Taste (Rasa): Bitter, Pungent
Energetics (Virya): Heating
Doshic Effects: Pacifying for Vata and Kapha
Benefits & Use: Anise seed, taken as a tea, is an excellent remedy for asthma and bronchial cough. It is also healing for the digestive system, which is why several cultures make anise flavored liqueurs to ingest with meals; the essential oil within the seed acts as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic agent, removing gas and uncomfortable digestive pains like flatulence, bloating, colicky stomach pain, nausea, and indigestion. In fact, in India and Pakistan dried anise seeds are chewed after meals to refresh the breath post-meal and aid in digestion.
Additional Uses: Enhance lactation; relieve insomnia; sooth constipation; remove head lice; natural pain relief
In the Kitchen: Anise can be used whole or ground. When whole it is usually is added to liquids for a slow simmer or braise and removed from the dish before serving. Ground anise is more versatile. It’s also more potent and should be added with care. And like all whole spices, it’s best when ground just before using.