Aniseed (also known as Anise) , one of the oldest known spices, is a member of the parsley family. The name Aniseed is often also applied to fennel as it has a similar liquorice type of flavour.
Do not confuse this herb with Japanese star anise (Illicium lanceolatum) which is poisonous.
The oil from the Aniseed can be used externally to treat parasites such as lice or scabies. It can also be mixed with other aromatherapy oils as an insect repellant.
Aniseed has antiseptic properties and has been used externally to help treat colds and flu.
The leaves or seed have been fed internally for digestive problems such as flatulence, nausea and colic. For catarrh and phlegm in the bronchial tubes it may be fed with other expectorant type of herbs. It maybe also useful for coughs, particularly harsh, dry coughs.
Some owners add it to a horse’s feed for fussy eaters. Aniseed ‘anethole’ and is known to be a phytoestrogen. It has been known to increase libido and may perhaps be useful if you are trying to get a mare in foal or a stallion more interested.
Aniseed has also been known to have a mild sedative action and may be combined with other calming herbs such as chamomile. It may be useful in increase milk production in lactating mares and to help with a mare in foaling.