Chinese star anise is a spice with various health benefits and amazing medicinal properties. It is very similar to anise in it smell but it has a shape of 8 point star. People that use it as spice, use the whole fruit, while tea and essential oil made of star anise have medicinal use.
Star anise has various range of health benefits. Its anti-virus properties make it effective in the fight against different kinds of viruses, including herpes virus. It is included in the list of ingredients of most important flu remedies. But it is important to say that star anise will not provide protection against viruses, but it will fight after you are infected and it also can stop further spreading of the virus.
Anethole is essential oil that is found in star anise. It is responsible for the specific taste similar to chicory. Anethole is very effective against some kinds of bacteria. It can prevent the grow and development of Escherichia coli that affects the digestive system and staphylococcus aureus bacteria that usually affects the skin.
Anethole also has strong anti-inflammatory properties which are proven to be similar to certain chemical medication used to treat inflammations. The same essential oil can effectively treat yeast infections thanks to the antioxidant properties it has.
USES OF STAR ANISE
Star anise has wide use in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. It is good for food that requires long time to cook. It is also used in preparation of deserts, and perfect for compote. It is good to combine with cinnamon and vanilla.
Star anise also has it place in the folk medicine to treat various diseases and health disorders. It is effective in treating bronchitis, asthma, cough as well as congestion in babies. It can also treat disorders of digestive organs as bloating, indigestion, stomach cramps and sickness. It is recommended to women that are breastfeeding because anithole can have estrogen effect and improve production of milk. People in India use it as breath refresher.
Besides Chinese star anise there is also Japanese star anise that is poisonous especially for babies. it is good to know that Japanese star anise can cause unwanted effects in adults and you need to be careful especially when you use it for medicinal purpose.