Anise/Aniseed Allergy Test
Latin name: Pimpinella anisum
Common names: Anise, Aniseed, Sweet Cumin, Sweet Alice
Anise/Aniseed is a spice which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
NB: Anise should not be confused with the unrelated species Star Anise, also known as Chinese Star Anise, which is the fruit of a tree native to China/Vietnam. Similarly it should not be confused with fennel (known as Sweet Anise in certain regions).
Anise/Aniseed Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Anise is an annual herb cnative to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, and now cultivated widely. It has been used by humans for hundreds of years, principally as a flavouring for drinks, sweets and pastries.
Commonly encountered foods which contain anise include black jelly beans, British aniseed balls and “troach” drops, Australian humbugs, New Zealand aniseed wheels, Italian pizzelle, German Pfeffernüsse and Springerle, Austrian Anisbögen, Dutch muisjes, New Mexican biscochitos, and Peruvian picarones.
It is also present in a number of alcoholic liqueurs, including Greek ouzo; Italian sambuca; Bulgarian mastika; French absinthe, anisette, and pastis; Spanish Anís del Mono, Anísado and Herbs de Majorca; Turkish and Armenian rakı; Lebanese, Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian arak; Algerian Anisette Cristal; Colombian aguardiente and Mexican Xtabentún.
The oil is also used in perfumes, soaps, mouthwashes, toothpastes and other toiletries.
Anise and its oil have been used to relieve flatulence and as a cough suppressant, sedative, and expectorant.
Anise is used as an artificial scent in drag hunting, an alternative to hunting live quarry with dogs where a scented bag is dragged across fields and tracked by hounds, and is also applied to fishing lures to attract fish.
Anise/Aniseed Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No allergens present in anise have yet been fully characterised, however a number of proteins have been isolated.
Anise/Aniseed Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
An extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the Apiaceae family could be expected and has been reported to occur.
Cross reactivity has been demonstrated between celery and carrot, parsley, anise, fennel and caraway. Other studies have shown cross reactivity between anise and caraway, coriander, fennel, and dill.
Clinical observation has also shown that patients with mugwort and birch pollen allergy frequently have hypersensitivity to spices of the Apiaceae family.
Anise/Aniseed Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Anise may commonly induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals, in particular in individuals who are allergic to mugwort and birch pollen or in celery-sensitive patients. In a study of celery- and pollen-allergic individuals, 50% of patients were reported to have specific IgE antibodies to anise.
Urticaria as a result of contact with Anise has been documented.
Occupational allergy to Aniseed in a patient, with rhinoconjunctivitis and gastrointestinal symptoms has been documented.
Occupational asthma and rhinitis to licorice (dust), mace, aniseed, coriander and iris root in an anise liqueur factory worker were reported.
Reactions to Anise may be severe, including anaphylaxis.
Anise may increase the risk of bleeding or potentiate the effects of warfarin therapy.
Chronic, ultimately fatal poisoning with alcohol-free Anise aperitif has been reported.