Star anise is a spice made from the fruit of the Chinese evergreen tree Illicium verum. It's aptly named for the star-shaped pods from which the spice seeds are harvested and has a flavor that is reminiscent of licorice.
Star anise is also grown in Madagascar, small tree that can reach 45 feet in height. Star anise has leathery, glossy leaves arranged in clusters of three or more, strongly scented leaves. Star anise produces yellowish-green flowers that consist of 7 to 12 tepals (barely distinguishable petals and sepals).
Additionally, this spice also contains several compounds that have been shown to be antibacterial as well. Anethole, linalool and shikimic acid are all compounds found in star anise that are reported to help fight against bacteria.
Dried Star Anise
Health. This is a spice with many proven health-giving properties: it is digestive, good for the stomach, stimulating, diuretic, anti-rheumatic etc, etc.
The most valuable component of star anise may lie within its dense supply of flavonoids and polyphenols. These may primarily be responsible for the spice’s broad applications and medicinal benefits.
Some of the major health-promoting compounds found in star anise include Trusted Source:
- Shikimic acid
- Gallic acid
Together, these compounds may contribute to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of star anise.