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Japanese Star Anise

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  • Botanical: Illicium anisatum
  • Family: Schisandraceae
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Japanese Star Anise

Botanical

Illicium anisatum

Family

Schisandraceae

Known as

Japanischer Sternanis, Shikimifrucht,

Collection Times

March and May

Parts Used

fruit, seed

Aroma

camphorus

Medicinal

abdominal pain, bronchitis, bronchitis, colic, coughs, cramps, cramps stomach, digestion, flatulence, flu, gastrointestinal, indigestion, menstrual cramps, menstruation promotion, menopausal symptom, stomach pain, frostbite

Hormone & Sexual Organs

menstrual cramps, menstruation promotion, menstrual problems, menopausal symptom, uterine cramps

Infection & Inflammation

flu

Respiratory System

bronchitis, colds, cough, lung weakness, respiratory

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, digestion, flatulence, gastrointestinal, laxative, indigestion, nausea, stomach pain, stomach cramps, stomach complaints

Properties

antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, digestive, expectorant, galactagogue

Description

The plant bearing star-anise is a small tree or shrub, indigenous to southwestern China, growing in the mountainous elevations of Yunnan. The shrub attains a height of from 8 to 12 feet, and has entire, lanceolate, evergreen leaves, which are pellucid-punctate. The flowers are polypetalous and of a greenish-yellow color. The fruit is described below. This plant was introduced into Japan by the followers of Buddha, and planted near their temples.

Properties & Uses

People try taking star anise for respiratory tract infections, lung swelling (inflammation), cough, bronchitis, the flu (influenza), swine flu, and bird flu.

They also use it for digestive tract problems including upset stomach, gas, loss of appetite, and colic in babies. Some women use star anise for increasing the flow of breast milk, promoting menstruation, and easing childbirth.

Star anise is also used for increasing sexual drive (libido) and treating symptoms of “male menopause.” Some people inhale star anise to treat respiratory tract congestion.

Other Use

In foods and beverages, star anise is considered a culinary spice; both the seed and oil are used as flavoring.

Cautions

Star anise is quite safe when used as a flavoring in foods. There is not enough information to know if it's safe for use as a medicine. Some ingredients can cause skin problems including swelling, scaling, and blisters when applied to the skin.

Be sure you are using Chinese star anise, not Japanese star anise, which is poisonous.

Distribution

northeast Vietnam and southwest

Constituents

he seeds contain some volatile oil, resin, and a large amount of fixed oil.

The fruit (without the seeds) contains volatile oil, resin, fat, tannin, pectin and mucilage. The volatile oil (oil of star-anise), amounts to about 4 to 5 per cent, and is almost identical with oil of anise.  Star-anise oil (from Chinese fruit) constituents are anethol, phellandrene, safrol, and hydro-quinone-ethyl-ether, while only anethol and pinene are given as the constituents of anise oil, which has the same density as star-anise oil. 

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.