This drug, Pimpinella anisum, is among the oldest known medicines and spices. Theophrastus (633) and later writers, such as Dioscorides (194), Pliny (514), and Edrisi (221), mention it. Charlemagne commanded that it be cultivated on the imperial farms in Germany. Its ancient source was the island of Crete, and Egypt. It was one of the drugs enumerated by Edward I (1305), to be taxed when carried across the Bridge of London. Anise is mentioned in the expenses of King John of France (A. D. 1319-1364) during his abode in England. The Grocers' Company of London had its oversight (1453). The Royal Wardrobe of Edward IV (A. D. 1480) was perfumed thereby. It was used in England as a pot herb prior to 1542, and during the reign of Charlemagne it was enormously taxed. Throughout all this period anise was employed both as a spice and as a domestic medicine.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.