The anise is a perennial herbal plant that bears white colored flowers with small oblong seeds. The seeds of the anise plant carry a sweet fragrance and an almost licorice like flavor. The presence of the compound anethole in the seeds is what gives anise its distinctive aroma. Originally grown in the Mediterranean and Egypt, Anise is now found all over the world.
Aniseed is available in both whole as also ground forms and can be used to add flavor to a number of food items. Aniseed as an ingredient is used in cakes and confectionary, soft drinks and alcohol. Aniseed possesses properties that are stimulating, diuretic, expectorant, carminative, laxative, anti-spasmodic, and disphoretic. The benefits of aniseed are therefore wide ranging.
Aniseed is high in vitamins such as folates, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It is also an important source of potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese and selenium. As a result, there are several health benefits of aniseed.