Anise, also called aniseed or Pimpinella anisum, is a plant that hails from the same family as carrots, celery and parsley.
It can grow up to 3 feet (1 meter) tall and produces flowers and a small white fruit known as anise seed.
Anise has a distinct, licorice-like taste and is often used to add flavor to desserts and drinks.
It’s also known for its powerful health-promoting properties and acts as a natural remedy for a wide variety of ailments.
Here are 7 benefits and uses of anise seed, backed by science.
1. Rich in Nutrients
Though anise seed is used in relatively small amounts, it packs a good amount of several important micronutrients into each serving.
In particular, anise seed is rich in iron, which is vital for the production of healthy blood cells in your body.
It also contains a small amount of manganese, a key mineral that acts as an antioxidant and is necessary for metabolism and development.
Anise seed is low in calories but contains a good amount of several important minerals, including iron, manganese and calcium.
2. May Reduce Symptoms of Depression
Depression is a common yet debilitating condition that affects up to 25% of women and 12% of men around the world.
Interestingly, some research has found that anise seed may help treat depression.
One study showed that anise seed extract exhibited powerful antidepressant properties in mice and was as effective as a common prescription medication used to treat depression.
3. Could Protect Against Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers, also called gastric ulcers, are a painful sore that forms in the lining of your stomach, causing symptoms like indigestion, nausea and a burning sensation in your chest.
Though traditional treatment typically involves the use of medications to decrease the production of stomach acid, preliminary research suggests that anise seed could help prevent stomach ulcers and reduce symptoms.
However, research on anise seed’s effects on stomach ulcers is still very limited.
Additional studies are needed to understand how it may impact ulcer formation and symptoms in humans.
4. Prevents e Growth of Fungi and Bacteria
Test-tube studies show that anise seed and its compounds possess potent antimicrobial properties that prevent infections and block the growth of fungi and bacteria.
One test-tube study demonstrated that anise seed and anise essential oil were especially effective against certain strains of fungi, including yeasts and dermatophytes, a type of fungus that can cause skin disease.
Anethole, the active ingredient in anise seed, inhibits bacterial growth as well.