[Sca-cooks] The benefits of Anise

V A phoenissa at gmail.com
Wed Feb 20 13:03:10 PST 2008

Hey, cool -- another folk remedy gets verified by modern science. ;-)  In
Lebanon, anise "tea" (just whole aniseseeds steeped in hot water) is used as
a panacea for headaches, stomachaches, cramps, and whatever else ails you.
My mom used to make it for me as a kid whenever I had a cold.  When I got to
college I discovered it worked on hangovers too. ;-)

Now the question for us is, what did medieval people think about the
curative properties of anise...?


On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 11:31 AM, Sharon Gordon <gordonse at one.net> wrote:

> Discoveries from a new study on Anise (Pimpinella sp.)
> Sharon
> gordonse at one.net
> ___________________________________________
> ARS News Service
> Agricultural Research Service, USDA
> Ann Perry, (301) 504-1628, ann.perry at ars.usda.gov February 20, 2008 --View
> this report online, plus photos and related stories, at
> www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr ___________________________________________
> People use anise to add a hint of licorice to everything from holiday
> springerle cookies to robust bottles of ouzo and raki. Now Agricultural
> Research Service (ARS) postdoctoral scientist Nurhayat Tabanca and plant
> pathologist David Wedge have found that anise (Pimpinella sp.) is more
> than
> just another jar in the spice rack.
> Teaming up with colleagues in Mississippi and Turkey, they isolated 22
> compounds in Pimpinella's essential oils and found high levels of organic
> mixtures called phenylpropanoids. Phenylpropanoids are found in a wide
> variety of plants, and some are thought to have health-boosting benefits.
> However, the chemical structure and biological activity of the Pimpinella
> phenylpropanoids are unique. Some phenylpropanoid compounds the team found
> have only been found in Pimpinella, and four of the compounds they
> isolated
> had never before been identified in any plant.
> The compounds were evaluated for their activities against the plant fungus
> Colletotrichum, which causes anthracnose diseases worldwide. One unique
> compound was especially effective against strawberry anthracnose and
> strawberry soft rot and leaf blight. In addition, Pimpinella isaurica
> essential oils were more effective in controlling aphids than isolated
> Pimpinella phenylpropanoids.
> These compounds were also tested for their activity against various major
> and minor microbes. A few showed some effectiveness against Plasmodium
> falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria in humans, and Mycobacterium
> intracellulare, a bacterium which can cause illness in immunocompromised
> patients.
> Some phenylpropanoids exhibited anti-inflammatory activities. Pimpinella
> essential oils also showed estrogenic effects in a yeast model and were
> considered to have phytoestrogen properties.
> These results suggest that Pimpinella essential oils may be a source of
> potent compounds that could be used in developing powerful new
> pharmaceuticals and agrochemical agents.
> Tabanca and Wedge work at the ARS Natural Products Utilization Research
> Laboratory in Oxford, Miss.  Other researchers who contributed to this
> research include K. Husnu Can Baser and Nese Kirimer with Anadolu
> University
> in Eskisehir, Turkey; Erdal Bedir with Ege University in Izmir, Turkey;
> Ikhlas Khan and Shabana Khan from the University of Mississippi; and Blair
> Sampson, who works at the ARS Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural
> Laboratory
> in Poplarville, Miss.
> ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research
> agency.
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