Star anise, commonly called star anise, star aniseed, or Chinese star anise is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavour, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a medium-sized native evergreen tree of northeast Vietnam and southwest China. The star-shaped fruits are harvested just before ripening. Star anise oil is a highly fragrant oil using in cooking, perfumery, soaps, toothpaste, mouthwashes, and skin creams Exotic anise spice contains some of the important plants derived chemical compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health-promoting properties.
DESCRIPTION Star anise is the dried, star-shaped fruit of Illicium verum. It is an evergreen tree attaining a height of 8-15 meters and a diameter of 25 cm. The leaves are entire, 10-15 cm long, 2.5 – 5 cm broad, elliptic, flowers are solitary, white to red in colour. Fruits are star-shaped, reddish-brown consisting of 6-8 carpels arranged in a whorl. Each carpel is 10 mm long, boat-shaped, hard and wrinkled containing a seed. Seeds are brown, compressed, ovoid, smooth, shiny and brittle. ORIGIN AND DISTRIBUTION 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. The crop requires specific agro-climatic conditions available only in the traditional growing areas, which has prevented repeated attempts of other countries to grow star anise. However, it prefers woodlands, sunny edges, and dappled shade. The plant grows well in humus-rich, mildly acidic to neutral soils, which are light to medium and has good drainage. It tolerates temperatures down to –10 degree C. USES Star anise is one of the signature flavours of Chinese savoury cooking. The five-spice powder mix common in China contains star anise. It is used to flavour vegetables, meat, and to marinate meat. It is used as a condiment for flavouring curries, confectionaries, spirits, and for pickling. It is also used in perfumery. The essential oil of star anise is used to flavour soft drinks, bakery products and liquors. The fruit is antibacterial, carminative, diuretic and stomachic. It is considered useful in flatulence and spasmodic. INDIAN NAME OF SPICES Hindi : Anasphal Malayalam : Takkolam Marathi : Badian Oriya : Anasphul Tamil : Anashuppu Telugu : Anaspuvu Urdu : Badyani FOREIGN NAME OF SPICES Chinese : Ba jiao Czech : Badyan Dutch : Steranijs French : Anis de la chine German : Sternanis Indonesia : Bunga lawang Italian : Anice stellato Nepali : Star phul Russian : Badyan Spanish : Badian