1. General information about star anise
Star Anise seed is a spice made from the fruit of anise that originated from China. It tastes almost like licorice.
Anise is known not only for its unique flavor in the field of cuisine but also for its medicinal benefits.
2. Nutrition ingredients in star anise seeds
Some of the main health-promoting compounds founded in star anise include:
Together, these compounds contribute to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties of anise. Several animal studies indicate that the spice’s antioxidant ability may fight cancer, such as tumor size reduction.
3. The effect of star anise seeds on health
One of the most common pharmacological properties of star anise is its shikimic acid content. Shikimic acid is a strong antiviral compound.
In fact, this is one of the main active ingredients in Tamiflu, a common drug for the treatment of influenza. Currently, star anise is the main source of shikimic acid used to develop pharmaceuticals. As the pandemic flu continues to increase, which is a threat to global health, the demand for star anise is also increasing.
Several studies have shown that the essential oil of star anise seed can treat other viral infections, including herpes simplex type 1.
Although anise is often used to treat influenza, more research is needed to understand its potential for treating other viral infections in humans.
Star anise is a rich source of flavonoid anethole. This compound is responsible for the distinct flavor of spices and offers powerful antifungal benefits.
Several studies have found that trans-anethole derived from star anise fruit may inhibit the growth of pathogenic fungi in some edible crops.
Other research has shown that compounds in star anise, like terpene linalool, can prevent biofilms and the formation of infectious fungal cell growth in humans.
Another important medical benefit of star anise is its ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria associated with many common diseases.
Several studies have revealed that star anise extract is as effective as antibiotics against many resistant bacteria. This could help the development of new antibiotics in the future.
Easy to add to dishes
Star anise tastes like licorice or fennel. It works well with coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and clove.
In cooking, star anise is used in classic Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, especially as a flavor enhancer in soups and curries. It is one of the 5 popular spices in China and India.
In Chinese folklore and traditions, they are soaked in water to make tea for the treatment of respiratory infections, nausea, constipation and other digestive problems.
In addition, the star anise can be added to cakes and desserts; such as baked fruits, scones.
If you have never used this spice in your dishes before; then start with a small amount. Because you may not be familiar with the taste.
Try sprinkling star anise seed powder on your next batch of baked goods; or add some whole fruits to your next pot of soup to add flavor.
4. Note when using star anise
Chinese pure star anise is recognized as safe for most people. However, its close relative – Japanese anise. Japanese anise contains potent neurotoxins that can lead to severe symptoms; including seizures, hallucinations and sadness
Some commercially available Chinese anise are found to be mixed with Japanese mongoose. To ensure the purity of the spice you buy; Please check its origin carefully to avoid poisoning.