Anise fruit or aniseed (Anisum, U.S.P.; Anise) is the dried ripe fruit of Pimpinella Anisum, Linn. (N.O. Umbelliferae), an annual plant, cultivated in many countries, but particularly in Spain, Southern Russia, and Bulgaria. The Spanish fruit is the finest and best adapted for pharmaceutical use, whilst Russian is used chiefly for the production of volatile oil. The fruit is characterised by its ovoid shape, greyish-green or brownish colour and very short, stout hairs; it is usually entire, and supported by a slender pedicel, while the ridges are uniform in thickness. A transverse section cut from the centre of each mericarp differs from that of most other umbelliferous fruits in exhibiting more numerous (30 to 40) oil glands. The fruit has an agreeable aromatic odour and taste, due to the presence of a volatile oil. The drug should not yield more than 6 per cent. of ash on incineration. Anise fruit, especially that imported from Italy, is liable to admixture with hemlock fruit. The latter is readily identified by the absence of hairs and of oil glands, by the crenately thickened ridges, and by the deep groove which the seed (not the fruit) exhibits on its commissural side. It also evolves a mouse-like odour when crushed and moistened with solution of potash, but this test is insufficient to detect a small admixture of hemlock fruit in anise.
Constituents.—The chief constituent of anise fruit is the volatile oil, of which it yields from 1.5 to 3.5 per cent.; other constituents are fixed oil, choline, sugar, and mucilage.
Action and Uses.—The action of anise fruit depends upon the essential oil which it contains (see Oleum Anisi). The drug has stimulating carminative properties, and its preparations are used as ingredients of cough mixtures because of its service as a mild expectorant. The oil is used as an ingredient of cathartic and aperient pills to counteract the tendency to griping. Anise oil is a good antiseptic, and is used, mixed with oil of peppermint or gaultheria, to flavour aromatic liquid dentifrices; it is also used largely in the compounding of liqueurs.
- Aqua Anisi, B.P.—ANISE WATER.
- Anise fruit, 10; water, 200. Distil 100. Anise water is used as a carminative for children, and as a flavouring agent. Dose.—15 to 30 mils (1/2 to 1 fluid ounce). [For preparations of the oil see under Oleum Anisi.]
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.