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It is now known that natural medicine is the best choice to alleviate or prevent daily ailments or even diseases of a certain entity and, unlike chemical or synthetic products, have fewer contraindications. Among the broader spectrum natural remedies there is anise. It should be noted that there are different varieties of anise and the most famous is the star anise, among the various types the properties are very similar.
The scientific name of the medicinal plant of the anise is "pimpinella asinum L", this belongs to the umbrellifer family and is an annual plant, so once its course has been completed it must be grubbed up and then sown again. His properties were already known to the Greeks and even Hippocrates in his writings mentions the beneficial and healing properties of anise seeds.
It is a herbaceous plant that can reach one meter in height, has few leaves placed above all at the base of the oval-shaped bush and an intense green color. The white inflorescence reaches its peak in the height of summer, takes the form of an umbrella and is at the end of a long stem. Also from the aesthetic point of view the anise flower is very decorative and therefore it can easily find a place on balconies or in the garden.
The medicinal plant of anise is easy to grow in soil or in pots, it is enough to sow the seeds in rows or in a sieve between the end of winter and the beginning of spring, when there are no more frosts, and then let the plant grow without special care. It prefers mild climates, well sunny places possibly sheltered from the wind, in a fertile and well-drained soil because it does not like excess water, it must be watered regularly but not excessively, especially after sowing. The fruits are the seeds of oval / roundish shape with a groove completely similar to that of fennel and reach maturity in autumn, but it may be useful to start harvesting already at the end of August. The stems must be cut when the seeds take on a gray-green color and once they have dried, they must be placed in closed jars and possibly in a cool, dry place. Characteristic is the smell that the flowers give off.
USE IN THE KITCHEN
There are many uses that can be made of anise seeds, but its aromatic qualities stand out, making it widely used both in the preparation of desserts and in the preparation of savory. An example is the biscuits prepared by combining these seeds with the dough, but considerable application is also made in confectionery, in particular in some areas of Italy it is used to cover anise seeds with the classic sugar glaze that is also used for traditional confetti . After eating this particular "confetto" in the mouth a feeling of freshness remains and deodorises the breath. As for the savory preparations, anise seeds give the meat a delicate but pleasant aroma. In many areas of Italy they are used in the preparation of cold cuts, but also rabbit and pork. Anise for food use is also used to make liquors, in fact it is known as "anise" which is obtained from the processing of a particular variety of anise, or star anise, as well as having a very sweet and delicate taste, it has also a digestive function.
Surprising the qualities of anise in the form of tisanes or oils to defeat some problems. Anise seeds are rich in carbohydrates, proteins and even fats, as well as obviously containing anethole which gives the characteristic pleasant and fresh smell.
The properties were known already centuries ago and in fact in the eighteenth century it was used to make digestive liqueurs. Today, in addition to its digestive properties, it is also used for diseases affecting the respiratory tract and in particular for coughs, whooping cough and for respiratory tract diseases characterized by the presence of mucus because the anise is a powerful mucolytic and is precisely for this reason it is also used in syrups and candies to dissolve mucus, especially if prepared for children.
Anise has positive effects on infections that can affect the digestive tract by stimulating digestion and relieving the sense of swelling. The anise tea also fights intestinal cramps and abdominal pain in general and is widely used in preparations for newborns who cannot take drugs. Anise tea can also be used as an antidiarrheal.
Also important is the role played to combat halitosis, and it is precisely for this reason that it is also used in mouthwashes and toothpastes.
An important role also plays it on the hormonal levels and in particular on the exocrine glands, used constantly to regularize the menstrual cycle and in the case of breastfeeding favors the milky whipping.
Besides the seeds, the leaves can also be used for herbal teas, to be cut with the use of scissors suitable for not ruining the plant, these have sedative properties and therefore help reconcile sleep.
Despite being a natural product, it can create problems in the case of liver diseases, of skin particularly subject to sunburn or in case of epilepsy. Interactions can occur if NSAIDs or cortisone drugs are taken. In all these cases it is advisable to inform the medical officer before starting the appointment.