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What is anise, where to buy it and what can you do with it?

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What is anise?

Anise is found in a variety of products. When you drink a cup of warm anise milk, or eat a rusk with mice, you taste the strikingly spicy taste of anise. The taste of anise will not be easily forgotten. What is it and is it healthy and why is it good for women? Read here in what ways you can use anise.

Anise plant

Anise comes from the anise plant This plant from the umbellifer family grows up to 50 centimeters tall and originates in the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia. Although the anise plant is now native to many parts of the world, it is grown in southern Europe, the Mediterranean, Russia and India. Anise is not the same as star anise, although these plants are related.

Where to buy anise

You can buy anise at a spice store or simply at a supermarket.

Anise in the kitchen

Several parts of the anise plant can be used in the kitchen, although in the Netherlands the use of anise seeds is best known. The seeds are used as flavoring in dishes. Less well known is that the leaves, flowers, roots and stems can also be used in salads, soups and stews. All parts of the plant contain the typical anise flavor. Well-known uses fin the kitchen are: anise milk, anise bread, anise tea, birth pills, French pastis, various alcoholic beverages such as ouzo and raki, peppercorns and anise roll.

Anise

Anise as a medicine for women’s ailments

The typical taste of anise is due to the substance anethole. This substance is also found in fennel and star anise and is a so-called bioidentical hormone. It has the same effect as the hormone estrogen. It is therefore sometimes prescribed to breastfeeding mothers who want to increase their breast milk production. It can also help with menstrual pain and menopause symptoms.

Medicinal effects

In addition to the estrogenic effects of athenol, anise is also used as a digestive aid (against flatulence and constipation) and as a cough medicine (because of its expectorant effect). If you want to use anise seeds for medical reasons, you can think of making anise tea. You can also add (ground) anise seeds in yogurt or baking products. Anise also has antibacterial properties. You can therefore use it externally in the form of anise oil, anise ointment or balm.

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