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Star Anise

 

 

Image:StarAnise.JPG

Star Anise
 
Scientific Classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Illiciales
Family:Illiciaceae
Genus:Illicium
Species:verum
Binomial name
Illicium verum Hooker fil.
 

Star anise "eight-horn") is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavor, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a native of N.E. China. It is widely used in Chinese cuisine, and to a lesser degree in South Asia and Indonesia. Star anise is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. The seeds are sometimes chewed after meals to aid digestion.

Star anise contains anethole, the same ingredient which gives the unrelated anise its flavor. Recently, star anise has come into use in the West as a less expensive substitute for anise in baking as well as in liquor production.

Star anise has been used in a tea as a remedy for colic and rheumatism.

Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum), a similar tree, is not edible because it is highly toxic; instead, it has been burned as incense in Japan. Cases of illness, including "serious neurological effects, such as seizures", reported after using star anise tea may be a result of using this species. Japanese star anise contains anisatin, which causes severe inflammation of the kidneys, urinary tract and digestive organs.

 


 


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