Anis Seed belongs to the family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae and Genus Pimpinella. It is also known as Aniseed, Anis, Anise or Sweet Cumin. Aniseed plant has a height of 30 to 50 cm and is covered with fine hair. During mid summer clusters of tiny white flowers bloom and have weight that can make the stem flop, after which they convert to grayish green or grayish brown colored seedy fruits. The oil ducts are found on the dorsal surface of fruit wall. Anise easily cross pollinates and is heterogeneous.
The main chemical components of Anis Seed are one to four percent Volatile Oil, Coumarins, eight to sixteen percent Lipids, Flavonoid glycosides, Myristicin, eighteen percent Protein and fifty percent Carbohydrates. Fatty acids can be extracted from remainder oil using steam distillation. Lauric Acid, which is very useful in oleo chemistry can be extracted from Petroselinic acid. Anise has very quantity of Petroselinic Acid present.
Uses of Anis Seed
Anis Seed is widely used for flavoring, culinary purposes, household purposes, in cosmetics and medicines. Although the complete plant has fragrance, however the fruit of Anise is of much significant value.
Culinary and Flavoring
It is one of the oldest spices. All parts of this plant can be used for cooking purposes. Anise flowers and leaves are used in fruit salads, dips, cheese spreads and vegetables. The stems and roots are used in cooking stews and soups. Anis seed oils are used in German Boonekamp, Benediktener, Goldwasser, Spanish Pacharan, Ojen, Italian sausage, pepperoni, pizza topping and other processed meat items. It is used extensively to flavor curries, breads, soups, German springerle, Italian biscotti, sweets like candies and anis seed balls, dried figs, desserts, cream cheese, pickles, coleslaw, egg dishes and non-alcoholic beverages. It is also used to flavor alcoholic drinks such as French Pastis, Pernod, Anisette, Ricard, Greek Ouzo, Turkish Raki, Arabian Arak, and South American Aguardiente, Russian Allasch and Puerto Rican Tres Castillos.
Toiletries and Cosmetics
Essential oil of Anis Seed are used in perfumery, with maximum permitted value of 0.25%. It is also used as a dentrifying agent in antiseptics, toothpaste, mouthwashes, soaps, detergents, lotions and skin creams. Anis seed essential oil is also used in manufacturing tobacco. It helps mask undesirable odors occurring in drugs and cosmetic products.
Anis seed Oil and Anethole are mainly used to manufacture pharmaceuticals. They have antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties. It is also used as a stimulant, a carminative and an expectorant. Anise essential oil is effective against S. pyogenes, C. ovis and Salmonella enteriditis. Anise oil is also used in cough mixtures and lozenges. It can be consumed internally for treating indigestion and inhaled for clearing congestion in respiratory system. Anise essential oil is mixed with ointments to treat muscle aches and neuralgia. It has traditionally been used to increase milk secretion, promote menstruation, facilitate birth, increase libido and alleviate symptoms of male climacteric. The oil is also used to treat scabies and control lice.
Cultivation of Anis Seed
Anise is majorly cultivated in the countries of Turkey, Egypt, Spain, Russia, Italy, India, Greece, Northern Africa, Argentina, Malta, Romania and Syria. Anise is cultivated in warm and frost free region. It needs hot summer and a temperature of eight degrees to twenty three degree Celsius. The soil should be deep, rich, well drained, sandy and calcerous with a pH value of 6.3 to 7.3. Seeds from last year harvest will germinate well within 14 days. The soil temperature should be in between eighteen degrees to twenty one degree Celsius. Planting should start around spring to autumn and active weeding is recommended. Anis Seeds are harvested in between the months of July and September.