Anise is cultivated for both its culinary and medicinal properties. The seeds have a strong licorice flavor and are slightly sweet when chewed. It is commonly used in breads.
It is also the main flavor of Absinthe as well as being used as a flavoring for pastis, ouzo, pernod, sambuca, rakı, Becherovka, anice tutone, Chartreuse and other herbal liqueurs.
It is native to the eastern Mediterranean region and southwest Asia. The plants are thin, spindly and reach about two feet in height.
Anise prefers light, fertile, well-drained soil in a sunny location. Sow seeds as soon as the ground warms in the spring. Each packet contains 0.25 gram, which is approximately 125 seeds.
Medicinally, Anise has been historically used to aide digestion and improve the appetite as well as to help with cramps, nausea and flatulence. To make an infusion, use one teaspoon of crushed seeds per cup of boiling water. Allow the mixture to steep for ten to fifteen minutes and then strain.