What Does Anise Taste Like?

Anise/Anise seed is a flowering plant whose origin isn’t certain.

Some say it came from the Middle East, most probably from the plains of the Nile region in Egypt. Other reports say anise originated in the Mediterranean (Greece or Rome). Still others claim anise hails from Southwest Asia (India).

This particular herb was very popular in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Its sweet fragrance derived from its anethole content means anise works well in many food preparations. It blends perfectly with any dishes based on coconut milk.

If you’ve ever asked yourself what does anise taste like, today we’ll look at that and some other fun facts about this unusual seed.

what does anise taste like

Source: Essential Oil

A Few Facts about Anise

There’s differing opinion when it comes to the taste of this aromatic herb…

Some compare its flavorful tang to star anise. This is a similar herb which is often mistaken for the anise seed. Other studies report anise to be of comparable taste to black licorice and fennel seeds.

Anise was used as a form of currency in the past centuries, especially in medieval Europe where it was introduced in the 1500s. This shows just how valuable it was for people then.

This plant, also called Pimpinella Anisum, reaches heights of about 30 to 50 cm tall. It belongs to the carrot family (Apiaceae), which are plants with flowers in umbels (Umbelliferae).


what does anise taste like

Source: Herbal Supplement Resource

Anise is a flowering herbaceous plant. The seeds are used mainly in cooking dishes like soups, curries, desserts, rice cakes and puddings.

Its aromatic scent also adds more flavor to food and liquor.

Anise is also used in creams, insecticides, perfumes and soaps.

Through the centuries, this fragrant plant has been proven to be beneficial for certain ailments.

Health Benefits

Anxiety Attacks, Stress and Nervousness

Inhaling the sweet scent of plain anise seeds or oil gives a calming effect to the nerves and muscles. This is due to the sedative components alpha-pineno, eugenol, linalol and thymol.


The smell of anise seed oil is said to increase sexual libido. You can also take crushed anise seeds in a glass of hot water nightly to achieve this goal.

GIT Problems and Stomach Upsets

Anise seed is a very good relief for gas and indigestion. During ancient Roman times, it was incorporated in their desserts to prevent any of these discomforts.

Halitosis/Bad Breath

Gargling anise tea as a mouth freshener is proven to alleviate bad breath, especially in the morning. Its sweet fragrance will make your breath smell great, too. Some toothpaste and mouthwashes nowadays also includes anise seed oil as an ingredient.

Headaches/Migraines/Muscle Pains

Anise essential oil or paste can remove these sorts of pains. Apply to the forehead and temples as well as on the affected body parts.


Anise seeds have narcotic effects that can help ease sleeplessness by merely inhaling some oil vapors.


Drinking anise seed tea and rubbing in anise oil helps to eliminate cramps and pains brought out by these phases of a woman’s life. It can also assist nursing mothers in producing more milk.

Respiratory Issues

The oil extracted from anise seeds is very helpful to people who have asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, coughs and colds.

A simple inhalation of this product can help loosen the airways. Anise seed tea can also act as an expectorant to help you cough out any respiratory mucus that is causing itchiness and irritation.

Gargling or drinking hot anise seed tea is very useful for relieving sore throats, laryngitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and itchiness. Mix the tea with a teaspoon of honey and 2 drops of apple cider vinegar for gargling.

Vitamins and Minerals

Anise is loaded with nutrients such as the B-Complex vitamins niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and thiamine. It also has minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc. These are all very beneficial to your overall health.

Important Note: Put one teaspoon of crushed anise seed in a cup of boiled water to make some tea. Caution is to be exercised if you are allergic to anise. It can cause serious side effects like vomiting and even seizures.

Avoid overdosing: Anise contains narcotics which may lead to a coma if taken in extreme levels. Anise shouldn’t be used during pregnancy or in some cancer cases related to high levels of estrogen. It also interacts with birth control pills due to its estrogen contents. Taken in normal amounts, there’s no problem whatsoever.


Here’s hoping we have given you plenty of information about anise seeds and its contribution to the health and well-being of your family.

If you’ve ever wondered what does anise taste like, now you know!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact us. It’s always a pleasure to hear from our readers and we’re ready to help in any way we can.

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Dianne T. Lampe

Hi there, I’m Dianne! Welcome to a one-stop shop for your gardening needs. We aim here to offer up a very wide range of information about many aspects of gardening. From flowers and planting through to vegetables and accessories, find all the information you need here. We have a true passion for everything green. We’re highly motivated to develop this site continuously and offer any insights we can alongside useful facts and handy hints. Please get in touch and let us know what you would like us to cover. Thoughts and feedback are always welcomed. Enjoy!

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