about how and why healing herbs works. Get recipes, gardening tips, insights, and much, much more.

Western

Western Name: Anise / Star Anise

Also Known As: Aniseed

Organs/Systems: Stomach, Reproductive System, Lung, Bladder, Skin

Key Actions: Expectorant, Aphrodisiac, Diuretic, Antidepressant, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Carminative, Sedating, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Decongestant, Cordial, Antirheumatic

Medicinal Uses: Upset stomach, menstrual cramping, increase lactation, seizures, asthma, cough, insomnia, congestion, constipation, increase flow of urine, lice, scabies, psoriasis, depression, postpartum depression, cholera, diarrhea, fungal skin disorders, menopausal disorders, balances blood sugar, prevents bone loss, insomnia, lice, scabies. Flavor for drinks and teas.

Eastern

Pin Yin: Hui Xiang (the same word can also be used to mean anise, aniseed, and fennel), Ba Jiao Hui Xiang (star anise)

Also Known As: Da Hui Xiang

Meridians: Spleen, Stomach, Kidney, Liver

Key Actions: Tonify Qi, Tonify Yang, Warms the Interior, Expels Cold

Medicinal Uses: Increase appetite, arthritis, joint pain, stomach cramping, acute or chronic constipation, abdominal pain due to Cold, hernia, lumbago, vomiting, nausea, menstrual cramping.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Anise is a flowering herbaceous annual plant in the dill family, Apiaceae. It can grow to 3 feet or more tall. The leaves at the base of the plant are simple, long, and shallowly lobed, the leaves that are higher up on the stems are feathery pinnate. The flowers are white and grow in umbels. The fruit is an oblong dry schizocarp, called aniseed.

Aniseed is native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Star anise (Illicium verum) is the star shaped fruit of a tree that is a member of the magnolia family (Schisandraceae), native to southern China and Indochina.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Anise is a flowering herbaceous annual plant in the dill family, Apiaceae. It can grow to 3 feet or more tall. The leaves at the base of the plant are simple, long, and shallowly lobed, the leaves that are higher up on the stems are feathery pinnate. The flowers are white and grow in umbels. The fruit is an oblong dry schizocarp, called aniseed.

Aniseed is native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Star anise (Illicium verum) is the star shaped fruit of a tree that is a member of the magnolia family (Schisandraceae), native to southern China and Indochina.

Parts Most Frequently Used: Seed (fruit), Oil, Root, LeafAnise (Hui Xiang, Ba Jiao Hui Xiang)

Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Pungent, Aromatic, Warm

Caution: Generally considered safe to use. People allergic to plants similar to anise (asparagus, caraway, cumin, dill, fennel, coriander, and celery), may experience allergic reactions.

History/Folklore: Anise was first cultivated in Egypt and the Middle East and then brought to Europe as a medicine. The seeds were so valuable in the East that they were often used to pay taxes. Among other ailments the seeds have been used to treat digestive issues, low libido, and contribute to healthy levels of neuro-chemicals in the brain.

The ancient Romans often served spiced cakes with aniseed called mustaceoe at the end of feasts as a digestive. It is this tradition of serving cake at the end of feasts that is the basis for serving wedding cake at weddings.

Pliny the Elder, considered anise as a cure for sleeplessness, a useful breath freshener, and when mixed with wine, a remedy for asp bites.

The English herbalist, John Gerard, said “The seed wasteth and consumeth winde, and is good against belshings and upbraidings of the stomacke, alaieth gripings of the belly, provoketh urine gently, maketh abundance of milke, and stirreth up bodily lust: it staieth the laske (diarrhea), and also the white flux (leukorrhea) in women.”

The constituents thymol, terpineol, and anethole contribute to the seeds and oil to treat pectoral disorders and coughs. Used as a lozenge the seeds are an effective expectorant. A tea made from the seeds can help soothe bronchial irritations. A gargle made from the tea can relieve sore throat, laryngitis, or pharyngitis. Aniseed oil used in a vaporizer it effective to clear congestion and coughs. A paste made from the seeds can be applied to the forehead, neck or temples to relieve headaches and migraines.

Star anise (Illicium verum) is indigenous to northern China and widely used in South Asian, Southwest Asian, and East Asian cooking. Star anise is considerably less expensive to produce than anise (P. anisum). It is a key ingredient in the Mexican dish atole de anis and champurrado, which is similar to hot chocolate. In Pakistan and India it is used as a digestive after dinner.

In Oriental medicine star anise (Illicium verum), is commonly used with aloe vera (Lui Hui) to treat acute or chronic constipation. The herbs pungent flavor is recognized as being able to aid the circulation of Qi (Energy) and Body Fluids. Research on star anise has revealed it contains a compound shikimic acid, which is a primary precursor in the pharmaceutical synthesis of the anti-influenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu). The herb is also popularly an ingredient in the famous Five-spice powder blend popular in many Asian dishes. Medicinally 3 to 6 g are used in decoction, pill, powdered form.

The chemical constituents in anise may have estrogen-like effects.

Anethole, a compound found in anise, is a key ingredient in anise essential oil, making up 80-90% of the oil.

In foods, anise is used as a flavoring agent. It resembles the flavor of black licorice and is commonly used in alcohols, liqueurs, breath fresheners, and candies. Anise is used to flavor Greek Ouzo, Italian Sambuca, Bulgarian Mastika, French Absinthe, Anisette, and Sastis, and Turkish Raki.

The seeds can be ground or used whole for bread-making.

The name “anise” is derived via the Old French from the Latin word anisum, referring to dill.

Anise is also used as a fragrance in soaps, creams, perfumes, and sachets.

Want Anise/Star Anise (Hui Xiang)?

Here are some options…

Key Constituents:

Anetole, Estragole, Acetopheone, Limonene, Pinene, Protein (18%), Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Manganese, Zinc, Potassium, Copper, Riboflavin, Niacin, Thiamin, Thymol, Terpineol, Anethole.

Did you know?

Paste

A paste can even be used to treat lice and scabies.

Facts

Aphrodisiac

It is said drinking one glass of water infused with the crushed seeds each night can increase a persons sec drive.

Fun fact!

Licorice

Anise has a distinct licorice taste and is often used to add flavor to drinks and desserts.

FREE Trial!

Get a NEW Healing Herb Fact Sheet each week!

Sign up for immediate access to your first Healing Herb Fact Sheet and a one month free trial. Find out for yourself why over 50,000 people have already signed up.

Sign Up Now

Choose the Right Herbs for You!

Take FULL Advantage of the Healing Powers of Herbs!

Our Healing Herb Library is a collection of How to Use Herb Health Sessions that guide you through individual herbs, helping you to take full advantage of each herb’s unique healing powers.

Learn More

Flower Your World with Healing Herb Fact Sheets!

Get 300+ Fact Sheets,
Right Now!

Get IMMEDIATE access to Our Complete Collection of 6 eBook Volumes containing 300+ Healing Herb Fact Sheets.

Learn More

Want to Learn More?

Join us for FREE to receive Special Offers and updates about upcoming releases, FREE training sessions and materials, and much more.
Join, FREE!

References: For a complete list of references please visit our References and Resources page. Disclosure: If you purchase from some links on this web page, we may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, we only ever mention products we would recommend whether we were being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of White Rabbit Institute of Healing!

ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

Health Break: Detox, Strengthen & Cleanse

Join our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge!

A Health Boost and Reset to Balance Body, Mind, & Spirit Using Traditional Chinese Medicine. You'll also recieve our Free Healing Herb Fact Sheets and latest news. Your privacy is guaranteed.

Thank you, you have joined our wait list! We'll let you know when our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge is open.

Healing Herb Fact Sheets

Download. Print. Share.

Complete the form below for immediate access to ALL our Herb Fact Sheets.

Thank you for joining us! Please check your email for details on how to access our free Healing Herb Fact Sheets. Be sure to check your spam folder and promotions tab if you have one.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This