Standardized: star anise
Other: Chinese star anise, takkola
Illicium verum Hook. f.
Plant Family: Illiciaceae
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.
Specific: No known precautions.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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.