What is star anise?
Why should I include star anise in my diet?
Star anise as the name indicates it is rightly named because of its star shape. It is from this star shaped pod that the seeds are taken for harvesting. Star anise is made from the fruit of Chinese evergreen tree Illicium verum . It is known for its medicinal values along with is flavour and culinary applications. For over thousands of years traditional Chinese medicine has been using star anise. In Chinese five-spice star anise is a major component. Meanwhile in India star anise is used in making garam masala. It is also an essential spice in making bariyani. The seed and the pod give flavour and soothing aroma to cuisines. Even though star anise is a falvouring spice for chicken, pork, beef and sea foods, it is also used in various vegetable dishes too. Due to its sweet flavour star anise is used in the preparation of jams, puddings and syrups. It can be used both as whole and as powder. The fruit; star anise is picked before it is ripened and is dried in sun. Anethol present in star anise is also found in anise seeds which gives them both licorice tastes.
Health benefits of star anise
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.
Major health-promoting compounds found in star anise include
- Shikimic acid
- Gallic acid
- Star anise could be used for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Some studies say that bioactive compounds of star anise can treat urinary tract infections caused by various bacteria. It could be used against bacteria, fungus and some viruses also.
- The shikimic acid found in star anise is used for the treatment of influenza.
- The oil extracted from star anise is used for treating acne.
- Star anise is an anti ageing spice. It is rich in antioxidants and in vitamin A and vitamin C.
- Some researchers have discovered that star anise has got the ability to reduce the tumour size and hence possess anti-cancer properties.
For longer shelf life
Star anise or any spice so as to retain its fresh aroma and flavour has to be stored in air tight containers. Spices when stored as whole would keep them fresh for longer period than when its ground.
The Japanese star anise is similar to the star anise but must be differentiated as the seeds and husk from this plant are not edible for human consumption. It is highly toxic in nature and is burned as incense in Japan. We provide you the best quality products without any adulteration. These are directly from the trusted farmers.