Star anise (Illicium) – evergreen trees and shrubs of the genus limonnikova, seeds and oils which are used in cooking and alternative medicine. The plant grows in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, North America and Abkhazia.
In nature, there are 32 species of star anise, the most common are the true star anise, anise star, star anise and anise star anise lanceolate.
The use of anise
In alternative medicine star anise is used to treat respiratory tract infections, bronchitis, swine and bird flu, increasing sexual desire (libido) and treating symptoms of male menopause. Inhalation with the use of stars of anise is effective in the treatment of diseases of the throat.
Also, star anise is used in the treatment of the digestive tract, including indigestion and colic in infants.
Star anise is used for:
Loss of appetite;
The menstrual cycle;
The upset stomach.
In cooking, star anise is used as spices and seeds and oils are used as seasoning.
Star anise consists of many aromatic seeds that are widely used in Asian cooking and Chinese characteristics. Chinese star anise has a sweet flavor, reminiscent of licorice and is often added to balance the flavor in desserts, stews and savory dishes.
In France, star anise is used to flavor alcoholic beverages such as stuff. They are also used in the production of Sambuca and absinthe. Star anise as a seasoning added to dishes of meat, eggs and poultry. It is used as a spice in the preparation of tea, rice dish “Biryani” and spices “Garam Masala” across the Indian subcontinent. Star anise is the main ingredient of Vietnamese soup with noodles and beef “Pho-Bo”.
Star anise in traditional Chinese medicine are used to prepare medicinal tea as a means of rheumatism, and the seeds of the anise drink by mouth after meals to improve digestion.
Japanese star anise is not edible and is not used for medicinal purposes because of its highly toxic composition. The use of anise of this species causes severe inflammation of the kidneys, urinary tract and digestive organs.
In manufacturing the oil of anise is used as flavoring for the production of soap, cosmetics, perfume and toothpaste.
Commercial star anise is grown China, India and most other Asian countries.
The beneficial properties of anise
Star anise is a good source of checkoway acid, which is effective in the treatment of influenza and is used in the manufacture of the drug “Oseltamivir”.
Also to the beneficial properties of anise can be attributed contained in its seeds ingredients with activity against bacteria, yeast and fungi.
Also star anise is not safe to use for children under the age of years. Too difficult to make sure that you have purchased Chinese star anise in pure form without admixture of the poisonous Japanese star anise, because such testing can only be conducted in the laboratory. Chinese star anise in research caused in infants side effects, however, mixed with Japanese star anise they appeared in the form of irritability, vomiting and convulsions.