EVOO Flavored with Anise Seeds
Anise is an herbaceous, or a non-woody annual plant member of the Apiaceae family, which includes carrot, parsley, dill, fennel, coriander, cumin and caraway. The seeds have been used for their medicinal properties from time immemorial, and there is evidence that the Egyptians used anise back in 1500 BC, while the Romans made anise-flavored cakes to help them digest their famous bacchanals, or heavy meals.
The flavor of anise is reminiscent of that of liquorice, fennel and tarragon. Because of its strong flavor, anise oil is mixed with wine to make anisette liqueur. In Turkey it is also found in the traditional alcoholic beverage, raki, while the Greek make ouzo with it, another traditional alcoholic beverage.
Known to American Natives as 'Tut-te-See-Hau', which means '‘it expels the wind', because of its carminative properties.
- Anise seeds are useful in treating digestion related disorders, as they help the digestive process, while they improve the appetite as well.
- Anise seeds stimulate proper bowel movements, and help with nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, gastritis and spasmodic flatulence.
- Anise seeds have expectorant properties, help loosen phlegm, and provide relief from congestion and cough due to cold or allergies. Anise seeds are in fact found as one of the main ingredients in numerous cough medicines.
- Anise seeds are helpful in treating asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and sinusitis.
- Anise seeds are effective breath freshener and has anti microbial and antibacterial properties as well, thus steeped in boiling water provide a natural, healthful, home made mouthwash. In fact, anise seeds are found in various over-the-counter mouthwash and toothpaste products.
- Anise seeds contain anethole, an aromatic compound which helps increasing prolactin levels in the body, thus stimulating milk production in breast-feeding mothers. A cup of anise tea every day, made with 2 Tsp. of crushed seeds steeped in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes, is believed to be helpful to women who want to improve their milk supply.
- The mild estrogenic properties of the compounds dianethole and photoanethole, which are found in anise as well, has been proved to provide relieve for menopausal symptoms. Anise is also used to promote the onset of menstruation, to ease cramps and facilitates child birth.
- Anise is among the best natural antiseptics and may be used to cure various skin disorders and to help destroy germs in hard-to-heal wounds.
- Anise seeds are also popular in curing acute abdominal pain and hiccups in babies.
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