Anise Star Pods
Also known as
Illicium verum., star anise. In the Philippines, anise star pods are typically called “anise,” not to be confused with a different herb. To distinguish the herb from Pimpinella anisum, anise star pods are frequently called Badian anise, Chinese anise, or Indian anise.
It’s easy to recognize anise star pods; they usually look like an eight-pointed star. This fruit of a tree in magnolia family native to China and Vietnam produces tough-skinned, rust-colored fruits that are picked and dried before ripening. Anise star pods are hotter, more pungent, more bitter, and much more “licorice-like” than the European anise.
Anise star pods are used in Chinese “red” cooking, where foods are cooked for a long time in soy sauce. The herb is used to flavor “marbled eggs” and many Asian soups, in Thai iced tea, and in Peking duck. Anise star pods are also chewed after meals in order to freshen breath.
Like European anise, anise star pods contain an essential oil that is mostly anethole. Their distinctive flavor is due to the presence of 1,4-cineol, also found in Chinese cinnamon.
The dried fruits, harvested and dried before ripening, ground before storage. Ground star anise added to baked goods protects them from spoilage by bacteria or fungi.
Added directly to cooking. Small amounts are recommended. Anise star pods are a powerful spice. The herb should be stored in a tightly sealed container in a dark, cool place. The tea is quite strong and only moderate amounts will be needed. May also be taken as a capsule or extract.
Star anise seed powder sweetens the breath.
Serious complications attributed to anise star pods several years ago were later found to be due to contamination of star anise teas with other medicinal herbs. The whole herb is safe for consumption by all ages, as are ground anise star pods from reliable vendors.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.