Anise is most commonly used for indigestion (dyspepsia) and a long-term disorder of the large intestines that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS). It is also used for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
In foods, anise is used as a flavoring agent. It has a sweet, aromatic taste that resembles the taste of black licorice. It is commonly used in alcohols and liqueurs, such as anisette and ouzo. Anise is also used in dairy products, gelatins, meats, candies, and breath fresheners.
In manufacturing, anise is often used as a fragrance in soap, creams, perfumes, and sachets.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
- Indigestion (dyspepsia). Some research shows that taking anise powder daily for 4 weeks reduces stomach discomfort, bloating, and pain following a meal in people who have indigestion after eating.
- A long-term disorder of the large intestines that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS). Some research shows that taking a capsule containing anise oil daily reduces pain and bloating in people with IBS.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Asthma. Early research shows that drinking one cup of a tea containing anise and multiple other ingredients reduces coughing and sleep discomfort in people with allergic asthma.
- Constipation. Early research shows that drinking an herbal tea containing anise, fennel, elderberry, and senna daily for 5 days improves constipation in some people.
- Depression. Some research shows that taking a capsule containing anise oil daily for 4 weeks improves feelings of depression in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Diabetes. Early research shows that taking anise seed powder daily for 2 months lowers blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
- Lice. Early research shows that applying a spray containing anise oil, coconut oil, and ylang ylang oil to the scalp helps to get rid of head lice. The effect of this combination spray appears to be comparable to a spray containing the chemicals permethrin, malathion, piperonyl, butoxide, and isododecane.
- Symptoms of menopause. Early research shows that taking anise seed extract daily for 4 weeks reduces how often menopausal women get hot flashes.
- Migraine. Some early evidence shows that applying a cream containing anise oil to the forehead area at the start of a migraine might improve the headache by a small amount. But people in this study could smell the anise cream. It is not clear if this effect is due to applying the cream to the forehead, to the smell of the cream, or to a "placebo effect."
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Early research shows that taking anise extract one week before menstruation, and continuing for 3 days after, improves symptoms of PMS.
- Increasing breast milk.
- Increasing sex drive.
- Itchy skin infection caused by mites (scabies).
- Scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis).
- Starting menstrual periods.
- Other conditions.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Children: Anise is LIKELY SAFE for most children when taken by mouth in amounts typically found in foods. There isn't enough reliable information to know if anise is safe for children to use in medicinal amounts.
Allergies: Anise might cause allergic reactions in some people who are allergic to other plants that are similar to anise. Plants that are similar to anise include asparagus, caraway, celery, coriander, cumin, dill, and fennel.
Diabetes: Anise might lower blood sugar. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use anise.
Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Anise might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use anise.
Surgery: Anise might lower blood sugar levels. There is some concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using anise at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs) interacts with ANISE
Some birth control pills contain estrogen. Anise might have some of the same effects as estrogen. But anise isn't as strong as the estrogen in birth control pills. Taking anise along with birth control pills might decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. If you take birth control pills along with anise, use an additional form of birth control such as a condom.
Some birth control pills include ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Triphasil), ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (Ortho-Novum 1/35, Ortho-Novum 7/7/7), and others.
Estrogens interacts with ANISE
Large amounts of anise might have some of the same effects as estrogen. But large amounts of anise aren't as strong as estrogen pills. Taking anise along with estrogen pills might decrease the effects of estrogen pills.
Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.
Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) interacts with ANISE
Some types of cancer are affected by hormones in the body. Estrogen-sensitive cancers are cancers that are affected by estrogen levels in the body. Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) is used to help treat and prevent these types of cancer. Anise seems to also affect estrogen levels in the body. By affecting estrogen in the body, anise might decrease the effectiveness of tamoxifen (Nolvadex). Do not take anise if you are taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex).
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with ANISE
Anise might decrease blood sugar in people with diabetes. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking anise along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Caffeine interacts with ANISE
Taking anise oil with caffeine might reduce the levels of caffeine in the blood. This might decrease the effects of caffeine.
Codeine interacts with ANISE
Codeine is changed into morphine by the liver. Taking anise oil with codeine might increase how quickly the liver changes codeine into morphine. This might increase the effects and side effects of codeine.
Diazepam (Valium) interacts with ANISE
The body breaks down diazepam to get rid of it. Taking anise oil with diazepam might slow down how quickly the body breaks down diazepam. This might increase levels of diazepam in the blood and increase the effects and side effects of diazepam.
Fluoxetine (Prozac) interacts with ANISE
Taking anise oil with fluoxetine might reduce how well fluoxetine works.
Imipramine (Tofranil) interacts with ANISE
Taking anise oil with imipramine might reduce how well imipramine works.
Midazolam (Versed) interacts with ANISE
The body breaks down midazolam to get rid of it. Taking anise oil with midazolam might slow down how quickly the body breaks down midazolam. This might increase the levels of midazolam in the blood and increase the effects and side effects of midazolam.
Be cautious with this combination
Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) interacts with ANISE
Taking anise oil with acetaminophen might reduce the levels of acetaminophen in the blood. This might reduce how well acetaminophen works.
Be watchful with this combination
- For indigestion (dyspepsia): 9 grams of anise powder daily for 4 weeks.
- For a long-term disorder of the large intestines that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS): 200 mg of anise oil in a special, coated capsule, taken three times daily for 4 weeks.
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