Herbs > Anise Herb

Information on, uses of and how to grow anise:

Name
Pimpinella anisum.

Family
Umbelliferae.

History
This herb is native to Egypt and is mentioned in ancient Egyptian records. The Romans used it in medicine and also in a cake which was possibly the forerunner of the wedding cake.

Growing pattern
Annual.

Seeds
Buy Anise Seeds (Organic and Non-Organic) from The Green Chronicle (Pay in $US, £, Euro).
Herbs, Seasonings, Seeds and Spices - BuyAnise Seed, Anise Star Powder from Mountain Rose Herbs ($US).

How to grow
Anise can only be grown by seed. Sow the seeds when the soil begins to warm in the desired flowering position. Transplant the seedlings when very small and eventually thin them to 15 centimeters apart. Anise has very long tap roots and therefore is not suitable for container growing unless in a very deep pots.

Soil condition/position
Grow Anise in light, well drained soil.

Appearance
Anise grows to a height of 60 centimetres and has a flavour similar to that of liquorice.

Uses
Anise has been used for many years to disguise the unpleasant taste of medicine. Gather the seed heads in early autumn. Use the leaves throughout the growing season to add to green salads. The leaves and seeds taste good with shellfish. The dried seeds can be used in cakes, biscuits, bread and apple pie. A refreshing tea can be made from the dried leaves and this is supposed to be an aid to digestion as is chewing the seeds to cure hiccoughs. Cosmetically a good face pack can be made from ground seeds. This will fade freckles. The seeds are also useful for pot-pourri.