Anise (aka aniseed) is an annual angiosperm native to the Levant. Its flavor is similar to other spices, including fennel and licorice. Anise seeds are used to flavor black jellybeans and other confections in different cultural cuisines.
Anise was known to the ancient Romans as a digestive aid. It is recommended as an herbal remedy for its carminative effect: an anti-flatulent, by preventing formation of gastrointestinal tract gas.
Anise, fennel, and star anise contain anethole: a phytoestrogen that helps give these spices their distinctive flavor. Anise has been used to treat menstrual cramps.
As a liquid scent, anise is put on lures to attract fish.