Anise is a plant that originated in the Middle East and is now widely grown in Europe, Asia and North America. Another name for anise is aniseed.
The seeds and leaves are both used in cooking and have the taste and aroma of sweet liquorice and Indian anise has a slightly bitter taste.
In India, anise is used mainly with breads and savoury dishes. The seeds are dry roasted and added to fish and vegetarian dishes.
As well as having culinary uses, anise is widely used to flavour alcoholic drinks such as French pastis, Greek ouzo and Turkish raki.
Anise has a few medicinal applications and is used to aid digestion as well as being used as an antiseptic.
The sweet taste of aniseed has led to it being used in breath fresheners and to flavour cough medicines and lozenges.