Anise & Licorice
Licorice strengthens the Spleen and increases Qi. It improves digestion, and can help moderate excesses in the diet as it does in formulas. It soothes the Stomach, clears inflammation, and protects and heals the mucosa.
Anise, with its warmth and Qi-moving quality, clears Wind Colic and relieves gastrointestinal spasms. It therefore assists Licorice by moving and regulating the Qi as it is nourished. It also clears Phlegm, and stops Cough.
Together, they strengthen the body while regulating the Qi, thereby helping relax tension (stagnant Qi) in the system while increasing the Qi. Both herbs benefit the Lung and Kidneys, stop Cough, Quench Thirst, promote Urine, calm the Mind and benefit the Liver.
This combination has been long used for Cough, particularly in Children. In fact, it is the forerunner of todays confectionary ‘Licorice’ which is usually still flavored with Aniseed. Traditionally, the dehydrated juice of Licorice was often used as a cough medicine, and this was often flavored with Anise oil.
Aniseed is Warm, Licorice soothes with its sweetness, stops Cough, clears Heat and Toxin, and benefits the Lungs. Together, they stop the spasm of Cough, soothe the irritation which causes Cough, and nourish the mucous membrane. Anise has shown strong broad-spectrum antibacterial activity, and it also contains decongestants, expectorants and anti-spasmodic effects. It has been shown to increase mucociliary transport. Licorice has proven clinical effects against Bronchial Asthma and Tuberculosis, and has also shown symptomatic relief of severe Lung disease including Silicosis, Emphysema, and Lung Cancer.
An added benefit is that both herbs have long been used to Quench Thirst in diseases such as Tuberculosis.
Both these medicines were traditionally used to warm and strengthen the Kidneys. Aniseed is useful for cold-type lower Abdominal Pain, Hernia, Leukorrhea; Licorice has long been to strengthen the Kidneys, and is used for Strangury, Lower Back Pain, Kidney Pain, and Ulcers of the Kidney and Bladder. Together, the promote Urine, gently strengthen the Kidneys and Back, and warm the lower body generally. Interestingly, Aniseed was traditionally used to ‘Stir up Courage’, and Licorice has shown strengthening effects on the Adrenals, promoting activity of adrenocorticol hormones. Therefore, this combination can be used for Fear, Timidity and Withdrawal when associated with Kidney deficiency.
It may be a useful combination for Stress and mild Depression. Licorice has Anti-depressant activity, and 8 separate compounds derived from Licorice have shown MAO inhibition. Apigenin in Aniseed has shown benzodiazepine-receptor activity. Both herbs have a calming effect on the body.
Another interesting modern use for this combination is on the Liver. Licorice has proven clinical benefit in chronic Liver conditions including Hepatitis, Cirrhosis and other Liver disorders. Rapid symptomatic relief has often been obtained, and Liver enzyme levels have been returned to normal. Aniseed has demonstrated Liver cell regeneration in laboratory research.
Both herbs have also demonstrated Estrogenic effects. In addition, Licorice stimulates an enzyme which converts Testosterone to Estrogen.
- Cough, Bronchitis, Wheezing from excess Phlegm
- Kidney weakness with cold lower abdomen, leukorrhea, lower back pain
1. Cold Cough, add Ginger and Fennel
2. Bronchitis, add Horehound, Coltsfoot
3. For Chronic Cough add Bitter Almond
4. To strengthen Respiration and Increase the Breath add Caraway, Fennel, Ginger, Cinnamon, Calamint, Cardamon, Clove, Saffron (as in Comp. Powder of Aniseed)
Syrup of Garlic, Anti-Asthmatic Syrup, Syrup of Wild Mustard, Syrup of Horehound, Catholicum of Nicholas, Electuary for a Duke, Lenitive Electuary, Electuary of Ginger, Tincture Against Asthma, Tincture of Guaiacum, Tincture of Sun Dew, Elixir of Health, Compound Aniseed Powder, Pulvis Pasaphan, Pulvis Passavanticus, Pectoral Powder, Compound Powder of Rosemary