381. Anisum.—Anise.

Botanical name: 

Fig. 188. Anisum. The ripe fruit of Pimpinel'la an'isum Linné, with not more than 3 per cent. of foreign seeds and other vegetable matter.

BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS.—Stem about 1 foot high. Umbels on long stalks without involucre; flowers small, white; calyx obsolete; carpets 5, with filiform ridges.

HABITAT.—Levant and Egypt; extensively cultivated in Europe.

DESCRIPTION OF DRUG.—Two or three varieties have been produced by cultivation, the Spanish being the smallest, and usually preferred. In general appearance anise resembles conium very much, but it is distinguished from the latter in being usually longer and more ovate, the mericarps, which usually adhere together, having their five ribs more or less hairy and not jagged, and having about 15 oil tubes, of which conium has none; odor fragrant; taste aromatic, sweetish. The fruit is often accompanied with its adhering short peduncle.

Powder.—Characteristic elements: See Part iv, Chap. I, B.

CONSTITUENTS.—Volatile oil (1 ½ to 3 per cent.). Ash, not exceeding 9 per cent.

ACTION AND USES.—Stimulant and aromatic carminative. Dose: 8 to 30 gr. (0.5 to 3 Gm.).

381a. OLEUM ANISI, U.S.—A colorless or pale yellow volatile oil, having the aromatic odor and taste of the fruit; neutral in reaction; sp. gr. 0.98 to 0.99, depending upon age. Dose: 5 drops (0.3 mil)

CONSTITUENTS.—It contains a slight quantity of a light hydrocarbon oil, but principally anethol, C10H12O, which is present in both liquid (liquid anethol) and solid form (anise camphor); by oxidation this anethol is converted into anisic acid; anethol is the principal constituent also of fennel and star anise, the most of the commercial anise oil being derived from the last-named fruit. Anethol is recognized in the National Formulary.

Preparation of Anethol.—Obtained by fractional distillation; by oxidation is converted into anisic acid.


Aqua Anisi (0.2 per cent.) Dose: 4 fl. dr. (16 mils).
Spiritus Anisi (10 per cent.) 90 drops (6 mils).
Spiritus Aurantii Compositus (0.5 per cent.),
Tinctura Opii Camphorata (0.4 per cent.), 2 fl. dr. (8 mils).

A Manual of Organic Materia Medica and Pharmacognosy, 1917, was written by Lucius E. Sayre, B.S. Ph. M.