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Photo by THOR. Creative Commons License.

Anise, also called aniseed, is a flowering plant native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Its flavor has similarities with some other spices, such as star anise, fennel, and liquorice (Wikipedia, nd).

Allergy Alert:

Anise can be used as both a cooking spice and a medical supplement. Although uncommon, allergic reactions to anise can still occur. If you feel like you are having an allergic reaction, contact your allergist (Livestrong, 2014).

Common Uses:

Anise is commonly used to add a characteristic flavor to foods or alcohol. It also has medical uses, such as treating cramps and killing insects (Wikipedia, nd).