What is it Wednesday Herbs: Anise

Hello my witchlings! Today is a new thing I’m making both teach you and myself! Because as witches I know your favorite thing to do is learn right!?…….right? Well, hopefully you do! So I’m creating What is it Wednesday day! For right now I’ll be working on Herbs that are used for protection/purification. Because having the correct herbs and oils that can protect you are always good to have! So for your viewing and learning pleasure we have: ANISE!

 

ANISE SEED (Pimpinella Anisum) 

anise-plants
It looks a bit like queen anne’s lace, doesn’t it!?

 

Element: Air 

Deity: Jupiter (aka Zues), Apollo,  Mercury (aka Hermes) 

Magical Use: Contacting other planes, divination, love, passion, preventing nightmares, protection, psychic development, psychic protection, purification Other magickal uses: Clairvoyance, cleansing, consecration, fertility, gain, good luck, happiness, money, weddings, youth

Medicinal Uses: For treating coughs, bronchitis and a stuffy nose, it loosens bronchial congestion, making it easier to cough it up and expel it. A good breath freshener in the morning, and if kept by the bed it will prevent bad dreams. Also a digestive aid and can relieve an upset stomach and flatulence when taken as a tea, and a treatment for colic. Also suggested that anise may be beneficial to women because certain chemicals in the plant are chemical cousins to the female hormone estrogen.

Anise is wonderful plant to have in your witche’s garden! You can throw it among your flower cutting garden, or along your fence! It looks very much like queen Ann’s Lace, however the difference is that they grow in rounded ‘clumps’ and Queen Ann is very flat and broad (looking much more like yarrow in shape).  The plant is harvested when the flowers are blooming (the seeds are in the center there). Hang them upside down in a paper bag so you don’t lose the seeds! As pretty as the flowers are–its the itty bitty seeds you want!

anise-seed-pimpinella-anisum

These seeds are tiny things–only slightly bigger than poppy seeds! You know those little black dots you sometimes get on your bagles? Yeah. They’re almost as tiny as THAT!  You can use anise seeds as incense for protection when you go to astral planes, or for protection when doing your witchy work. You can also bake with them! During the Roman era they would bake the seeds into wedding cakes. Anise seeds have a really wonderful licorice taste, though for me I just find it sweet. My favorite thing to make is Covenstead Bread, and I’ll include the recipe at the end of this!  In the mean time, here are some uses for Anise that you might want to try out!

-It’s said that if you use cuttings from Anise and place it into or near your pillow it will ward you from nightmares

-If you hang it over your bed lost youth will be yours once more!

-An herbal tea made of it, drunk once a day, will help your spirituality and psychic powers grow. 1 Tsp of seeds per 1 cup of water, steeped 20 minutes.

botanicalanise-Before doing a ritual have a bath of Anise seeds added with Bay leaves for powerful protection! My advice to this, is to put it in a cheese cloth, so that the seeds or bay leaf doesn’t clog up your drain! You can also add a dash of cinnamon in to the bag as well! Mmm, cinnamon!

-Burn Anise seed for protection and meditation rituals

-Anise Essential Oil is excellent when doing divination and you need to boost clairvoyance

-You can add crushed seeds to Resin Incense like Myrrh or Dragons Blood

-For prophetic dreams of the future, make a mojo bag (voodoo)  consisting of Anise seeds, Althaea Leaf, Acacia, Calendula, and Star Anise and keep it beneath the pillow where you sleep.

As you can, these tiny seeds really pack a punch! It should be noted however, that Anise seeds are NOT Anise Star seeds. Those are two VERY different plants!The Anise Star seeds come from a tree, not a flower, and in September of 2003 the FDA banned, stating that “individuals who drank teas brewed with the spice suffered serious neurological effects, such as “seizures, vomiting, jitteriness or rapid eye movement.” Forty individuals, including 15 infants, were affected before the FDA issued its warning. As of 2011, the FDA had not changed or updated its warning.”

staranise
THIS IS STAR ANISE. DO NOT USE THEM IN FOOD OR TEAS!

 

So that’s your lesson plan for the day! I will include links and my recipe below!  Please feel free to have a look at those links as well! And hopefully you’ll add Anise to your garden!

anise

COVENSTEAD BREAD: 

(Recipe by Gerina Dunwich)

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped citron (I never added this)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons anise seeds
  • 2-1/3 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I used 2 tsp of each spice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice

Directions: 

Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Add honey, citron, sugar, and anise seeds. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves and then remove from heat.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices, and fold into the hot honey mixture. Turn the batter into a well-greased 9 X 5 X 3-inch loaf pan and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for one hour. Turn out on a wire rack to cool. (This recipe yields one loaf of bread.)

Covenstead Bread tastes better the next day, but you don’t have to. The flavor DOES get better after a day though, I won’t lie! Just remember to cover it so it doesn’t go stale! It’s an ideal bread to serve during Lammas and Autumn Equinox Sabbats, but you can bring it to any ritual or coven meeting! I find that it especially tastes good with honey drizzled on top! This loaf of bread is dense and can be a wee bit dry (maybe add more honey?), so the honey defintely helps when eating! The flavor is out of this world though!

(This “Covenstead Bread” recipe is from “The Wicca Spellbook: A Witch’s Collection of Wiccan Spells, Potions and Recipes” by Gerina Dunwich, p. 169, a Citadel Press Book, Carol Publishing Group, 1994)

LINKS: 

http://www.hxcorp.com.vn/news/432-what-is-star-anise.html

http://gardening.smeak.com/growing-anise/ (how to grow them!)

http://herbalriot.tumblr.com/post/53752617078/magickal-uses-of-anise-plant-seed

http://www.wolfmoongrove.com/Herb%20Info%20Pages/herbal_properties.htm (this also has a bunch of other herbs! A nice site!)

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