Condimantra Star Anise Spices
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April 22, 2017
Condimantra Star Anise Spices
April 23, 2017

Star Anise

Condimantra Star Anise Spices

The dried fruits may contain 5 to 8% of essential oil, which domi­nated by anethole (85 to 90%). The other com­ponents – methylchavicol, phell­andrene, linalool, safrole and terpineol, have only small effect on the aroma

  1. Star Anise is thought to be native to southern China and northeast Vietnam and it is difficult to determine if it is wild or naturalized
  2. Anise been cultivated since about 2,000 BC and its culinary use dates back to the 17th century
  3. Star anise was believed in Europe to originate from the Philippines, as in 1578 the navigator Thomas Cavendish brought the first fruits to Europe via the Philippines, although unaware they originated from southern China
  4. Clusius bought star anise fruits in London in 1601 and later they were traded to Europe along the tea route from China via Russia as ‘Siberian cardamoms’
  5. During 17th century star anise was substitute for aniseeds in commercial drinks

Scientific Name: Illicium verum

Other Names: Anasphal/Chakra Phool (India), Chinese star anise, badiam, Sternanis, anice stellate, bunga lawang


  1. Star anise is the dried, star shaped fruit of Illicium verum
  2. Star Anise is indigenous to South Eastern China. Commercial production is limited to China and Vietnam. In India, it is produced to a small extent in Arunachal Pradesh
  3. Star anise is popular in Asian cuisine and is an important ingredient in traditional Chinese Five Spice Powder, Indian Garam Masala and other Asian spice mixes

Health benefits:

  1. Star anise is the major source of the chemical compound shikimic acid, a primary precursor in the pharmaceutical synthesis of anti-influenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
  2. Star Anise has carminative, stomachic, stimulant and diuretic properties. It is a common flavouring for medicinal teas and cough mixtures
  3.  It is used to promote appetite, to treat abdominal pain, digestive disturbances including colic
  4. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of star anise is useful in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and dry cough
  5. The oil of star anise is useful in providing relief from rheumatism and lower back pain
  6.  Linalool, a compound present in star anise contains anti-oxidants properties

Common uses in Indian cuisine:

  1. In India, Star anise is part of the “garam masala” that various regional cuisines use, in the meat dishes
  2. It is used as a condiment for flavouring curries, confectionaries, spirits, and for pickling
  3. Because of its particular sweetness and unique flavour it is used in custards, different type desserts, pudding breads and pastries
  4. Star anise seeds are popularly used as flavouring agents for tea, soups and marinades
  5. Star anise is known to enhance the meat flavour and is an essential spice while preparing biryani and other masala items in the Indian subcontinent


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