Anise nutritional value
Anise is one of the herbs of significant nutritional value because of its powerful antioxidants and the health benefits it offers.
The anethole, which gives this characteristic sweet taste and intense pleasant aroma, is found in the seeds, while there are many other phytochemicals that make a significant contribution to the beneficial actions in our body. The oil extracted from anise seeds is used in traditional Chinese medicine as well as in Greece traditionally for treating stomach upset, as sedative, antiseptic, antispasmodic, tonic, expectorant, offering many more applications for our health.
Seeds are an important source of vitamins, such as B vitamins, Vitamin C (35%) and Vitamin A (6%), while offering plenty of minerals and trace elements such as calcium (65%), iron, potassium, manganese, zinc, copper. Indeed 100 grams of ground seeds offer more iron than the recommended daily dosage (205%). It is also rich in fiber and protein.
The anise belongs to the family of Apiaceae, the genus pimpinella and is scientifically known as Pimpinella anisum. It is native to the Middle East but also to the Mediterranean probably originated form Egypt. It is a perennial plant that can reach 70 cm height, while it has white flowers that bloom in the summer.
The collection is done by cutting the plant once the seeds have matured and then separate the seeds from the flowers. The seeds are light brown, about half a centimeter long or less, with soft stripes. Their aroma is characteristic due to the essential oil content.
The asteroid anise (illicium verum) is a completely different plant with similar properties and aroma but not as strong as the anise, where the seeds are hidden inside the shell of a fruit in the form of a star. It is a spicy asteroid fruit derived from an evergreen tree, native to China and is ripe for collection when the fruit turns red.
Read more about the cosmetic uses of anise and therapeutic properties of anise!