Anise tea is made by boiling the seeds from the anise plant in water. Anise is also called aniseed, sweet cumin, and pimpinel seed. Some people prefer to refer to it by its Latin name, pimpinella anisum. Anise tea has been used in homeopathic remedy practices for thousands of years, since the times of the ancient Egyptians. It is believed to treat a wide range of ailments, such as respiratory illnesses and nausea.
Growing to approximately 2 feet (.61 m) in height, anise has feather-like leaves, yellow flowers, and plenty of greenish-gray seeds. It is native to North Africa, parts of Asia, and the eastern Mediterranean. The seeds are not only used for medical purposes, but also as a spice in many cooking recipes.
Anise has a sweet fragrance and a strong licorice-like flavor. As a result, it is used to flavor a variety of products. For example, many natural toothpastes and mouthwashes are flavored with anise. Even licorice may be flavored with anise to increase the licorice taste.
One of the best ways to obtain the antispasmodic and antiseptic benefits of anise is to make anise tea. Simply crush approximate 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of anise seeds. Then, add about 1 cup (236.6 ml) of boiling water to the seeds. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then drink or gargle with the tea.
Many people who practice homeopathic medicine claim that the health benefits of anise tea are numerous. For example, it may be used to loosen mucus and phlegm in the lungs and throat. It is also believed to treat respiratory illnesses, such as sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and colds. It may be recommended to treat colic and even hiccups as well.
Anise tea may be useful for other ailments beyond respiratory conditions. For example, it is sometimes recommended to breastfeeding mothers as a way to enhance the breast milk supply. For men, it is sometimes used to treat impotence. In addition, it is believed to treat nausea, gas, and bloating. Also, the oil from the seeds may be used outside the body to rid the body of lice and scabies.
As with any homeopathic remedy, a doctor should be consulted before using anise tea. For people with special sensitivities, anise tea may cause acne, rosacea, or other skin inflammations. If the seeds of the anise plant are used in large doses, they may act like a narcotic. Consequently, it is best to err on the side of moderation when using anise.