BOTANICAL NAME: illicium verum
PARTS USED: seed pod
DISTILLATION METHOD: steam
FRAGRANCE: pungent, licorice-like
BLENDS WELL WITH: amyris, bay, caraway, cardamom, cedarwood, coriander, galbanum, mandarin.
PHYSICAL USES: digestive, cramps, deodorant, digestive, halitosis, indigestion, upper abdominal pain, vomiting.
MAGICAL USES: psychic power, luck.
Star Anise Information:
An unusual, star-shaped spice, star anise adds pungent, licorice-like flavor and aroma to meats, stews, mulled beverages and liqueurs. Star Anise is also an essential ingredient in blends like five spice and garam masala, and it makes a lovely addition to potpourri. Star Anise is the distinctive fruit of the evergreen tree, Illicium verum. Related to the magnolia, it has a whitish, aromatic trunk and grows to about 26 feet. The star is the unripe fruit that's been picked and dried. It's sold both whole and ground. It's also known as anise star, takkola, and Chinese star anise. Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum) is not the same plant. In fact, it's toxic and is used primarily for incense. Star anise is a source of shikimic acid, which is used to produce the anti-flu drug tamiflu. It also contains anethole, which gives it its licorice-like flavor.
Digestive: relating to the digestive tract; having the ability to promote digestion.
Stimulant: increases physiological or nervous activity in the body.
Safety Warning: In heavy dosages, it has narcotic effects and slows down respiration and circulation. It is poisonous to certain small animals and birds and therefore children should not be given heavy dosages. Further, it may cause irritation to certain skin types. Better to avoid in pregnancy. This may also aggravate certain types of cancers caused due to estrogen hormone. Never ingest essential oils without a prescription. Use carrier oil when applying to skin.