Pimpinella Anisum and Illicium Verum: The Multifaceted Role of Anise Plants

The Open Agriculture Journal 31 Aug 2016 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874331501610010084


The role of dietary active compounds in human nutrition is an important area of investigation in the field of nutritional science. In this perspective, functional foods play a relevant role, offering a new kind of health tool that promises specific effects related to particular food components. Anise plant has a long cultural tradition in various countries all over the world, both as food and as drug. The essential oil of anise, extracted from the dry ripe fruits of Illicium verum and Pimpinella anisum, contains anethole, an active chemical compound that showed several functional properties including antimicrobial, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic and oestrogenic properties.

To date, studies conducted on the properties of anise, demonstrated the efficacy of the plant in the improvement of physiological condition in human and the possibility to exploit the active compounds of anise for the treatment of several chronic diseases. The aim of this review is to collect data on anise in order to evaluate its pharmacological properties.

Keywords: Anethole, Anise, Antioxidant, Functional properties, Illicium verum, Pimpinella Anisum.
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