Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum) also commonly known as Anise. It is a member of the Apiaceae/Umbelliferae family. The origin of Anise is unknown although it is thought to be the Near East. Today, it is cultivated mainly in southern Europe, Turkey, central Asia, India, China, Japan, and Central and South America. Anise has a sweet taste and distinct fragrance.
The dried fruit, seed, and oil are all applicable parts. Anise seed is rich in calcium and iron. Transanethole is the main constituent of anise oil, and responsible for the taste, smell, and medicinal properties. Anethole is similar in structure to catecholamines such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine. Anethole may be responsible for estrogenic activity. The constituent bergapten has shown carcinogenic activity. Other constituents of Anise are furanocoumarins umbelliferone, umberlliprenine, and scopoletin.
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Cautions Allergic reactions to Anise might include reactions of the skin, respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, and photosensitivity.