Botanical: Illicium verum
Family: Illiciaceae (anise) - Magnoliaceae (magnolia)
Other common names: Chinese Anise, Badiana, Badian, Badain, Aniseed Stars, Ba Jiao Hui Ziang,
Star Anise is an aromatic, warming herb that is not only an important ingredient in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines, but has also been used to relieve digestive problems and disturbances. Star Anise is said to be particularly helpful in cases of gastric distress, including flatulence, indigestion, nausea and vomiting.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
The Star Anise tree belongs to a genus of about forty species of evergreen shrubs and small trees with an aromatic bark that is said to be native to the woodlands of China and Viet Nam with distribution in other tropical and subtropical areas of the world, such as Indonesia, Japan, Jamaica, Laos and the Philippines. It is a hardy tree with pointed, anise-scented, leathery leaves and solitary, yellowish-white, magnolia-like flowers that are produced directly from the bark. The flowers bloom in the summer months and are followed by eight-pointed, woody, star-shaped fruits (actually seedpods) that are collected unripe for chewing as a breath freshener and digestive, and when ripe, for the oil used in herbal medicines, commercial products and oriental cuisines. The shrubby tree thrives in moist, well-drained, neutral-to-acid soil in partial shade, and when the first blooms appear after about five or six years, the tree will generally continue to produce flowers and fruits for one hundred years. Star Anise was first introduced to Europe in the seventeenth century and was mainly used there in baked goods and in fruit compotes and jams, as well as the manufacture of Anise-flavored liqueurs, such as anisette, Galliano, Sambuca and Pernod. It contains anethole, which is the same constituent that gives Anise its distinctive flavor. Although unrelated, the Anise flavor is licorice-like, but stronger, and it is an important commercial fruit worldwide, but mostly in Asia, where most of its market is located. It is a major ingredient in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines as part of "five-spice powder," which not only acts as a digestive, providing natural relief for indigestion, but is also used to flavor curries, tea, pickles, coffee, candy, cough medicines, soft drinks and bakery products. The aromatic oils in the seedpod are also an ingredient in tomb incense in Japan, and perfumery. Star Anise has long been used in Asian medicines to help promote good digestion; in fact, the Chinese drug, pa-chio-gui-hsiang , which is used to treat vomiting, gastric pain and abdominal colic, is derived from ripe seedpods.
Star Anise is a stimulating digestive tonic that is mainly used to benefit digestion. As a digestive aid, it is believed to be a particularly effective stomachic that strengthens stomach function, promotes good digestion and helps to relieve flatulence, colic, indigestion, nausea and vomiting.
Further supporting its use as an herbal stomach aid, Star Anise is regarded as an antispasmodic for the gastrointestinal tract that also helps to relieve abdominal pain and general gastrointestinal distress.
Star Anise is a warm, stimulating herb that is believed to relieve complaints that are associated with cold conditions, particularly lumbago and rheumatism.
Star Anise is considered to have antibacterial, antifungal and expectorant properties and has, thus, been used in cases of bronchitis, and has even been included in cough mixtures to relieve dry coughs, as well as a flavoring.
Currently, there appear to be no warnings or contraindications with the used of Star Anise Herbal Supplement.