There are many spices around us, and one of those amazing spices is the Star anise. It is a seed pod from the fruit of Illicium verum plant. The pod of star anise is usually dried before using as a spice. On the other hand, the Japanese star anise is said to be highly toxic so it is not used as spices but it is used as incense instead. Aside from being a flavorful spice, star anise is also beneficial as it contains many helpful benefits in our body. So stay where you are and read more about the health benefits of Star anise along with its other uses here.
Star Anise: What is this?
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Star Anise is a star-shaped fruit from the illicium verum plant. It is usually available in China and is a member of the Schisandraceae family. Furthermore, it is a native plant that has a trunk measuring 25 cm with white bark and can grow up to 15 meters tall and. It has glossy and leathery leaves that are held in a bunch of 3-6. The flowers are apart from each other and usually have a color of yellow-green, sometimes rosy pink to dark red. The flowers have 7 to 12 petals that can have up to 20 stamens and it customarily has 7 to 10 carpels.
In addition, the fruit of the star anise is a star-shaped fruit that has single seed in every arm. It is fleshy when not dried but it becomes woody and wrinkled when dried. It is said that star anise comprises a spicy and sweet flavor similar to licorice. The fruits are usually harvested before ripen and its seeds are in amber color, smooth, hard, ovoid, and shiny. Star anise is sometimes confused with anise (Pimpinella anisum), but the two are different from each other.
Star anise is a promising fruit that contains a great number of antioxidants such as quercetin, terpineol, Linalool, thymol, anethole, coumaric acid, caffeic acid, and kaempferol. It also has a substantial amount of iron and it contains smaller amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium and Vitamin C. The Shikimic acid that is present in Star Anise is actually the leading cause of its health benefits. Moreover, Star Anise is evidently containing low amounts of calories with only 23 calories per one tablespoon of the whole star anise fruit.
Uses of Star Anise
Star Anise is famous for its culinary and medicinal use. As a matter fact, it has anethole that gives the same flavor as anise. As of now, Star anise is the leading substitute for the expensive anise in liquor production and in baking. It is the leading spices in Asia and is popular as an ingredient of the traditional five spice powder of Chinese culinary. It is also beneficial to improve the flavor of any meat. On the other hand, due to its fragrant oil, many products have been yielded through it such as soaps, mouthwashes, incense, perfume, tobacco, skin creams, and toothpaste.
Health Benefits of Star Anise
Due to the health benefits of Star Anise, they use it as a traditional medicine in China. It serves as a cough mixture and stimulant to get rid of flatulence, and to increase libido. It is also useful as an aid to indigestion and rheumatism. The other health benefits of Star Anise are right here:
Strengthens immune system
Star Anise contains an antibacterial effect that can treat bacterial infections in any part of the body. Based on medical researchers, Star Anise is also effective against many antibiotic-resistant microbial strains. Thus, it is essential to the medicinal drug industry.
Promote Good Skin
Star Anise has a relative high amount of anti-oxidants that helps in the elimination of free radicals in the body. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress in our skin that can lead to other serious illnesses. In addition, star anise is good in minimizing the appearance of ugly wrinkles. It can also cover up scars, can boost skin elasticity and blemish the skin to make it vibrant and young.
It is said that Star Anise possesses a high level of relaxing properties attributed to the magnesium and antioxidant content of the plant. These relaxing properties can encourage the release of neurotransmitters which resulted in relaxation and good sleep.
Prevent Respiratory Infections
A tea coming from Star Anise has this relieving factor for a cough or a sore throat. Star anise reduces the inflammation rapidity and neutralizes the principal infection that prevents further illnesses.
Prevent the risk of Cancer
The high content level of antioxidants in Star Anise can reduce free radical levels in the body. Antioxidants like coumaric acid, kaemfrol, quercetin, and thymol are essential in lowering the risk of mutagenic effects of radicals that support the immune system.
Boost blood circulation
Star Anise is rich in Iron that is the leading agent for boosting red blood cell production in the body. Thus, it helps to improve blood circulation and oxygenation.