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Anise has long been cultivated in Egypt and was known to ancient Greeks, Romans and Arabs, who named the plant anysun. It is one of the oldest known spice plants used both for culinary and medicinal purposes since ancient times. Since Antiquity it has been used as a flavoring spice in recipes and as a diuretic, to treat digestive problems and to relieve toothache. Anise seeds are known for their ability to reduce flatulence and to settle the digestion. They are commonly given to infants and children to relieve colic and to people of all ages to ease nausea and indigestion. It also has an expectorant and antispasmodics action that is helpful in countering period pain, asthma, whooping cough and bronchitis.