Family Rutaceae

Habitat ► Native to tropical America; cultivated in Indian gardens.

Pimpinella anisum Linn.

Family ► Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat ► Native to the Mediterranean region; cultivated in Uttar Pradesh., Punjab, Assam and Orissa.

Pinus excelsa Wall. exD. Don.

English ► Anise, Aniseed.

Unani ► Anisoon, Baadiyaan-roomi.

Action ► Carminative, diuretic, anticholerin, antispasmodic, expectorant. Used for flatulence, dry coughs, whooping cough, bronchitis.

Key application ► Internally in dyspeptic complaints; internally and externally in catarrhs of the respiratory tract. (German Commission E, ESCOP, WHO, The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

The fruit gave volatile oil consisting mainly of trans-anethole (70-90%), with estragole, anise ketone, anisic acid, beta-caryophyllene, anisaldehyde, linalool. The fruit contained traces of furocoumarins; seeds gave benzoic acid, caffeic acid, containing protein and myristicin. Roots afforded sterols, coumarins and flavone glyco-sides. Aniseed has been demonstrated to increase the mucociliary transport in vitro and to significantly increase liver-regeneration in rats.

Aniseed is also used as a galacta-gogue. This property is thought due to the presence of polymers of anethole, dianethole and photoanethole.

Aqueous extract of roasted aniseed is reported to show cholinomimetic effect on rat blood pressure, rat jejunum and frog rectus abdominis preparations.

Alcoholic extract of aniseeds possesses antimicrobial and fungicidal activity.

Anethole has a structure similar to catecholamines including adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine and to the hallucinogenic compound myris-ticin as well. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

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