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What is Anise?

  Anise is the real taste of licorice— its oils are distilled into the flavour for licorice sweets(not from the herb licorice, which has a different taste). Anise is natural to the eastern Mediterranean place, the Levant, and Egypt. The early Arabic name was anysum from which was taken from the Greek anison and the Latin anisun. It is one of the oldest known spice plants used both for cooking and medicinal purposes since ancient times. There is evidence that anise was used in Egypt as early as 1500 B.C. To aid food digestion the Romans enjoyed anise-spiced cakes after hefty meals and it was distributed throughout Europe by Roman legions. , anise was listed by King Edward I as a taxable drug and merchants bringing it into London paid a toll to help raise moneys to maintain and mend London bridge. Of the any of the qualities attributed to anise we like what one writer warned: “it stirreth up bodily lust”. This certified to the same spice that could infirmary off the Evil


Eye or keep away problems if placed under one’s pillow. Anise is used in the manufacture of many commercial cough syrups and sore throat medications, used to flavour other medicines and to scent soaps and perfumes. It is also claimed that anise is an effective bait for rats and

mice and the distilled oil dabbed onto a fishing lure will improve a

fisherman’s chances. Dogs are also attracted by anise — it is often an ingredient in dog food and the seeds may be used to lay drag hunt trails and also by anti-blood sport movements to put hounds off the scent.

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