Related species

In North America, aniseroot or sweetroot (Osmorhiza berteroi) is also known as sweetcicely. Both plants belong to a huge family, which includes many food plants but also a few poisonous species such as hemlock, so take care with identification.

Parts used: Leaves, flowers, unripe seeds.

Like many herbs, sweet cicely was more widely used in the past than it is now. It was once valued as a protection against infection in the time of plague, and greatly appreciated in salads. Gerard, writing in 1597, said: "The seeds eaten as a sallad whiles they are yet green, with oile, vinegar, and pepper, exceed all other sallads by many degrees, both in pleasantnesse of taste, sweetnesse of smell, and wholsomnesse for the cold and feeble stomacke." He also liked the leaves in salads, and said that the boiled roots are not only tasty but very good for old people.

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