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Anisum officinalis, A. vulgare, anise, sweet cumin
Steam distillation of the seeds
Native to Greece and Egypt, now cultivated in India, China, Mexico and Spain (Spain)
An annual herb, less than a metre tall with white flowers and delicate leaves
Colourless to pale yellow liquid with a warm spicy-sweet characteristic scent
Widely used as a domestic spice. The volatile oil content provided the basis for its medical applications; dry irritable coughs, bronchitis and whooping cough.
Cautions and comments
Its major component, anethole, is known to cause dermatitis in some individuals – avoid in allergic and inflammatory skin conditions. Use in moderation only.
Main chemical constituents
4-5 drops in bath, on tissue or in a vaporiser. 15 drops in 50ml carrier.
WARNING – do not apply undiluted or internally. Keep away from children and eyes. Store in cool, dark place