Stunning Star Anise

posted in: Ingredients | 0

I adore this stunning star of nature.

It tastes and smells like liquorice or aniseed.  Now I know some people can’t stand this. However, I also know that if you like Absinthe, Sambuca, Ouzo or Anisette, this is right up your street.

Today, it is used in spice mixtures including Garam Masala in India and Chinese Five Spice powder.

I buy mine from the supermarket – it’s readily available in most of them and can be found in the Spices Section.

Star Anise has been used for centuries in Chinese and Eastern medicines, as it is widely known at ‘Natures Anti-biotic’.

It also has anti-viral properties and can improve your digestive health and also ease the pain of arthritis.

This little star is PACKED with health benefits:

Vitamins A and C as well as small amounts of B vitamins
Shikimic Acid (Shikimic acid is used as an ingredient in Tamiflu; the influenza medication, which has also been used in the fight against swine flu).


Thanks to the presence of Linalool and Vitamin C, Star Anise is an excellent source of antioxidants.

Women’s Health

Traditionally used in China to help women during pregnancy and to new mothers wanting to increase their milk production, it is often prescribed to pregnant women to boost their immune system and stave off illness during pregnancy.

Researchers have also found that Star Anise has an estrogenic effect, owing to a compound called Anethole, which helps to modulate hormonal functions in women.

Rheumatism And Joint Pain

When applied topically, Star Anise essential oil is an excellent treatment for rheumatism and back pain. Before using the essential oil it should be combined with a carrier oil and massaged into the affected areas.

Improved Digestion

Star Anise as a tea, is mainly used to deal with a variety of digestive complaints such as indigestion, abdominal cramps, gas, bloating and constipation and is best consumed after a meal.

Antifungal Uses

One of Star Anise’s most impressive benefits is its effectiveness against fungal infections and common yeast infections, such as Candida.

Colds, Chest & Congestion

Star Anise as a tea is an excellent natural remedy to ease a cough and soothe a sore throat.


Star Anise is also an effective remedy for a number of other respiratory conditions including bronchitis and may even provide relief from asthma.

Sleep Problems

According to traditional use, Star Anise may have a mild sedative effect, which may calm your nerves, or assist you to settle down and ensure a good night’s sleep. Try a cup of soothing Star Anise tea before going to bed.


Star Anise is often used by people in India and Pakistan to keep their breath smelling fresh and clean.

Simply chew on the seeds after a meal to neutralize the smell of their food.  It may also contribute to your oral health in general due to its excellent antibacterial properties.

Juicy Lucy’s Tip:

I put a couple of Star Anise in most of my soups and casseroles to give the flavour some extra depth.

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