{ ANISE SEED ::: Pimpinella anisum }


{ ANISE SEED ::: Pimpinella anisum }


This Apiaceae has its roots in European folk medicine, and whilst similar in taste to the Illicium Star Anise, it is unrelated and more complex medicinally.


The spicy, warm, sweet & fragrant flavour of aniseed is very unique and identifiable. This flavour is a big part of its medicine. It immediately gets to work calming the tissues it touches in the digestive & respiratory systems. The sweet flavour is building, tonifying and nourishing, making it suited for dry and depleted states. The spicy fragrance penetrates whilst the warmth stimulates blood and oxygenation - which means energy to move & detox.


You can tell a lot about a plant by crushing it up and smelling it, or placing it in your mouth and investigating its flavour. The way its smell and taste impacts you - contraction, relaxation, heating, cooling etc. is how it is interacting with your body as you digest it.


A main use of aniseed medicinally is to calms contraction in the stomach and wind tension (gas) in the intestines. It was once known as ‘solamen intestinorum’ (comforter of the bowels). Matthew Wood calls it as a parasympathetic relaxant - and we are learning so much more about how calming the nervous system directly remedies belly distention.


When it comes to the lungs, that fragrant penetration becomes anti-catarrhal, meaning it breaks up phlegm. Once it’s broken up it’s much easier to cough it out and clear your breathe. This also means it can be a great ally for asthma by opening the lungs and calming coughing attacks.


Have you noticed that the flavour is a little numbing too? That’s aniseed’s anodyne properties, and whilst mild that can be really relaxes and relieving to the body when there is pain from periods, digestive cramps or coughing so much it hurts.


Laurel Dewey describes Aniseed for a kapha type who is a “slow, steady, purposeful character”, or someone who has a nervousness from mild perfectionism.


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