By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Anise is a tall, bushy annual with dense, feathery leaves and clusters of small, whitish flowers that eventually produce aniseeds. The seeds and leaves have a warm, distinctive, somewhat licorice-like flavor. This popular culinary herb is easy to grow by seed, but the question is, what to do with aniseed once it’s harvested? How do you use aniseed as a spice, and how about cooking with anise? Read on and learn a few of the many ways of using anise plants.
Using Anise Plants
Anise plants can be harvested whenever the plants are large enough to cut. The tiny, aromatic seeds are ready for harvest about a month after the flowers bloom.
What to Do with Aniseed Plants in the Kitchen
Toasted anise seeds (aniseeds) are used to make spicy cookies, cakes, and various types of bread. They also make delicious syrups. The seeds are also incorporated into hot dishes, including cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables, baked or steamed root vegetables, and soups or stews.
Liquor flavored with aniseed is traditional throughout much of the Spanish-speaking world. In Mexico, anise is a primary ingredient in “atole de anis,” a hot chocolate drink.
Although the seeds are most commonly used in the kitchen, anise leaves add a touch of flavor to fresh tossed salads. They are also an attractive, flavorful garnish for a variety of dishes.
How to Use Anise Medicinally
Chew on a few anise seeds to alleviate bad breath. Reportedly, anise is also an effective remedy for intestinal gas and other gastrointestinal complaints.
Anise has been proven to improve symptoms of ulcers in rats but, as of yet, there have been no human studies.
Anise is also used as a remedy for a variety of conditions, including runny nose, menstrual discomfort, asthma, constipation, seizures, nicotine addiction, and insomnia.
Note: Before attempting the use of anise medicinally, contact a doctor or professional herbalist for advice.
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The Tree Center
Golden leaves are so useful in every garden. They really brighten it, contrasting beautifully with all that green, and making trouble-free colorful gardening a breeze. Most plants with golden foliage need lots of sun to flash their golden smile, but it would be great if we could use golden leaves to brighten shady places too. Well, with the Florida Sunshine Anise bush you really can bring that sunshine to shady corners, because that is where it loves to be, and the golden leaves are even brighter when grown out of the full sun. There is more, too, because the leaves are at their most golden in fall and stay light and bright all winter – exactly when that sunshine is most appreciated. It’s an easy shrub to grow, and it has the pleasant bonus of giving out a delicious anise flavor (Pastis anyone?) when brushed or when you crush a leaf. Make your winter garden a golden place with this easy-care shrub that is even deer resistant.
Anise hyssop, Agastache foeniculum, is a short-lived, edible herbaceous perennial in the Lamiaceae, or mint family.
It’s a native plant suited to gardens in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.
Long used in culinary and medicinal applications, its erect stature and spikes of lavender blossoms make a striking statement in the garden.
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In this article, you will learn all you need to know to grow and care for anise hyssop.
Key Features Of Anise Hyssop
Attract Bird, Butterflies, And Bees
Blooming Anise Hyssop is a great treasure for a bunch of birds and pollinating creatures, especially honeybees. Interestingly, its flower has no scent. Pollinated flowers generate oval-shaped and smooth seeds and fruit, which is technically nutlets.
Anise Hyssop Flowers are shaped in a way, which provide the best landing platform for visiting insects and forces them to touch anthers and stigmas, in their attempt to get food from the this plant.
Anise Hyssop anise is cross pollinated Plant that relays on bees, beetles, butterflies, birds & moths for reproduction and that’s the reason it has made its appearance worth attracting for these, day & night visitors, to carry on its multiplication.
Anise Hyssop produces around 90000 blue-lavender flowers on a single spike which attracts pollinators to visit pollen & nectar, flowers scent also plays vital role in attracting some bees & Beetles.
Anise Hyssop contains, another important chemical (Methyle eugenol) which possesses antibacterial & antifungal properties & is biggest attraction for the bees to visit them. Methyle eugenol acts as active chemical defense against pathogens & deters the behavior of the insects, visiting any plant. Bees move on to different parts of the plant or plants of the same family due the presence of a typical scent on these plants. A bee, ultimately visits several plants to suck nectars, collecting pollen from one plant, leaving them on to the stigma of another plant to continue the process of cross pollination. Moths appear during the night due to presence of the same scent, and help in performing the function of cross-pollination.
Humming birds always dominate on Hyssop anise due the florescence color & arrangement of grains which become easy for them to crawl from one spike to another to feed on & keep on pollinating other neighboring plants.
Like other herbs, Anise Hyssop has abundant nutritional value. Several recent studies show that its essential oil contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. Its essential oil also has limonene, which plays a vital role in promoting a healthy digestive tract and neutralizing stomach acid.
What is more, Anise Hyssop is famous for its methyl chavicol, which is popularly used to season beverages such as liqueurs, root beer, and several perfumes.
Anise Hyssop leaves possess a strong fragrance, a perfect combination of mint and licorice. Some people think it smells like crushed fennel seeds. Unlike other herbs which smell sweet and pleasant but taste a little bitter, this herb is surprisingly sweet. It is put in hot tea to deliver a natural sweetness.