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Chap. 018. Of Anise.

Anise. I. THE Names. It is called in Greek 'Ανίση' In Latin, Anisum: And in English, Anise: I am apt to believe it is called 'Аνίσον quia habet folia άνίσα, inoequalia, vel quia est sine oequali, there being no Plant equal to it in goodness. It is also called in Greek, 'Аνίχητον, Anicetum, quasi, invictum, because it seems to be invincible, or not to be overcome, which, I suppose, is in respect to its extraordinary Taste and Smell, which overcomes the Taste and Smells of all other Vegetables in the World.

II. The Kinds. It is two-fold,

  • 1. The Common; of which we shall Treat in this Chapter. (Pimpinella anisum. -Henriette.)
  • 2. The Starry Headed of Clusius growing in China, and other parts of the East-Indies, of which we have nothing to say in this Work. (Illicium verum. -Henriette.)

III. The Description. It has a small long Root, with some few strings, which Perishes every Year, from which rises up a Stalk round and hollow, about two or three feet high, (seldom higher, for it is a slender Plant) which is divided into divers small Branches, set with Leaves next the Ground, somewhat broad and dented in about the edges-, but those which grow higher are more jagged, much like to those of young Parsley, but Whiter: the higher Leaves are also lesser than the lower, of a whitish green color, and of a good sweet Taste and Smell: the higher the Stalk the rounder it is; and spreads not into Branches, saving near the top, where it thrusts it self forth into several spokie rundles or tuffts; on the top of which, Umbles of white flowers do stand, which afterwards do give small roundish long Seed, of a whitish grey colour, and very sweet, and of a quick, yet pleasant Taste and Smell, and more in Quantity than any other Umbelliferous Plant whatsoever.

IV. The Places. It grows plentifully in Egypt, Syria, Candia, and other Eastern Countries: It grows also in England in the Gardens of Herbalists, where it has well enough thriven, and brought forth Seed perfectly ripe and good.

V. The Times. It is Sown with us in England in May, and the Seed is Ripe in August. But you may Sow Aniseeds here, in England, in February, when the Moon is at Full, or any time between the Full and the Change: If by reason of Frost, you cannot take the Full Moon, you must take the next opportunity, and call them into the Ground, raking them well in; after which, strew fresh or new Horse-Dung, thinly upon the Ground, to defend them from the Frost, so will these seed and be ripe about Bartholomew-tide: Then Sow again in the Full Moon in May; these, if the Weather is kind, may be ripe sooner than the former. Aniseed will also come well up, if they be Self-sown, only the Ground is to be broken up near to and about them, when they begin to ripen. The time of their Flowering does continue four or five Months, so that, at one time, you may find the Plant in full Flower, and the Seed near to its full Growth, as you often see in Fennel, Dill, &c. That Ground which you would Sow in, February, you ought to break up about Michaelmas, and to let it lye and Crumble all Winter, and when you intend to Sow it, you must stir it up again, that it may be mellow; for the mellower, the better; and a black, rich, mellow Mould is the best, for they delight in a well dung'd rich Soil.

VI. The Qualities. It is Hot in the second Degree, and Dry in the first: The Seeds are Opening, Inciding, Attenuating, Digestive, Discussive, Carminative and Anodine; and by Appropriation, they are Cephalick, Stomatick, Pectoral, Hysterick, Nephritick, and Arthritick: They are also Lactogenetick, Spermatogenetick, and Alterative.

VII. The Specification. They have a peculiar property against Coughs, Shortness of Breath, Difficulty of Breathing, and the Colick.

VIII. The Preparations. The Shops keep,

  • 1. The Seed.
  • 2. Aniseed Comfits.
  • 3. Aniseed Comfits Laxative.
  • 4. A Distilled Water.
  • 5. Anniseed Water, made with Aqua Vita.
  • 6. A Chymical Oil.
  • 7. A Fixt Salt of the Plant by Incineration.

To the former things you may add these following.

  • 8. The Green Herb.
  • 9. The Essence.
  • 10. The Potestates or Powers.
  • 11. A Spirituous Tincture.
  • 12. A Saline Tincture.
  • 13. An Oily Tincture.
  • 14. A Decoction.
  • 15. A Balsam.
  • 16. A Cataplasm.
  • 17. An Extract.
  • 18. A Spirit.

The Virtues.

IX. The Seed. Schroder says, it is milder when green, Attenuates, Discusses, provokes Urine, breeds Milk, is Pectoral, and good for the Stomach, and to open Obstructions in the Lungs it is given in Pouder to such as have their Bellies swoln up with Wind: A scruple given to a Child, Purges and Vomits gently, and carrys off those green Excrements, which in those little ones cause Gripings, vehement Pain, sickness at Stomach, and sometimes Convulsions: It is a Specifick also in curing a stubborn Hiccough.

X. Aniseed Comfits. They are good against Coughs, open the Lungs, expel Wind, and give ease in the Colick.

XI. Aniseed Comfits Laxative. They are made by a Maceration of the Seed in Water, in which Scammony has been Dissolved; or by mixing the Pouder of Scammony with the first Coverings of Sugar; or by Macerating them in an Infusion of Vitrum Antimonij. The former Purge gently, without any Pain, Griping or making Sick; the last both Purge and Vomit; but they all carry off Sharp, Corroding, Slimy, Flegmatick, and Tartarous Humors, help Digestion, empty the lungs of the matter Obstructing them, and Cure the Colick. Dose from half a dram to ij. drams.

XII. The Distilled Water of the whole Plant, or of the Seed. It is a good Vehicle to convey other Medicines in; besides which it expels Wind, is good for Sore Eyes, and encreases Milk in Nurses. Dose from ij. to iiij. Ounces.

XIII. Aniseed Water Distilled off from Aqua Vitae, or Spirit of Wine. It comforts the Stomach, opens the Lungs, helps Obstructions of the Liver, expels Wind, causes digestion, and prevails against the Colick. Dose ij. Drams to half an Ounce, now and then upon occasion.

XIV. The Chymical Oil. It is an admirable Pectoral, Curing most Diseases of the Brest and Lungs, as Coughs, Colds, Asthma's, Rawness, Windiness of the Stomach, Phthisick, Colick, and indeed all Diseases proceeding from Cold and Wind; it provokes Lust, and is often given with good Success in Fits of the Mother, in Epilepsies, Apoplexies, Vertigo's, Megrims, Head-aches, Lethargies, Cams, and other Diseases proceeding from Cold Flegmatick Humors. Dose from iiij. Drops to x. in some fit Vehicle or Liquor.

XV. The fixd Salt. It is an admirable Pectoral and Nephritick; it Dissolves Tartarous Matter in the Lungs, Reins, Ureters, Bladder, or Womb, opens all Obstructions of those Parts, provokes Urine, and brings, away Sand, Gravel, or whatsoever creates a Stoppage in those Parts. Dose j. Scruple to half a Dram.

XVI. The Green Herb. The Decoction in Water and Wine, being drunk several times a day increases Milk in Nurses; and Boiled in Oil of Roses, and dropt into the Ears, takes away their Pains, and removes the noise in them. The planting this Herb near Bees, is the best means for the keeping of Bees, and multiplying of them, as also for their Breeding great store of Honey: For first it yields an innumerable company of Flowers, and is continually in flowering for Four and sometimes Five Months, according as the Year is Seasonable, and these Flowers yield much Sweetness and Honey, and carry a Scent so pleasant and grateful with them, that the Bees rather chuse to feed upon it, than upon any other Plant whatsoever; besides they contain an excellent Sweetning Ferment, by which the Dew is converted into a more Thick and Sweet Substance, by many degrees passing simple Dew, which contains within it a Saccharine Salt, which the Bees greedily resort to, and suck, and with it Load themselves: But the main excellency is the long duration of its flowering time, so that it will afford them a supply, the greatest part of their gathering-time, whereas the Blossoms of Fruit-trees, and flowers of other Herbs, are only at a peculiar season, and of small continuance; The Green Herb being taken, and the inside of the Hives, as also the Orifices thereof being rubbed therewith, will so much delight the Bees, that when their Swarming time comes, which will be Three Times a Year, if they feed on this Herb, they will certainly enter into them, and go no where else: But in case when they Swarm, they should settle upon some Tree, or other Place, the fault may be helped by rubbing the inside of the new Hive with Green Anise, and holding it on the Top of a Pole to the Bees; for by the sweet Scent or Smell of the Anise, they will be allured, to enter thereinto, of their own accords. It is reported, that, a certain Lord of Austria so thrived by this Secret, that he furnished many Countries with Honey and Wax, whereby he Accumulated to himself vast Wealth, and a very great Estate.

XVII. The Essence. Whether it is prepared of the Herb, or Green Seed, or both, has all the Virtues of the Chymical Oil, but not all out so powerful, for which reason this is to be given in a much larger Dose, as from j. Ounce to ij. Ounces, or more, it powerfully opens Obstructions of Liver, Spleen, Lungs, Reins, and Womb, and is singular against the Falling-sickness, Convulsions, and Colick: it powerfully provokes Lust, is good for such as are Impotent, and makes others more Vigorous; for it mightily encreases Seed in the Seminal Vessels, as also Milk in Nurses, and prevails against Poison, and the Bitings of Mad Dogs, or other Venomous Creatures.

XVIII. The Potestates or Powers. This Preparation has all the Virtues both of the Oil and Essence, and is much more pleasant to be taken, and in particular is a singular thing against Vapors, the rising of the Mother, Frensie, Madness, and other like Distempers of the Brain; you may give from j. Dram to iij. or iiij. Drams, in any convenient Vehicle: It is very good against Convulsion Fits, and Cures (outwardly by Bathing the place with it) all kinds of Pains, Aches, and Cramps, proceeding from a cold Cause: It is good also to Prevent and Cure After-pains of Women in Child-bed, being inwardly taken, and outwardly bathed upon the Region of the Belly, a warm Flannel dipt also in the same being laid over it.

XIX. The Spirituous Tincture of the Seed. It has the Virtues of the Oil and Powers, but scarcely so strong; and causes an Expectoration of Flegm in such as have Coughs, Colds, Shortness of Breath, Asthma's or Difficulty of Breathing,; and is excellent good against the Bitings of Mad Dogs, Vipers, or other Venomous Creatures: It prevails much also against Hypochondriack Melancholly. Dose from j. Dram to ij. or iij. Drams, in some fit Vehicle.

XX. The Saline Tincture. It is a Specifick to dissipate both the Wind and Water in the Dropsie Tympanites; it increases Milk in Nurses, facilitates the Birth, brings away the After-birth, and dissolves Tartarous Matter, whether in the Lungs, Womb, Reins or Bladder, and therefore powerfully Provokes Urine, and Expels Sand, Gravel, &c. Dose from j. Dram to ij. Drams, or more, according to the Age and Necessity.

XXI. The Oily Tincture. Altho' it is good in Diseases of the Reins, Ureters, and Bladder, and may be given inwardly, for many Diseases of the Liver, Spleen, and Lungs; yet its principal use is in External Applications; for being Anointed upon the Part, it cures Cramps, Old Aches and Pains, Gouts, Numedness, Lameness, Tremblings, and Palsies, proceeding from a cold Cause, and Viscous, Tartarous Humors; yet in these very Cases it may also be taken inwardly from v. or vj. Drops, to x. or xij. in Wine, &c.

XXII. The Decoction of the Seed. It is peculiar for breeding Milk in Nurses; and if made in Wine, it opens Obstructions of the Liver, and is very profitable in curing the Dropsie, Ascites, or Anasarca; it stops the Hiccough, helps Digestion, stirs up Lust is good against the Colick, Poison, and Bitings of all Venomous Creatures, helps a Stinking Breath, Provokes Urine, and Expels Wind in any part, whether Head, Stomach, Spleen, Bowels, Mesentery, or Womb. Dose from iiij. to viij. ounces, two or three times a Day.

ΧΧIII. The Balsam. It has all the Virtues of the Oily Tincture, being outwardly Applied, and Cures Wounds, though of the Nerves, by the first Intention.

XXIV. The Cataplasm. If it is made of the Seed, either Green or Dry, and applied to the Eyes which have any thing fallen into them, it quickly draws it forth; and being applied to any place Bitten with a Mad Dog, Viper, Rattle-Snake, or Venomous Creature, it effectually draws forth the Poison.

XXV. The Extract. Take the Seed bruised, upon which Affuse Spirit of Wine, which digest three or four Days, then press forth the Liquor out of the Seed; put this Liquor into an Alembick or Glass Vesica, and Abstract the Spirit by Distillation till what remains is of the thickness of Honey. This Spirit is Spirit of Aniseeds. Dose from j. Dram to ij. Drams, against the Falling-sickness.

XXVI. The Spirit. It has all the Virtues of Aniseed Water, and is not much inferior to the Powers. Dose from j. to ij. Drams, in Wine.


Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Peppercat.



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