Another Spice That Packs Powerful Benefits

In previous posts I’ve discussed some of the research on spices and their effects on disease (Reasoning for Seasoning) and just how powerful that can be.

Below is another spice I would like to drag into the limelight, and that you should take note of.

Growing up in Lebanon, Anise was a part of my world from near infancy.  Anise seeds are boiled, cooled and given to babies who have colic.  The tea is served as a tea after dinner, since anise is both an Apéritif served with Mezza, and a Digestif.

Anise is commonly added to desserts, drinks and is the flavoring ingredient in Arak, the Middle Eastern version of Ouzo.  Ounce for ounce Anise is more than 12 times sweeter than sugar!anise seeds

Scientists have found that the stomach calming compound in anise seeds is anethole, which is also found in Fennel. Drinking Anise relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the muscles of our digestive tract. According to research :” Anise can help relax bronchial spasms that are responsible for asthma symptoms, as well as alleviate:

  • Colic
  • Constipation
  • Cramps
  • Indigestion
  • Gas

When you buy Anise seeds store in an airtight container in a cool place and it should last 2 – 3 years.  Ground Anise seeds lose their punch in a few months, so discard if not used.

Besides cookies and cakes, you can use Anise seeds in vegetable dishes, curries, relishes and marinades.

To make Anise tea:

Rinse 1 Tbs. Anise seeds in strainer

Place in small pot with 1-1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Strain and enjoy plain or with a tiny drop of honey.  Some people enjoy munching some of the seeds at the bottom of the cup!

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