Aniseed

anis

Family: Apiaceae

Synonyms: Aniseed, Anis seed, Anis, Anise, Sweet cumin

Parts Used: Seeds (fruits), oil

Anise is and annual plant reaches and average height of 30-50 cm. The plant is completely covered with fine hairs.  The root is thin and spindle-shaped, the stem up, stalk-round, grooved and branched upward. In midsummer the thin stems are topped with umbrella-shaped clusters of tiny white flowers, which are heavy enough to make the stems flop.  They turn into seedlike fruits.  Anise is a cross-pollinating species and is genetically heterogeneous. The fruit is an ovoid-pearshaped somewhat compressed at the side. Commercially available aniseed usually contains the whole fruits and occasionally parts of the fruitstalk.  The fruits are downy. Their colour  is greyish-green to greyish brown.

Production and cultivation

Anise is cultivated in Turkey, Egypt, Spain, Russia, Italy, India, Greece, Northern Africa, Argentina, Malta, Romania and Syria. Anise is primarily exported from Turkey, and also from Egypt and Spain in particular.

P. anisum requires a warm and long frost-free growing season of 120 days. The plant needs a hot summer to thrive and for seeds to ripen. Anise develops best in deep, rich, well-drained, sandy and calcerous soils. Cold, loamy and moist soils are suitable for the cultivation of anise.

The thousand seeds weight of the part-fruits amounts to 1.5 to 3.0 g and should have a minimum purity of 90% and a minimum germination of 70%.

Ripe-fruits seeds germinate relatively quickly. The germination time is 14 days. Only seeds from the previous year’s harvest germinate well.  Optimun soil temperature for germination is 18-21° C.  It is essential to prepare good seedbeds and to create a good contact between the planted seed and the soil because the seeds are small and have low germination percentage (70%).

Properties

Anise oil have a number of functional properties:

▪Antibacterial

▪Antifungal

▪ Antioxidant

▪ Stimulant, carminative and expectorant