Pimpinella anisum L.
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The herbal monograph selects and summarises scientific studies and textbooks regarding efficacy, dosage and safety supporting the therapeutic uses of aniseed. This herbal substance by definition consists of the whole dry cremocarp of Pimpinella anisum L. Studies with its main characteristic constituents the essential oil with trans-anethole, cis-anethole and anisaldehyde are included. The therapeutic indications are dyspeptic complaints such as mild spasmodic gastro-intestinal complaints, bloating, flatulence and catarrh of the upper respiratory tract. Administration of aniseed addresses: posology; its duration of use; contra-indications; special warnings; special precautions for use; interactions with other medicinal products; other forms of interaction; in pregnancy and lactation; its effects on ability to drive; undesirable effects; overdose. In vitro experiments with aniseed oil and extracts demonstrate secretolytic and expectorant, spasmolytic, anaesthetic and oestrogenic activities. In vivo experiments with aniseed oil and constituents in animals demonstrate secretolytic and expectorant, local anaesthetic, oestrogenic and anti-ulcer properties. Pharmacokinetics, metabolism, absorption and secretion of orally administered trans-anethole were assessed in animals and humans. Preclinical safety data for aniseed mainly with trans-anethole were assessed in acute, repeated-dose and reproductive toxicity studies. Safety data in humans concerned a case of overdose with the essential oil of aniseed. The selection of literature cited in the monograph is aimed at bringing together relevant information about the possible physiological roles of aniseed and its major constituents. Examples are given below.
- Anisi fructus
- Pimpinella anisum L.
- Gastro-intestinal complaints, bloating, flatulence; Catarrh of the upper respiratory tract.