Anise is known in North America for its use in herbalism for dealing with colic and rheumatism, among other things. The seeds of the plant are also well known by herbalists to be very beneficial for digestive health, like digestive disorder and ensuring proper functioning of the digestive system. It's also reported by alternative practitioners to be useful for common ailments such as nausea, pain in abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea, gastritis and spasmodic flatulence as well. I have cited some scholarly source in the references to verify my statements. Take nothing on this website as a medical claim.
I've cited some studies which were written by scholars in regards to the potential antimicrobial and antioxidant potential these seeds have! One such study suggest a very synergistic relationshp between Anise and Thymus vulgaris! I personally think it blends well in any type of tincture that contains herbs known to possess the phytochemical known as Thujone. Wormwood is one such botanical. It has a rather spicey flavor and I do believe there is some midly psychoactive potential to its potential properties ( my opinion and intuition ). Another study looks at the antifungal properties of its pharmacological phytochemicals.
The strong scent comes from the essential oils that are mostly trans-anethole. Anethole makes up 90% of the oil and is whats believed to act as a digestive aid which why it is used as a supplement for upset stomach. This oil also may reduce flatulence. Other studies mention the herbs therapeutic phytochemicals, cresol and alpha-pinene, that loosen bronchial secretions and make them easier to release. I was watching a really cool Absinthe documentary one time and it mentioned most recipes used to brew good Absinthe (made from Wormwood) used anise! I really think there is something special to it, and that it may have applications in cultures that embraced plant mysticism, such as the Native Americans or shamans. Perhaps it synergizes well with other herbs as well!
Many people are unaware that these natural remedies contain pharmacological phytochemicals.(see phytochemistry) When it comes to understanding medicine and health, these microscopic wonders have led to breakthroughs. For example, aspirin was created thanks to White Willow Bark for even existing one, and a drug manufacturing company, that I forget the name of. According to wikipedia.org(referenced further on the page to original source), "Aspirin was first isolated by Felix Hoffmann, a chemist with the German company Bayer in 1897." So the answer to the question "what came first, the plant or the pill?", is the plant.
The information being presented here gives us a great glimpse into the amazing wonders of natural substances. The idea that these incredible Anise seeds hold a certain amount of potential pharmacological power is in fact remarkable. From my understanding, through all information on this matter that I have ever encountered regarding foods and herbs of the earth, we should only expand our open-mindedness towards these studies. If I didn't already have so much going on, I would want to take up the academic field of phytochemistry myself. I think it would be cool to extract its active principles in a laboratory and study them for their potential pharmacology!
Aside from medicine in both simple or advanced forms( modern or holistic/herbal), the study of natural compounds, like vitamins, and others found in herbs, could possibly teach us a great deal about our health, functioning and well-being. Becoming even more knowledgable could lead to further breakthroughs. While I may know a little more than many, there is still so much more for me to know as I know very little. The study of herbals, and the science behind what's inside of them for medicial research would be some cool stuff to study in school. If it's up your alley, take it up. The world needs more discoveries for good, in my eyes. Your purchase of Anise or any other herb helps support this site! Thank you!
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