Health Guide


What is it?

Anise is an herb used to treat upset stomach, gas, colic, scabies, cough, asthma, irritated and inflamed bowel conditions, arthritis, and menstrual (monthly period) problems. It is also used to increase breast milk, improve sex drive, and to help during childbirth. Anise is used for colds, bronchitis and respiratory infections.

Other names for anise include: aniseed, Anisi fractus, Pimpinella Anisum, Sweet Cumin, and anisum.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much anise you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Anise. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take anise without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • aspirin (examples: Alka-Seltzer(R); Aspergum(R), Bayer(R), Bufferin(R), Ecotrin(R), Zorprin(R))(3,4,9)
  • medicines used to treat or prevent blood clots (examples: clopidogrel (Plavix(R)), dalteparin (Fragmin(R)), enoxaparin (Lovenox(R)), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin(R)))(3,4,9)
  • sulfinpyrazone (Anturane(R)) (3,4,9)


  • Before taking anise, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pure anise oil should NOT be taken by mouth without asking your healthcare provider. Seizures and pulmonary edema (water in the lungs) have occurred with as little as 1 to 5 mL (5 mL = 1 teaspoon) of anise oil
  • Use with caution if you have any allergic skin conditions

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash
  • Breathing problems, seizures, nausea, or vomiting (3)

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Sunburn or skin rash (if you are applying anise to your skin)(3,10)


1. Anon: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. British Herbal Medicine Association, Keighley, England; 1983.

2. Albert-Puleo M: Fennel and anise as estrogenic agents. J Ethnopharmacol 1980; 2:337-344.

3. Newall C, Anderson L & Phillipson J: Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. The Pharmaceutical Press, London, England; 1996.

4. Heck AM, DeWitt BA, Lukes AL: Potential interactions between alternative therapies and warfarin. Am J Health Syst Pharm 2000; 57(13):1221-1227.

5. Chandler RF & Hawkes D: Aniseed - a spice, a flavor a drug. Can Pharm J 1984; 117: 28-29.

6. Reynolds JEF (ed): Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 29th edition. The Pharmaceutical Press, London, England; 1989.

7. Blumenthal, Busse, Goldberg, et al: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. The American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998

8. Fetrow C & Avila J: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999:34-36.

9. Kowalak JP & Mills EJ (eds): Professional guide to complementary & alternative therapies. Springhouse Corp, Bethlehem Pike, PA; 2001:41-42.

10. Schulz V, Hansel R & Tyler VE: Rational Phytotherapy. A Physician's Guide to Herbal Medicine. Springer, New York, NY; 1998: 159-160.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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