Anise is a herb, closely related to parsley, grown in the Mediterranean. The plant grows to about 50cm high with bright green leaves and white flowers. It grows best in full sun with dry soil, and the seeds are the part of the plant which is used.
It was originally cultivated by the Egyptians and Greeks, although it made its way to England by the 14th century. In the East, it was used with other spices to cover taxes Its seed is used to flavour licorice, liqueurs, cakes, throat lozenges, and numerous other consumables. The liqueur, Anisette, is apparently beneficial to people suffering from bronchitis.