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The common anise (Pimpinella anisum L.), also known as green anise, is an annual plant belonging to the Apiaceae or Ombelliferae family, native to the eastern Mediterranean and South-West Asia.
Those commonly called seeds, are actually small fruits striped from the oblong shape.
Anise is known around the Mediterranean basin since ancient times. Its used with other spices, to flavour meat and cheese in grain or powdered confectionery and bakery. It is also used on sausages or for the outside of some marinating meats. The anise is a sweet and very aromatic spice, and its seeds can be lightly toasted before being used to enhance the flavour.
In the Nordic countries they are used in bread, cakes and pickles. It is the base of many digestive liqueurs and aperitifs (Anisetta, Mistrà, Pastis, Sambuca, etc.).
The expectorant, carminative and stomachic properties derive from the effect of its balsamic essential oil. It is a great remedy for coughs, asthma, and colds.