Origin: Eastern Mediterranean and south-east Asia

Family: Apiaceae
Subfamily: Apioideae
Tribe: Pimpinelleae
Scientific Name: Pimpinella anisum

Folk Names: Anix, anneys, aniseed, sweet cumin


Element: Air
Day: Thursday
Planet: Jupiter
Zodiac: Gemini
Deities: Hecate, Apollo, Hermes, Mercury

Parts used: Seeds

Magical Properties: Protection, purification, love, psychic skills, divination, vitality, banishing, exorcism

Substitutions: Star anise, fennel


Anise was cultivated and used medicinally in Egypt for about 4,000 years.

It was also used by the ancient Greeks and Romans:

Anise was mentioned in De Materia Medica (50-70CE), the first authoritative book on medicines. It was listed as being an antirheumetic.

Magical Uses


Part Used: Seeds
Extraction Method: Steam distillation
Flash Point: 94°C

Scent Type: Spicy
Perfume Note: Top
Scent Description: Spicy-sweet, liquorice-like scent

Active Constituents: Anethole (80–90%)

Aromatherapeutic Uses

Sedative/calming effect that helps with anxiety and nervousness. Can help with headaches and migraines.

Also strongly anti-fungal, repels mosquitoes, and is toxic to head lice.



Medicinal Properties:

Medicinal Uses:

Aniseed Tea: Infuse 1tsp of aniseeds per cup of water; take up to 1.5 cups per day to help with coughs/congestion.

Aniseed Tincture: Add 60g of aniseeds and some lemon peel to 1L of brandy and let sit for at least two weeks; take 1tsp as needed.



Some dogs react to anise similarly to cats with catnip (just be cautious of the amount consumed, as it can be toxic in large quantities).


The entire plant is edible: Flowers and leave can be used in salads, and the stem and roots can be used to add flavour to soups and stews.

Aniseed is frequently used in cooking, especially sweets, desserts, and digestives.

It is also used to flavour several digestifs and liqueurs, including anisette, arak, French absinthe, ouzo, raki, and sambuca.


Anise is a popular scent component for perfumes and beauty products.


Anise is an erect herb which resembles members of the carrot family, and has a licorice-like scent.

Type: Annual herb
Plant size: 30-45cm
Leaves: Feathery, finely-divided upper leaves, and broader, toothed lower leaves
Flowers: Umbels of delicate white/yellow star-like flowers produced late summer
Fruit: Oblong and 2-5mm long, called ‘aniseed’

Etymology: ‘Anise’ comes from the Old French version of the latin word anisum, or Greek, anison, referring to dill.

In the Garden

Type: Annual
Sow: Late spring
Light: Bright light
Soil: Rich, sandy/well-drained

Companion Planting: Grows well with coriander; should not be grown with carrot.