Medicinal Properties of Star Anise

Star Anise

Botanical name:- Pimpinella anisum
Indian name:- Star Anise

Other names: الينسون (Arabic), badyan (Czech), steranijs (Dutch), anis etoile (French), Sternanis (German),  anice stellato (Italian), Bunga Lawang (Malaysia/Indonesia), anyzu gwiazdzistego (Polish), ดาวต้นไม้แอนิซ (Thai)

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This herb had been used for many centuries. The ancient Greeks, including Hippocrates, prescribed it for coughs. Ancient Romans used Anise in a special cake that concluded their enormous feasts. Historically, the herb was used because of its flavor (licorice flavor), as an aid for digestion, as an aphrodisiac, for colic and to combat nausea.

Ancient Chinese physicians used the herb as a digestive aid, flatulence remedy, and breath freshener. Early English herbalists recommended the herb for hiccups, for promoting milk production for nursing mothers, fro treatment of water retention, headache, asthma. Bronchitis, insomnia, nausea, lice, infant colic, cholera, and even cancer.

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Expectorant, anti-spasmodic, carminative, anti-microbial, aromatic, galactogogue.

Improves memory, get rid of oily skin, calm coughs, increases milk production for nursing mothers and serve as a natural antacid.

Commercially, it is very popular as a fragrance and a flavoring. It is very effective as a carminative (to relieve gas pains).

Used as a cough remedy, bronchitis, asthma, as a digestive aid, may be used for relieving menopausal discomforts, treating some form of prostate cancer in men. It may have potential in treating hepatitis and cirrhosis, although tests are being conducted on this.

Indications : The volatile oil in Aniseed provides the basis for its internal use to ease griping, intestinal colic and flatulence. It also has an expectorant and anti-spasmodic action and may be used in bronchitis, in tracheitis where there is persistent irritable coughing, and in whooping cough. Externally, the oil may be used in an ointment base for the treatment of scabies. The oil by itself will help in the control of lice. Aniseed has been demonstrated to increase mucociliary transport and so supporting its use as an expectorant. It has mild estrogenic effects, thought to be due to the presence of dianethole and photoanethole, which explains the use of this plant in folk medicine to increase milk secretion, facilitate birth and increase libido.

Anise is a stimulant and carminative; used in cases of flatulence, flatulent colic of infants, and to remove nausea. Sometimes added to other medicines to improve their flavor, correct griping and other disagreeable effects.

Star Anise Recipes -  Star Anise Ice-Cream

  • Directions:

    2 cups half-and-half
    2 cups heavy cream
    1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
    1 cinnamon stick
    4 pieces whole star anise
    3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    9 egg yolks
    3/4 cup sugar

    Method :

    In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the half-and-half, cream, vanilla, cinnamon stick, star anise, and ground cinnamon, whisking occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. When the cream mixture reaches a fast simmer (do not let it boil), turn off the heat and let the flavors infuse for 10 minutes.

    Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. In a thin stream, whisk half of the cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Then pour the egg-cream mixture back into the saucepan containing the rest of the cream mixture. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. At 160 degrees, the mixture will give off a puff of steam. When the mixture reaches 180 degrees it will be thickened and creamy, like eggnog. If you don't have a thermometer, test it by dipping a wooden spoon into the mixture. Run your finger down the back of the spoon. If the stripe remains clear, the mixture is ready; if the edges blur, the mixture is not quite thick enough yet. When it is ready, quickly remove it from the heat. Meanwhile, in a bowl put two handfuls of ice cubes in the bottom, and add cold water to cover. Rest a smaller bowl in the ice water. Pour the cream mixture through a fine sieve or chinois (to remove the vanilla bean pieces, star anise pieces, and cinnamon sticks) into the smaller bowl. Chill 3 hours, then continue according to the directions of your ice cream maker.

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