Anise or velaiti saunf (Pimpinella anusum) is referred to as the culinary herb belonging celery or ajwain family. Aniseed is considered to be one of the oldest spices which are widely used in numerous recipes across the world. Its seeds are usually in greyish brown color. It has great medicinal properties and is cultivated in the parts of Europe, Asia, Mexico and India.
This oval-shaped aromatic seeds were first discovered by the ancient Romans or Egyptians, who used it as culinary item like flavoring of the cakes, which they ate after meals to soothe their stomach from various disorders. Greeks made the use of anise in their favourite drink named as ouzo.
This herb is found enriched with moisture, protein, crude fibre, fatty oil, sugars, starch and essential oils. The main constituent of anise oil is anethole, methyl, chavicol, p-methoxyphenyl acetone and terpenes. It is really beneficial in curing various health ailments such as flatulence, phlegm from bronchial tube, heartburn, hiccups, menstruation pains, epileptic fits, whooping cough, facial and acne problems.
Let us discuss few of these in detail:
The anise herb proves to be an effective remedy for stomach soothing. It can be consumed like infusion in combination with cumin, ginger and pepper. In order to cure indigestion an infusion prepared by boiling one teaspoon of aniseed in water, which is later kept for overnight and is strained next morning, should be consumed with 1 tsp of honey for the beneficial results.
To cure cataract it is advised to take around 7 grams of aniseed everyday during evening and morning hours. It is advised that the powder of this herb to be mixed in equal quantity with coriander seeds and sugar should be consumed two times a day to have beneficial results.
Anise being enriched with expectorant properties is considered useful in treating asthma problems. It is advised that the tea made using this herb should be consumed daily to have beneficial results.
For treating insomnia or lack of sleep it is advised that around 400 ml of water should be boiled to simmer by adding one tsp of aniseed, which is later strained out and to be consumed hot or warm with honey and milk either after day meals or before going to bed.
This particular herb can also be used for treating problems like lice, vermin or mites. It is advised that the oil extracted from aniseed should be applied over the roots of the hair and left overnight may help in killing all these insecticides effectively.
Apart from all this, the fresh leaves of this herb is used as a flavoring agent for curries, cakes, soups, sauces, fish, poultry and meat dishes, sweets, cookies, cakes and biscuits. It is also chewed as the breath refresher. Its delicate flowers are widely used as a delicacy in fruits and vegetable salads.