Anise Seed

Anise (Pimpinella anisum) is an herb native to Egypt and is cultivated in Turkey and Spain. After harvesting, the seed is sifted and powdered. Anise seed has an aromatic scent and a sweet, licorice-like taste that makes it a popular flavoring ingredient in herbal blends. The active compounds in anise seed include flavonoid glycosides, coumarins, and phytoncides.1 Traditionally, anise seed has been a valued ingredient in herbal formulas for digestive complaints.

Health Benefits

The treatment of phytoncides, a constituent of Anise seed, may reduce tiredness and fatigue and increase brain circulation.2 Anise and phytoncide treatments may reduce gastric ulcers and increase digestibility, as shown in preclinical studies.1,3 Anise may reduce symptoms of postpartum depression and increase self-assessed quality of life in individuals with functional dyspepsia.4,5 It has been suggested in preclinical studies that Anise seed may promote the absorption of iron in the intestine and exert antioxidant activities.6,7


Pregnant women should consult a physician before taking anise seeds.8 Anise seeds may cause allergic reactions on the skin, respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract in some individuals.9


  1. Al Mofleh IA, Alhaider AA, Mossa JS, Al-Soohaibani MO, Rafatullah S. Aqueous suspension of anise “Pimpinella anisum” protects rats against chemically induced gastric ulcers. World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb 21;13(7):1112-8. PubMed PMID: 17373749
  2. Leshchinskaia IaS, Makarchuk NM, Lebeda AF, Krivenko VV, Sgibnev AK. [Effect of phytoncides on the dynamics of the cerebral circulation in flight controllers during their occupational activity]. Kosm Biol Aviakosm Med. 1983 Mar-Apr;17(2):80-3. Russian. PubMed PMID: 6133981.
  3. Zhang S, Jung JH, Kim HS, Kim BY, Kim IH. Influences of phytoncide supplementation on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood profiles,diarrhea scores and fecal microflora shedding in weaning pigs. Asian-Australas J Anim Sci. 2012 Sep;25(9):1309-15. doi: 10.5713/ajas.2012.12170. PubMed PMID:25049695; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4092941.
  4. Ghoshegir SA, Mazaheri M, Ghannadi A, Feizi A, Babaeian M, Tanhaee M, Karimi M, Adibi P. Pimpinella anisum in the treatment of functional dyspepsia: A double-blind, randomized clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2015 Jan;20(1):13-21. PubMed PMID: 25767516.
  5. Ghoshegir SA, Mazaheri M, Ghannadi A, Feizi A, Babaeian M, Tanhaee M, Karimi M, Adibi P. Pimpinella anisum in modifying the quality of life in patients with functional dyspepsia: A double-blind randomized clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2014 Dec;19(12):1118-23. PubMed PMID: 25709650; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4333517.
  6. el-Shobaki FA, Saleh ZA, Saleh N. The effect of some beverage extracts on intestinal iron absorption. Z Ernahrungswiss. 1990 Dec;29(4):264-9. PubMed PMID: 2080638.
  7. Jamshidzadeh A, Heidari R, Razmjou M, Karimi F, Moein MR, Farshad O, Akbarizadeh AR, Shayesteh MR. An in vivo and in vitro investigation on hepatoprotective effects of Pimpinella anisum seed essential oil and extracts against carbon tetrachloride-induced toxicity. Iran J Basic Med Sc 2015 Feb;18(2):205-11. PubMed PMID: 25825639; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4366734.
  8. Mcguffin, M. Botanical Safety Handbook. American Herbal Products Association. 1997. Print. (pp. 183)
  9. Anise Seed. Commission E. American Botanical Council. 1988. Accessed in July 2015.