Aromatic anise seeds, a revered digestive tonic of the Greeks and Romans, are still used in confectionery and as flavoring for alcoholic beverages, especially Pernod and Turkish raki. The oil is steam-distilled from the seeds of this perennial herb of the Middle East. It has a rich, pervasively spicy-sweet odor resembling liquorice.
Aniseed is potently therapeutic; warming and enlivening the body, it can be used to invigorate the mind and stimulate the circulation. Its powerful action on the digestive system quells nausea and vomiting and eases indigestion and flatulence. Its expectorant properties are also useful in treating respiratory infections. The potency of aniseed needs to be respected, however. It is recommended for use only when you become more proficient in the art of aromatherapy.