THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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ANISE (Pimpinella Anisum), an umbelliferous plant found in Egypt and the Levant, and cultivated on the continent of Europe for medicinal purposes. The officinal part of the plant is the fruit, which consists of two united carpels, called a cremocarp. It is known by the name of aniseed, and has a strong aromatic taste and a powerful odour. By distillation the fruit yields the volatile oil of anise, which is useful in the treatment of flatulence and colic in children. It may be given as Aqua Anisi, in doses of one or more ounces, or as the Spiritus Anisi, in doses of 5-20 minims. The main constituent of the oil (up to 90%) is anethol, C10H12O or C6H4[1.4](OCH3)(CH:CH.CH3.) It also contains methyl chavicol, anisic aldehyde, anisic acid, and a terpene. Most of the oil of commerce, however, of which anethol is also the chief constituent, comes from Illicium verum (order Magnoliaceae, sub-order Wintereae), indigenous in N.E. China, the star-anise of liqueur makers. It receives its name from its flavour, and from its fruit spreading out like a star. The anise of the Bible (Matt. xxiii. 23) is Anethum or Peucedanum graveolens, i.e. dill (q.v.).
Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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