Anise tea

What is anise tea

Anise tea is an herbal infusion prepared from the seeds of anise or aniseed, a flowering plant of Southwest Asia and the eastern Mediterranean region.  Though it has a similarity with star anise as both of them contain anethole, a flavored component, they are entirely different from each other. The sweet and aromatic flavor of this tea similar to fennel and licorice, along with its antiseptic and antibacterial as well as a host of other potential health benefits make it a highly preferred drink in the present times.

Anise tea

History and Origin

In the ancient times in Rome and Greek, aniseeds were regarded as highly prized commodities used in the East to pay taxes. The famous Roman author and philosopher Pliny, the Elder, mentioned about the utility of anise for curing insomnia as well as for bringing freshness in the breath.  Anise was also mixed with cinnamon and ginger to form a chai tea that originated in India about 5000 years ago and was a part of the Ayurvedic system.

Anise Tea

Anise Tea

Health benefits: What is anise seed tea good for

For respiratory disorders

The phytochemicals present in anise tea along with its expectorant properties makes it effective in removing lungs and sinus congestion by loosening and eliminating the mucus from the respiratory tract. Moreover, being a strong antibacterial it minimizes bacteria buildup in the throat, thus being useful in providing relief from a variety of respiratory ailments like bronchitis, common cold, cough, and pneumonia. Drinking this seed tea will be of immense aid to asthma patients as it eases breathing by lessening the inflammation of the airways that is responsible for this condition.  You may even use it as a gargle to soothe your sore throat or get relief from laryngitis or pharyngitis.

Relieves stomach problems

The laxative and antispasmodic properties of this infusion facilitate in relieving several ailments of the stomach such as gastrointestinal cramps, constipation, and belching. Drinking this tea before your meals help in curing flatulence. The presence of the volatile oils, anethole, along with the soothing and calming properties eases and regulates the digestion process thus reducing chances of bloating, as well as a stomach upset or diarrhea. It even relieves you of feelings of nausea and vomiting. Making tea by using anise seeds, dried peppermint, and lavender buds is highly beneficial for treating heartburn and acid reflux.

Induces sleep

Because of its sedative properties, this tea helps to relax the nervous system, thus acting as an effective remedy for those suffering from insomnia. It also calms and soothes the mind, relieving you of nervousness from stress. Drinking a cup of warm tea before bedtime may provide you a sound night’s sleep.

Anise Plant

Anise Plant

Diuretic properties

Acting as a mild diuretic it is functional in increasing the urine flow, thus freeing the body of the excess water as well as flushing out the toxins by detoxifying the kidney. This benefit of the tea is also instrumental in helping in weight loss. However, make sure you do not take too much of this tea before going to bed.

Helps in fighting bad breath

The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties present in this tea prevent the bacterial growth inside the mouth, helping in warding off bad breath. Moreover, this tea possesses more than twenty aromatic compounds that are effecting keeping any foul smell away. Apart from drinking this tea, you may also use it as a wash to keep your mouth fresh.

For regulating the menstrual cycle

The presence of anethole, a volatile oil, that has properties of estrogen makes this tea useful in regulating the menstrual cycle. It also provides relief from menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) because of its antispasmodic properties.

Other uses

The antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of anise make it effective in treating certain skin conditions like scabies and acne. You can cool the infusion made from anise and apply it topically on your skin and face for relief.

Is anise tea good for babies

The soothing and calming effects of anise makes it useful in treating gassy or colicky babies. You can make an infusion of this herb by boiling half teaspoon if the seeds in 500 ml water for about five minutes. If your baby is below six months of age, you may give him two to three drops of this decoction, while kids who are a year old need half a dropper of it. Chamomile tea is also helpful for colic and can be mixed with anise tea. It is better to consult your doctor to ensure safety.Do not confuse this with star anise, as the latter is said to contain toxic compounds.

How to make anise tea

  • Boil about two cups of water
  • Take a tablespoon of crushed or ground anise seeds
  • Add the seeds to boiling water
  • Simmer for five minutes
  • Add honey or lemon for taste
  • Serve hot

You may even brew the aniseeds with milk if you desire a cup of warm, refreshing tea before bedtime. To make anise cinnamon tea you would need to add cinnamon sticks to the seeds before simmering. You may even make a decoction from dried anise leaves or add them to the seeds.

Anise Seed Tea

Anise Seed Tea

Safety and Precautions

Side effects

If you are allergic to coriander, fennel, dill, cumin and celery all of which belong to the Apiaceae family, then consumption of this tea might result in allergic reactions.

People having a history of high blood pressure should consult their doctor before drinking anise tea as it is said to increase blood pressure, probably because of its high content of potassium and magnesium along with other minerals.

During Pregnancy

Though the presence of anethole in anise tea helps in soothing the gastrointestinal tract, thus providing relief from morning sickness, one of the common symptoms of pregnancy. It is recommended to avoid it during this time as it might bring in uterine stimulation leading to early labor, also triggering miscarriage.

Anise Tea Pictures

Anise Tea Pictures

For nursing mothers

This tea is said to have galactagogue properties, helping in increasing milk supply by stimulating the mammary gland. In the Middle East, nursing mothers are given a special kind of hot tea known as yasoon made from a tablespoon of aniseed and water to increase their milk supply. However, there is no clinical evidence to support this fact.

Certain studies have also shown that maternal ingestion of the herbal infusion made from anise has resulted in toxicity in the breastfed newborns because of the anethole, a phytoestrogen present in it. Thus, it is advisable for lactating mothers to consult their health care providers before drinking this tea.

Anise Seed

Anise Seed

Anise Tea Images

Anise Tea Images

Where to buy

You may get anise tea in most grocery stores as well as in places selling herbal teas. You can even purchase this herbal tea online and opt for variations of your choice like organic anise tea, and chamomile anise tea.

Article was last reviewed on 3rd November 2017

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