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Properties and effects of star anise

The star anise is a spice from Asia commonly used to treat stomach upsets such as gas, indigestion and even diarrhea. This small reddish and star-shaped fruit will be your main ally if you have children at home, it will also be very useful if you do not have drugs.

In any case, here you can find all the information you need about its healing properties.

Scientifically called Illicium verum, this peculiar spice is grown in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines. Thanks to this, it is considered as “the Asian gold”, despite the fact that there are other medicinal plants worldwide such as aloe vera, green tea or moringa.

Star anise contains properties with higher concentration, so it is recommended to do some research before starting to use it.

Asian culture has used it for hundreds of years to prepare aromatic dishes or mix it with tea.

Despite this, star anise serves for many things, for example, to relieve cough. It has recently been shown that, in addition, it also works to counteract migraine symptoms.

Up to this point, we’re sure you’ve already begun to wonder what are the healing properties of star anise? What is it really for? Can I give star anise to my baby? How to take it? Well, today we want to share with you the properties of this fabulous spice harvested in the East.

Main characteristics of star anise

Star anise is characterized by its particular 8-pointed star shape, its taste is bitter, its color brown and its aroma is easy to distinguish for those who have a good sense of smell. It is born from the tree of the Magnoliaceae family.

It is mostly used in Asian cuisine, however, its medicinal properties they make it an element that helps relieve multiple discomforts.

Star anise plant

Here are its most significant features for health:

  • It is used as a diuretic because it helps improve digestion.
  • It serves to heal stomach diseases such as diarrhea.
  • Relieves the discomforts associated with the common cold and asthma.
  • Thanks to its antispasmodic properties, star anise serves to eliminate abdominal pain related to gastrointestinal gases.
  • It contributes to improving the appetite of children thanks to its stimulating properties.
  • It facilitates sleep, contains significant amounts of sedatives helping people suffering from insomnia.
  • It serves to cook delicious gastronomic dishes and prepare drinks such as coffee.
  • Star anise helps relieve headaches.
  • It serves to increase lactose levels in women who are loving their baby.
  • It strengthens the immune system thanks to its antifungal properties, preventing skin infections in the first place.
  • It can be used as an oil to anoint or consumed in the form of hot tea.
  • It has aromatic properties.

This plant is used for babies and adults, it is a very versatile spice that helps counteract multiple ailments. Contains anethole, the predominant essence of anise, which, according to studies, when consumed in extreme amounts can affect our nervous system, causing delusions and / or convulsions.

It is for this reason that we can observe its presence in products associated with liquor.

When it comes to consuming it and making the most of its healing properties, we can prepare it in the form of hot tea and depending on the treatment, take it about 2 or 3 times a day. However, you can also buy it and use it as a massage oil in order to relieve headaches or abdominal discomfort.

We recommend you consult in health food stores about its preparation and avoid overdose.

What the plant is like

The plant of the star anise is recognized in botany by its scientific name Illicium verum. It was originally born in southwest China, although it is planted in many countries around the world, mostly in Asian countries such as Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The plant was described by the científico Joseph Dalton Hooker, with elongated leaves and slender stem, with yellow flowers. Star anise grows in USDA zones 8-11, these are hardiness zones, in which the anise plant can grow and survive under adapted conditions.

It is recommended to plant star anise seeds in places covered with low solar radiation, however, it can also be done outside, in the backyard. Before planting it, it is important to make sure that the soil is moist. Whether in a pot or directly in the ground, the plant of Illiicium verum it must have daily watering.

It prevails in warm and cool places, where it has hours of light and shade. In this regard, it should be located in places with limited direct exposure to the sun, since the opposite can cause the plant to burn completely.

This spice takes 6 years to grow from seed to the first harvest, so if you do not consider yourself very patient, we recommend buying a more mature plant. The spice should be harvested green, once collected they are cleaned and dried in the sun. With this the brown color that characterizes it is achieved, it also enhances its properties.

Properties of star anise

How to take star anise

Its positive effects are scientifically proven for its healing properties. It has been used in many cultures to reduce stomach inflammation as a result of intestinal gas, to relieve migraine headaches and even works as an anti-cough syrup. In sense its properties are:

Carminative property

Star anise helps expel gas from the small intestine, managing to reduce the feeling of stomach inflammation in a few hours. It serves for flatulence and stomach pains, thanks to this it improves the entire digestive process.

Digestive Property

Thanks to its eupeptic properties, anise stimulates stomach acids, improving appetite and better digestion. This is good for people suffering from heartburn, hyposecretory dyspepsia and reflux.

Antispasmodic property

Similarly, the star anise contains properties that combat abdominal or intestinal spasms, relieving pain caused by colic and retained gases.

Diuretic property

It is proven that Illicium verum stimulates appetite, serves children and adults, improves digestive capacity and helps eliminate toxins through urine, which prevents fluid retention. In other words, it is a powerful antioxidant.

Expectorant property

Illicium verum can be used for coughing because of its high in vitamin C they help not only the immune system, but also help counteract flu-associated symptoms such as mucus, preventing diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.

Analgesic property

Thanks to its important anethole content, star anise serves as a sleeping pill, helps calm the nerves, so serves for hypertensive people or who suffer from insomnia. In addition, it can be used as an alternative to green tea.

Antifungal property

The spice of Asian origin serves to fight skin infections, healing minor wounds, skin irritation, first-degree burns and fungus. Depending on its preparation it can relieve muscle aches.

Buy star anise

Buy star anise it is not an impossible mission, you can do it from home, online, or in any health food store, you can even find it in any supermarket thanks to the fact that it serves to cook many dishes.

It is used to prepare soups, sauces and sweets. In China it is one of the 5 special spices that form the mixture of 5 Chinese spices, which incorporates the five flavors of traditional Chinese cuisine: sweet, bitter, acid, balance and umami.

Thanks to anethole, this spice is used in the world of cocktails to prepare the popular Glühwein, a type of German wine.

Its consumption has to be controlled, otherwise it can be toxic. It serves to cure all kinds of discomforts, such as abdominal pain, colic, headache, migraine, flu and asthma. It is recommended to buy after consulting the doctor.


One of the main contraindications of star anise are its high levels of anethole. This element can be toxic if the spice is consumed excessively and arbitrarily. Except for allergy sufferers, the overdose of anise can cause muscle aches, dizziness, drowsiness and hallucinations, causing a narcotic effect to the patient.

It is contraindicated during pregnancy and in cases of hyperestrogenism, therefore, it is not advisable to take during lactation, although it favors the secretion of liquids.

As you will see, star anise has multiple benefits. It is recommended for adults, but also serves for babies and young children, although its properties are highly concentrated. Make moderate use of it and it will do miracles for you.

We invite you to discover more about this wonderful plant. Share this and other articles with your friends on social networks that you will only find here.


About Laurie Cullen

Laurie Cullen is a renowned wellness specialist committed to holistic health and well-being. With extensive training in nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness practices, she empowers individuals to lead healthier lives. Laurie's approach focuses on creating sustainable lifestyle changes, emphasizing the importance of balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and stress management. Her guidance has transformed the lives of many, helping them achieve optimal physical and mental health. Laurie's dedication to holistic wellness and her ability to inspire and educate others have solidified her reputation as a trusted source of guidance in the pursuit of healthier, happier lives.

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