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English Bible Dictionary

Anise

 

This word occurs only in (Matthew 23:23) It is by no means a matter of certainty whether the anise (Pimpinella anisum, Lin.) or the dill (Anethum graveolens) is here intended though the probability is more in favor of the latter plant. "Anise is an annual plant growing to the height of one foot, carries a white flower, and blooms from June till August. The seeds are imported and used in large quantities on account of their aromatic and carminative properties. It grows wild in Egypt, in Syria, Palestine and all parts of the Levant, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. Among the ancients anise seems to have been a common pot-herb in every garden. Although it is less used in medicine by the moderns than by the ancients, it still retains its former reputation as an excellent stomachic, particularly for delicate women and young children. The Romans chewed it in order to keep up an agreeable moisture in the mouth and to sweeten the breath, while some Orientals still do the same." Dill, a somewhat similar plant, is an annual, bearing small aromatic seeds, used also for cookery and medicine.

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