Star Anise


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Star Anise


Latin Name: Illicium verum
Alternative Name: chinese anise
Forms Available: seed

Star Anise – illicium verum – All parts of this small, evergreen tree are aromatic; the smooth, gray-white bark, narrow to elliptic shiney green leaves; solitary yellow flowers; and glossy brown seeds. The distinctive seeds and pods are used as a spice in Asian cookery, notably as an ingredient of Chinese five-spice powder. The fruits and foliage yield an essential oil, used as a substitute anise seed flavoring, or, medicinally to relieve chest complaints, rheumatism, and flatulence. The oil appears in soaps, hair oils, and Asian perfumes.
Chew the seeds after a meal to help the digestion. Simmer the seeds to make a tea for colic and rheumatic complaints. Steep one teaspoon of the crushed seed in one cup of boiled water for twenty minutes and take up to two cups a day. Often added to other brews to improve taste, the tea of the seed will help cramps and nausea, promote menstruation, and increase breast milk. It also relieves insomnia. The seeds are simmered into salves for scabies and lice. The oil is a stomach tonic. The seeds can be tinctured in brandy -rather than the usual vodka, whiskey, or grain alcohol- with some lemon peel; the dose is one-fourth to one-half teaspoon.

Aromatherapy & Health Uses: The tea of the seed will help cramps and nausea, promote menstruation, and increase breast milk. It also relieves insomnia. The seeds are simmered into salves for scabies and lice. The oil is a stomach tonic.

Other Uses: The powdered bark is used as an incense in Japanese temples. The tree is planted by the Japanese around temples and on graves as an herb of consecration and protection. The seeds are burned as incense to increase psychic powers.


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