As we get older, the things we have to pay attention to in our bodies change. After a certain age, we want to make sure that we’re nourishing ourselves to support them into a long, healthy, prosperous life that doesn’t include disease or discomfort. Luckily, nature has all we need to create wellness and age gracefully.
Anise seed, also sometimes called aniseed, comes from the anise fruit plant, which is related to carrots and celery. The tiny white fruit has a taste a lot like licorice, and extracts from the fruit have been used medicinally to treat ailments such as chronic inflammation, bone loss, and even stubborn menopause symptoms.
Inflammation isn’t inherently bad. It’s your body’s natural immune response to invaders and can actually help protect you from disease. However, when inflammation becomes chronic because of things like autoimmune conditions or prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals and pollutants, inflammation can cause things like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Anise seed extract has been shown in studies to help relieve chronic inflammation. One animal study showed that taking anise seed extract led to significant reductions in pain and swelling. Results from a review of studies suggest that the antioxidants in anise seed could help with inflammation by fighting harmful free-radical damage.
Anise seed extract has also demonstrated efficacy in treating a range of menopausal symptoms. During menopause, female reproductive hormones like estrogen decline rapidly leading to uncomfortable symptoms. In one study, Anise seed was found to have an estrogen-like effect on the body, leading to a reduction in symptoms.
Another study aimed to determine if anise seed could relieve hot flashes. Some menopausal subjects received a 330 milligram-dose of anise seed extract taken three times each day, while others received a placebo. By the end of the study, those taking the anise seed extract reported a 75 percent reduction in hot flash severity and frequency. That’s pretty impressive!
Another common symptom of menopause is bone loss or osteoporosis. The hormonal changes like drops in estrogen can cause bones to weaken and make fractures and breaks more likely. Since anise seed extract acts like estrogen in the body, it’s believed that it could help delay the onset of osteoporosis. One animal study found that an essential oil made with 81 percent anethole, the active ingredient in anise seed, prevented bone loss and protected against osteoporosis when taken internally.
With all this being said, you might be ready to start adding anise seed extract into your daily routine. You can use anise seed extract as a supplement and take it internally, or even use the essential oil in baked goods to take internally, or add it to creams and lotions to apply topically. There aren’t many risks associated with anise seed extract or oil, but as always, get your doctors OK before trying any new supplement. For a high-quality brand we love, check out this anise seed extract from Naturetition ($20.99, Amazon) or this oil from Now Foods ($6.74, Amazon).