Anise

safety

Allergies

Individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to anise (Pimpinella anisum) or any of its constituents should not take anise. Those with a known allergy to any members of the Apiaceae family (formerly known as the Umbelliferae family) should also not take anise due to cross sensitivity to spices. Urticaria ("hives") has been reported.

Side Effects and Warnings

Anise is possibly safe when used as a flavoring agent and in doses found in foods. A nationwide outbreak of Salmonella serotype Agona caused by aniseed-containing herbal tea occurred from October 2002 through July 2003 among infants in Germany. Consumers should adhere strictly to brewing instructions.
Cardiorespiratory arrest, hypertension (high blood pressure), and muscle weakness have been reported after consumption of an alcohol-free anise-flavored beverage. It is unclear whether these side effects were due to anise flavoring or glycyrrhizinic acid, which is the active ingredient in licorice root. Many anise flavored beverages contain licorice root, which has been associated with the above adverse effects. Many anise containing beverages also contain alcohol, which may cause nausea and vomiting when taking with metronidazole (Flagyl®) or disulfiram (Antabuse®).
Anise may increase sensitivity to light when applied on the skin, as it contains cumarin constituents. Anise may have anti-diuretic (decreases urine flow), anticoagulant ("thins" the blood) and blood sugar effects. Anise oil should not be ingested, as it may cause nausea, pulmonary edema, seizures and vomiting.
Caution is advised in patients with endometriosis, estrogen-dependent cancers and diabetes.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Anise is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to lack of available scientific evidence. Traditionally anise has been used to induce abortions and also as a galactagogue (stimulates lactation).

dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

Based on the available scientific evidence, there is no proven safe or effective dose for anise. For colic, 10-30 grains of bruised (lightly ground) or powdered seeds steeped in distilled hot water, taken in "wineglassful" doses, has been used. 4-20 drops of anise essential oil on sugar has also been used. As a digestive aid, essence of aniseed in hot water at bedtime has been used.

Children (younger than 18 years)

Based on the available scientific evidence, there is no proven safe or effective dose for anise in children. For runny nose, half a pint of boiling water poured on 2 teaspoons of bruised anise seed, sweetened and frequently given cold in doses of 1-3, teaspoons has been used.

interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Anise contains cumarins, and anise may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that also increase the risk of bleeding. Examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
Anise may increase the flow of urine (diuretic) and may have additive effects with medications that work to increase the flow of urine. Patients taking any diuretic medications should consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist.
Aniseed oil has been shown to increase glucose absorption. Caution is advised when using medications that may lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Many anise containing beverages contain alcohol, and may cause nausea or vomiting when taken with metronidazole (Flagyl®) or disulfiram (Antabuse®).
Anise may increase sensitivity to light when applied on the skin, as it contains cumarin constituents. Caution is advised when using with other medications that increase light sensitivity.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Anise contains cumarins, and anise may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs or supplements that also increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba and two cases with saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
Anise may increase the flow of urine (diuretic) and may have additive effects with herbs and supplements that work to increase the flow of urine. Patients taking any diuretic herbs or supplements should consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist.
Aniseed oil has been shown to increase glucose absorption. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may lower blood sugar.
Anise may increase sensitivity to light when applied on the skin, as it contains coumarin constituents. Caution is advised when using with other herbs and supplements that increase light sensitivity.