Anise
Anise

Background

Anise (Pimpinella anisum) is one of the oldest known spice plants. It grows in the Mediterranean, Spain, West Asia, Mexico, Egypt, and the Middle East.

Anise contains chemicals that might have estrogen-like effects, decrease swelling, and help fight off insects.

People use anise for indigestion, constipation, migraine, menopausal symptoms, and many other puproses, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Don't confuse anise with star anise. These are not the same.
When taken by mouth: Anise and anise oil are commonly consumed in foods. Anise powder and oil are possibly safe when used as medicine for up to 4 weeks. It's usually well-tolerated, but it might cause allergic reactions in some people.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Anise is commonly consumed in foods. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if anise is safe to use in larger amounts as medicine while pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Children: Anise is commonly consumed in foods. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if anise is safe for children to use as medicine.

Allergies: Anise might cause allergic reactions in some people who are allergic to other plants that are similar to anise. Plants that are similar to anise include asparagus, caraway, celery, coriander, cumin, dill, and fennel.

Hormone-sensitive conditions: Anise might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use anise. This includes breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, and others.

Surgery: Anise might lower blood sugar levels. This might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using anise at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Effectiveness

There is interest in using anise for a number of purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Anise is commonly used as a spice in foods.

As medicine, anise seed powder has most often been used by adults in doses of 5 grams by mouth daily for up to 2 months. Anise oil has most often been in doses of 200 mg by mouth three times daily for up to 4 weeks. Anise extract has most often been used in doses of 110-330 mg by mouth daily for up to 4 weeks. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Taking anise oil with acetaminophen might reduce the levels of acetaminophen in the blood. This might reduce how well acetaminophen works.

Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Some birth control pills contain estrogen. Taking anise along with birth control pills might decrease the effects of birth control pills. If you take birth control pills along with anise, use an additional form of birth control such as a condom.

Caffeine

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Taking anise oil with caffeine might reduce the levels of caffeine in the blood. This might decrease the effects of caffeine.

Codeine

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Codeine is changed into morphine by the liver. Taking anise oil with codeine might increase the effects and side effects of codeine.

Diazepam (Valium)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

The body breaks down diazepam to get rid of it. Taking anise oil with diazepam might slow down how quickly the body breaks down diazepam. This might increase the effects and side effects of diazepam.

Estrogens

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Large amounts of anise might have some of the same effects as estrogen. Taking anise along with estrogen pills might increase or decrease the effects of estrogen pills.

Fluoxetine (Prozac)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Taking anise oil with fluoxetine might reduce how well fluoxetine works.

Imipramine (Tofranil)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Taking anise oil with imipramine might reduce how well imipramine works.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Anise might lower blood sugar levels. Taking anise along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Midazolam (Versed)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

The body breaks down midazolam to get rid of it. Anise oil might slow down how quickly the body breaks down midazolam. This might increase the effects and side effects of midazolam.

Tamoxifen (Nolvadex)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Tamoxifen is used to help treat and prevent estrogen-sensitive cancers. Anise seems to affect estrogen levels in the body. By affecting estrogen in the body, anise might decrease the effects of tamoxifen.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Herbs and supplements that might lower blood sugar: Anise might lower blood sugar. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might lower blood sugar too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include aloe, bitter melon, cassia cinnamon, chromium, and prickly pear cactus.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 16/11/2023 11:00:00 and last updated on 22/08/2022 06:12:47. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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