Scientific name: Illicium Verum
Common name: jujube, Chinese date, Korean date, etc.
What is Star Anise?
- Direct translation: eight corners. Star anise is dark brown and star-shaped with each of its eight segments containing a pea-size seed inside. It is native to the Chinese evergreen tree grown in southern China and Vietnam.
- Star anise blooms twice a year from February to March, and harvested from August to September.
- The finest quality star anise is harvested just before ripening when its most aromatic.
What are the health benefits?
- Star anise is good for digestive tract, helps to settle the stomach.
- In food and beverage, anise is known as a carminative and an expectorant, it adds flavoring in food and increases appetite.
- Star anise plays a key role in the slow cooked dishes that characterize Eastern Chinese cuisine. Its licorice flavor enhances cooked dishes and is one of the spices in five-spice powder.
How do I select star anise?
- Whole, perfect Star anise should have a rust-red color, has eight point with a seed inside.
- There are “fake” Star anise in market, which looks similar to Chinese star anise. Called “wild anise (Illicium anisatum), it is toxic and is not edible in any form. It is categorized as a shrub that has the smell of the pine needles, vertical stalk, clear to pale yellow.
- It is made up more than eight separate carpels, no ripen sides, no seeds within, which are distinguished with the culinary star anise.
* Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone currently under medication should consult their physician before taking any health supplements.