Anise- pimpinella anisum
Anise keeps fine company. It is a member of the parsley family and is related botanically to caraway, cumin, dill and fennel. Anise is well known as a digestive and breath sweetener. It is the ingredient which gives Pernod and Sambuco its distinctive flavour.
Anise has a slightly sweet and distinctly licorice-like taste.
How to Use:
The anise seeds can be used whole or crushed in bread, cake, cookies, candy, cheese, applesauce, sausage, beverages, fruit pie, beef stew, pickles, fruit salad, salad dressing, baked apples, sauces, fish and shellfish
Pimpinella anisum Linn.
Other names:Aniseed; Sweet cumin
Anise, Pimpinella anisum L., a herbaceous annual native to the Mediterranean region and Egypt, is cultivated in Europe, the Middle East, Mexico, North Africa, India and Russia chiefly for its fruits, called aniseed, the flavour of which resembles that of licorice. Anise was well known to the ancient Egyptians and Romans.
The plant reaches a height of about 0.75m and requires a warm and long frost-free growing season of 120 days. It has long-stalked basal leaves and shorter, stalked stem leaves. Its small and yellowish white flowers form loose umbels. The fruit is nearly ovoid in shape, about 3.5 mm long, and has five longitudinal dorsal ridges. The fruit consists of two united carpels each containing an anise seed. The seed is small and curved, about 0.5 cm long and grayish brown. Its usually contains hair-like protrusions from each end.
The reported life zone for anise production is 8 to 23oC with 400 to 1700 mm of precipitation and a soil pH of 6.3 to 7.3. Seeds should be planted early in spring in rows 60 to 90cm feet apart and at the rate of a dozen to 30 cm. The surface of the soil should be made smooth and the seeds covered to a depth of 2cm. The stand should be thinned to three or four plants to 30 cm. Only light cultivation is needed for weed control. Anise develops very well in deep, friable soils and appears to respond favorably to nitrogen fertilization by yielding a greater quantity of high-quality fruit. The small white flowers bloom in midsummer, and seed maturation usually occurs one month after pollination, when the oil content in the dried fruit is about 2.5%. The fruiting umbels should be harvested when the seeds turn brown, which take place late in fall. The fresh leaves possess a flavour similar to that of the seeds and may be used as needed during the season. As they are clipped from the plants the umbels should be thoroughly dried either in shade or under the sun and the seeds separated, cleaned and stored for later use.
The essential oil of anise is present at about1.5 - 3.5% level. The major constituent in oil of anise is anethole. Methyl chavicol, anisaldehyde and para-methoyphenylacetone are also present, but in lesser relative amounts.
Aroma and Flavour
Fresh leaves may be used in salads, especially apple; seeds in cookies and candies. While the entire plant is fragrant, it is the fruit of anise, commercially called anise seed, that has been highly valued since antiquity. The delicate fragrance is widely used for flavouring curries, breads, soups, cakes, candies, desserts, non-alcoholic beverages, and such liqueurs as anisette and arak. Aniseed is widely used to flavour pasteries; it is the characteristic ingredient of a German bread called Anisbrod. In the Mediterranean region and in Asia, aniseed id commonly used in meat and vegetable dishes.
It is used in Italian sausage, pepperoni, pizza topping and other processes meat items.The volatile or essential oil, obtained by steam distillation of the crushed anise seed, is valuable in perfumery and soaps and has been used in toothpastes, mouthwashes and skin creams. The essential oil is used to flavour absinthe, and Penod liqueurs. Anise oil is sometimes uses as an adulterant in the essential oil of licorice. The oil is sometimes uses as sensitizer for bleaching colors in photography. The seeds are chewed after a meal in India to sweeten the breath.
It makes a soothing herbal tea and has been used medicinally from prehistoric items. As a medicinal plant, anise has been used as a carminative, antiseptic, antispasmodic, expectorant, stimulant, and stomachic. In addition, it has been used to promote lactation in nursing mothers and as a medicine against bronchitis and indigestion. Oil of anise is used today as and ingredient in cough medicine and lozenges and is reported to have diuretic and diaphoretic properties. If ingested in sufficient quantities, anise oil may induce nausea, vomiting , seizures and pulmonary edema. Contact of the concentrated oil with the skin can cause irritation.
King's American Dispensatory.
by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D., 1898.
Anisum (U. S. P.)—Anise.
"The fruit of Pimpinella Anisum, Linné"—(U. S. P.). (Anisum
Botanical Source.—Anise has a perennial, spindle-shaped, ligneous root, and smooth, erect, branched stem, 10 or 12 inches in height. The leaves are petioled; the radical ones roundish, heart-shaped, lobed, and cut serrated; the cauline ones biternate, with linear- lanceolate, rather cuneate-acuminate segments. The flowers are small and white, and borne in umbels on long stalks, and are 9 or 10-rayed, and naked; the partial ones have a few subulate, reflexed bracts. Calyx wanting or minute; corolla of 5 obovate, emarginate petals, with an inflexed lobe. Stamens 5, longer than the petals. The anthers are roundish, the styles subulate, spreading, long, and capitate. The fruit is ovate, 1 1/2 lines long, dull-brown, slightly downy, not at all shining; half-fruits or mericarps with 5 filiform, equidistant, elevated ridges, sometimes rather wavy, and paler than the channels. The commissure is broad and flat (L).
History.—Anise originally came from Egypt, and is at present cultivated in many of the warm countries of Europe; the fruit of the Spanish plant is that which is more generally selected for medical purposes. The fruit, popularly called aniseed, is the official portion. Care must be taken not to confound any of the seed of the poisonous umbelliferous plants, as of the Conium maculatum, with those of the anise; a little attention will detect any accidental admixture of this kind, as the differences in the seed are well marked. The odor of anise is penetrating, and fragrant, and the taste aromatic and sweetish (P.). Water partially takes up its properties, alcohol wholly so; these are due to a volatile oil which may be procured by distillation of the fruit with water.
Description.—"About 4 or 5 Mm. (1/6 to 1/5 inch) long, ovate, compressed at the sides, grayish, finely hairy, and consisting of 2 each with a flat face, and 5 light-brownish, filiform ridges, and about 15 thin oil-tubes, which can be seen in a transverse section by the microscope. It has an agreeable, aromatic odor, and a sweet, spicy taste. It may be distinguished from conium fruit (which it somewhat resembles, and which has been mistaken for it), by the odor and taste, and by the conium fruit consisting usually of single mericarps, which are smooth, grooved upon the face, and have crenate ridges with wrinkles between them, and no oil-tubes"—(U. S. P.).
Chemical Composition.—A volatile oil is contained in the external coat of the seeds, while a green-colored, fat oil of a butyraceous consistency, is obtained by expression of their inclosed substance. Brandes obtained from the fruit of anise, concrete fixed oil, green fat oil, resin, nitrogenous matter, sugar, gum, bimalate and binacetate of calcium, bimalate of potassium, volatile oil, lignin, silicate of iron, water, gum-resin, phosphate of calcium, extractive with various salts, etc.
The star-anise of cordial manufacturers possesses a taste and odor similar to the anise, but is procured from the Illicium Anisatum, Loureiro, a plant growing in Eastern Asia. A volatile oil is obtained by distillation from its fruit, which is often fraudulently substituted for the oil of anise; it is called oleum badiani or oil of star anise. Oil of common anise is sometimes adulterated with spermaceti or camphor, to promote its solidification; the former may be known by its insolubility in cold alcohol, the latter by its odor.
Oil of anise yields, upon oxidation, anisic acid (C8H8O3=C6H4[OCH3]COOH). This acid occurs in the form of colorless crystals, insoluble in water, but freely soluble in alcohol. It is an oxidation product of anethol (C10H12O) (the chief principle of the oils of anise [94 per cent, Flückiger], star anise and fennel), obtained by fractional distillation of the oil of anise, reserving and purifying that fraction distilling from 230° to 234° C. (446° to 453.2° F.).
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—A stimulant and carminative; used in cases of flatulency, flatulent colic of infants, and to remove nausea. Sometimes added to other medicines to improve their flavor, correct griping and other disagreeable effects. The dose of aniseed, crushed or powdered, is from 20 to 40 grains. Infusion (drachm ij or drachm iij to aqua Oss.), for infants, in doses of a teaspoonful.
Derivatives.—ANISIC ACID is claimed to be antipyretic and antiseptic acting very much like salicylic acid, and has been employed with reputed success in articular rheumatism, and as a topical application to wounds. For internal use sodium anisate is preferred, the acid being but little used. Dose of the salt, 15 grains.