Presentday Cultivation And Usage

Aniseed is widely grown for its fruits in tropical low lands, as it requires plenty of warmth and sunshine. The plant prefers a light, fertile, or moderately rich, well-drained sandy loam soil, and requires frequent and thorough cultivation throughout the growing season, with

TABLE 20.1 Nutrient Composition of Aniseeds

Parameter

g%

Moisture

9-13

Protein

18

Fatty oil

8-23

Essential oil

2-7

Sugars

3-5

Starch

5

Nitrogen free extract

22-28

Crude fiber

12-25

Ash

6-10

FIGURE 20.1

Plant, flower, and seeds of Pimpinella anisum L.

FIGURE 20.1

Plant, flower, and seeds of Pimpinella anisum L.

occasional weeding. Aniseed is listed by the Council of Europe as a natural source of feed flavoring, and in the United States of America, it is listed as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) (Barnes et al., 2002).

The fruits are extensively used as a spice for flavoring bakery products, and the essential oil is added to foodstuffs and liquors as a sensory and flavoring agent. Aniseed possesses a sweet, aromatic taste, and when crushed, emits a characteristic agreeable odor. The active component, anethole imparts a pleasant and characteristic flavor. The active ingredients are methyl chavicol, and some amounts of p-methoxyphenol, acetone, and terpenes. If aniseed is boiled for too long, it is liable to be divested of its essential components due to the heating/boiling process (www. diabetesmellitus-information.com).

Applications to health promotion and disease prevention

A concoction of seeds in hot water is used as a carminative, antiseptic, diuretic and digestive, and as a folk remedy for insomnia and constipation (Bisset, 1994). Several therapeutic effects, including for digestive disorders, gynecological problems and dyspnea, as well as anticonvulsant and anti-asthma effects were described for the seeds of Pimpinella anisum L. in ancient medical books (Aboabrahim, 1970). Aniseeds possess expectorant, antispasmodic, carminative, and parasiticidal properties. In traditional medicine, the drug is used internally for bronchial catarrh, pertussis, spasmodic cough, and flatulent colic, and externally for pediculosis and scabies. Furthermore, it is used as an estrogenic agent. It increases milk secretion, and promotes menstruation (Barnes et al., 2002) (Figure 20.2).

A statistically significant bronchodilatory effect of the essential oil (0.02 ml), aqueous extract (0.6 ml equivalent to 1.5 g of aniseed) and ethanol extract (0.1 ml equivalent to 0.25 g of aniseed) was detected in guinea pigs (Boskabady & Ramazani-Assari, 2001).

Secretolytic and expectorant effects

The volume of respiratory secretion of anesthetized rabbits was increased dose-dependently from 19 to 82% following administration of aniseed oil by inhalation (in steam) in doses of 0.7—6.5 g/kg b.w. via a vaporizer, but signs of tissue damage and a mortality rate of 20% were observed at the highest dose level. Inhalation of anethole did not affect the volume, but produced a dose-dependent (1—9 mg/kg) decrease in the specific gravity of respiratory

Carminative )

Carminative )

FIGURE 20.2

Traditional therapeutic uses of aniseeds (Pimpinella anisum L.).

tract fluid in urethanized rabbits in doses from 1 to 243 mg/kg b.w. (Boyd & Sheppard, 1968).

The effect of a mixture of herbal extract containing aniseeds was compared to that of the flavonoid quercetin. The clinical results showed significant reductions in sleep discomfort, cough frequency, and cough intensity in the herbal tea-using subjects compared to the placebo tea-using subjects (Haggag et al., 2003).

Antibacterial and antifungal effects

The essential oil of aniseed is described as exerting fungicidal activity in a concentration-dependent manner (Soliman & Badeaa, 2002).

The aqueous decoction of aniseed exhibited maximum antibacterial activity against Micrococcus roseus. Singh and colleagues (2002) reported that the essential oil has strong antibacterial activity against eight human pathogenic bacteria. In addition, essential oil of aniseed possesses anticonvulsant activity in the mouse (Pourgholami et al., 1999). An acetone extract of aniseed inhibited the growth of bacteria, including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, and also exhibited antifungal activity against Candida albicans and other organisms (Maruzzella & Freundlich, 1959).

The aniseed and oil were found to have a high antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (responsible for boils, sepses, and skin infections), Streptococus haemoliticus (throat and nasal infections), Bacillus subtilis (infection in immuno-compromised patients), Pseudomonas aeruginos (hospital-acquired infection), and Escherichia coli (urogenital tract infections and diarrhea) (Singh etal., 2002).

Local anesthetic activity

Trans-anethole concentration-dependently reduced electrically-evoked contractions of rat phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm by 10.3% at 10-3 mg/ml, by 43.9% at 10-2 mg/ml, by 79.7% at 10-1 mg/ml, and by 100% at 1 mg/ml (Ghelardini et al., 2001).

Estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects

Trans-anethole, administered orally to immature female rats at 80 mg/kg b.w. for 3 days, significantly increased uterine weight to 2 g/kg compared to 0.5 g/kg in controls, and 3 g/kg in

TABLE 20.2 Chemical Compounds Found in Pimpinella anisum L. Seeds, and Their Biological Activities

Sl No.

Chemical Constituents

Biological Activities

Part of the Plant

Anti-

Antitumor Inflammation

Anti-Aging

Anticancer

Antioxidant

Antidiabetic Antimicrobial

Anti-Ulcer

1

a-Pinene

Fruit

U

2

a-Terpineol

Fruit

U

3

a- Zingiberene

Plant

U

4

Ar- curcumene

Fruit

U

5

Ascorbic acid

Fruit

U

U

U

U

6

Bergapten

Fruit

U

U

7

b-Amyrin

Plant

U

U

8

b-Bisabolene

Plant

U

9

b-Pinene

Fruit

U

10

Caffeic acid

Plant

U U

U

11

Camphene

Fruit

U U

U

12

Chlorogenic acid

Plant

U

U

U

13

Copper

Seed

U

U

U

14

Eugenol

Plant

U

U

15

Fiber

Fruit

U

U

16

Hydroquinone

Plant

U

17

Imperatorin

Leaf

U

U

18

Isoorientin

Plant

U

19

Limonene

Fruit

U

U

20

Magnesium

Fruit

U

U

21

Manganese

Fruit

U

22

Mannitol

Root

U

U

23

Myristicin

Plant

U

U

24

Rutin

Fruit

U

U

U

25

Sabinene

Fruit

U

26

Scoparone

Leaf

U

27

Scopoletin

Fruit

U

28

Squalene

Plant

U

U

U

29

Stigmasterol

Plant

U

30

Umbelliferone

Fruit

U

31

Zinc

Fruit

U

Source: www.ars-grin.gov/duke

Source: www.ars-grin.gov/duke

Coping with Asthma

Coping with Asthma

If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.

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