Anise Dosing and Safety

safety

Allergies

Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to anise (Pimpinella anisum), its constituents, or members of the Apiaceae family, including celery, coriander, cumin, dill, and fennel. Some toothpastes contain anethole, a constituent of anise, which may cause contact allergy.
Anaphylaxis, contact allergy, gastrointestinal symptoms, hives, lip inflammation, loss of taste sensation, night time tongue swelling, rhinoconjunctivitis (allergic nose and eye symptoms), and swelling under the skin have been reported. Occupational contact dermatitis, rhinitis, or asthma have been reported in individuals working with anise or its constituents.

Side Effects and Warnings

Anise is possibly safe when used as a flavoring agent and in amounts typically 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. Some toothpastes contain anethole, a constituent of anise, which may cause contact allergy.
Anaphylaxis, contact allergy, gastrointestinal symptoms, hives, lip inflammation, loss of taste sensation, night time tongue swelling, rhinoconjunctivitis (allergic nose and eye symptoms), and swelling under the skin have been reported. Occupational contact dermatitis, rhinitis, and asthma have been reported in individuals working with anise or its constituents.
Anise-flavored beverages may cause cardiovascular effects such as cardiorespiratory arrest (sudden stopping of the heart and breathing), high blood pressure, or muscle weakness in all four limbs. Anise may cause sensitivity to light when applied to the surface of the body. Anise or its constituents may cause increased risk of cancer of the esophagus or larynx, antifertility effects, or estrogenic effects.
Use cautiously in patients using pentobarbital due to potential interaction.
Use cautiously in patients with epilepsy, as the essential oil of anise fruit has induced neuronal hyperexcitability.
Use anise-flavored beverages cautiously in patients with hypermineralcorticism (endocrine disorder), due to the possibility of adverse effects.
Use cautiously in patients with endometriosis and estrogen-dependent cancers, due to theoretical estrogenic effects.
Use cautiously in patients with diabetes, as, in early study, 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.
Use cautiously in patients taking diuretics (agents that increase urine flow), as anise may increase water retention and decrease the effects of the diuretics.
Use cautiously in patients using iron salts, as anise may increase iron absorption.
Use cautiously in patients using neurological agents, as anise may enhance the absorption of these agents when they are applied to the skin.
Use cautiously in patients using drugs that affect GABA, as anise essential oil has reduced the effects of morphine via a mechanism involving GABA.
Use cautiously in patients using antiarthritis agents, as anise may enhance absorption of anti-inflammatory agents.
Anise may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be changed in the blood and may cause increased or decreased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Toxic effects on liver have been reported. Patients using any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
Anise may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
Anise may cause changes in blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood pressure.
Avoid anise-containing beverages in alcoholic patients and in patients taking metronidazole (Flagyl®) or disulfiram (Antabuse®), as many anise beverages contain alcohol.
Avoid nonalcoholic anise beverages in alcoholic cirrhotic patients, diabetics, or those with high blood pressure, as many nonalcoholic anise beverages contain licorice root, which has been associated with adverse effects such as hypermineralocorticism or pseudohyperaldosteronism (endocrine conditions), low blood potassium, muscle fiber breakdown, high blood pressure, weakness in all four limbs, and death.
Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence. Avoid anise-containing beverages in pregnant or breastfeeding women, as many anise beverages contain alcohol. Avoid in pregnant women or those trying to become pregnant, as trans-anethole, a constituent of anise, has shown antifertility effects. Traditionally, anise has been used to induce abortion and to stimulate breast milk flow.
Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to anise (Pimpinella anisum), its constituents, or members of the Apiaceae family, including celery, coriander, cumin, dill, and fennel.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence. Avoid anise-containing beverages pregnant or breastfeeding women, as many anise beverages contain alcohol. Avoid in pregnant women or those trying to become pregnant, as trans-anethole, a constituent of anise, has demonstrated antifertility effects. Traditionally anise has been used to induce abortion and to stimulate breast milk flow.

dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

For colic, 10-30 grains of bruised, lightly ground or powdered seeds steeped in distilled hot water have been taken by mouth in "wine glassful" doses. Four to 20 drops of anise essential oil on sugar has also been taken by mouth.
As a digestive aid, essence of aniseed in hot water has been taken by mouth at bedtime.
For respiratory ailments, tea made by steeping anise seeds in hot water has been taken by mouth.

Children (younger than 18 years)

In general, 0.5-3 cups of anise tea have been taken by mouth daily.
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 have been taken by mouth.

interactions

Interactions with Drugs

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, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
Anise may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be increased or decreased in the blood and may cause increased or decreased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients using any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
Anise may cause changes in blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs that affect blood pressure.
Aniseed oil has been shown to increase glucose absorption in early study. 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®).
Because anise contains estrogen-like chemicals, the effects of other agents believed to have estrogen-like properties may be altered.
Anise may also interact with agents that increase urine flow (diuretics), alkaloids, antiaging agents, antiarthritis agents, antibiotics, anticancer agents, antifungals, antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, antiprotozoals, antiseizure agents, antispasmodic agents, antivirals, bronchodilators, cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering agents, cholinesterase inhibitors, drugs that affect GABA, fertility agents, gastrointestinal agents, hormonal agents, immunosuppressants, iron salts, muscle relaxants, neurological agents, or pain relievers.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Anise may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
Anise may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may become too high or low in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system.
Anise may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.
Aniseed oil has been shown to increase glucose absorption in early study. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
Because anise contains estrogen-like chemicals, the effects of other agents believed to have estrogen-like properties may be altered.
Anise may also interact with adrenal extract, agents that increase urine flow (diuretics), alkaloids, antiaging agents, antiarthritis agents, antibacterials, anticancer agents, antifungals, antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, antiparasitics, antiseizure agents, antispasmodic agents, antivirals, bronchodilators, cajeput oil, cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering agents, fertility herbs and supplements, gastrointestinal herbs and supplements, immunosuppressants, insect repellants, iron-containing foods, iron salts, lemongrass, muscle relaxants, neurological agents, pain relievers, phytoestrogens, or thyme.