There are many reported health benefits of anise, some of which include the treatment of gastrointestinal disturbances, respiratory illnesses, and hormonal imbalances. This herb may also be used to reduce fluid retention or to treat insomnia. Some studies suggest that the use of anise oil may be useful in treating parasitic infestations such as lice or scabies. Those with oily skin may benefit from using soap or other cleansers that contain anise. While the benefits of taking anise are far greater than any possible negative side effects for most people, a doctor should be consulted before beginning any new treatment program.
One of the benefits of anise is the treatment of a variety of gastrointestinal disturbances. Symptoms such as indigestion, heartburn, and bloating may be relieved by drinking a tea made with this herb. Nausea and excess flatulence may also be treated with anise. Instead of drinking a tea, some people may prefer to sprinkle a few anise seeds over a salad or other dish to aid in the digestive process.
Those who suffer from respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis, the common cold, or asthma may appreciate the benefits of anise as an expectorant. This herb has been widely used for centuries to help loosen mucus in the lungs and make coughs more productive. In fact, many cough syrups list anise oil as one of the ingredients.
Some hormonal imbalances may be treated with anise, especially in women. Some of these benefits of anise may include a reduction of premenstrual symptoms, increased libido, and the promotion of lactation in a woman who is breastfeeding. There are some studies that suggest that patients with diabetes may also benefit from the hormonal effects of this herb, as it may help to regulate blood sugar levels.
Additional benefits of anise include its diuretic and sedative properties. As a diuretic, anise may be used to eliminate excess fluid buildup from the body. This herb is also thought to have a mild sedative effect, making it popular for those who prefer a natural remedy for insomnia. Anise is often added to soaps and other skin-care products as a treatment for oily skin and may also help treat mild cases of acne.
The oil from the anise plant is thought to contain anti-parasitic properties. For this reason, it is often used to treat external parasites such as scabies or lice. Patients with heavy infestations may need to see a doctor for stronger treatment options, as anise oil seems to work best on mild parasitic infestations.