The star anise plant resembles that of laurel in its beautiful appearance and that of magnolia in its flowers. The whole plant has a pleasant aroma similar to that of the anise plant, though more intense. The star anise tree was introduced in Europe in the late 17th century when Eastern spices were most appreciated.
Star Anise Plant Scientific Facts
- Other names: Chinese anise.
- French: Badiane, anis de la Chine.
- Spanish: Anis estrellado.
- Environment: Native to Southern China, Korea, and Japan, this plant is also cultivated in the Southwestern United States and other hot, humid areas of America.
- Description: The evergreen tree of the Magnoliaceae family, which grows from two to five meters high, has white bark and spear-shaped leaves. The fruit is star-shaped (8 or 12 points) and brown.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The fruit.
Healing Properties and Warning
The star anise, belonging to a different botanical family to that of common anise, has the same active component: an essence rich in anethole. Thus, its properties are similar to those of anise: eupeptic (promotes digestion) and carminative (eliminates intestinal gas and flatulence).
It is beneficial for heavy digestion, intestinal fermentation, and flatulence (excess gas). Due to mild antispasmodic properties, it alleviates the spasms of hollow internal organs (the stomach, the gall bladder, the intestine, the uterus, etc.).
WARNING! Due to its high content in anethole, Star anise essence has toxic effects on the nervous system (delirium and convulsions) when taken in high doses. Alcoholic beverages prepared with this essence can produce toxicity.
How to use Star Anise
- Infusion: The amount of plant needed is less than anise since star anise is more concentrated. Two or three fruit per cup is enough. Drink two or three cups daily after meals.
- Dry extract: The recommended dose goes from 100 to 300 mg a day.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 455. Print. [Star anise plant]