Star anise is an exotic rust-colored star-shaped fruit of the Chinese evergreen tree Illicium verum. It tastes like black licorice and is known for its delicate licorice-like flavor and wonderful aroma. This spice hails from an evergreen tree plant that is native to southern China and northeast Vietnam. Experience the unique, pleasant, licorice flavor of star anise using Zafran Naturals’ premium star anise.
The flavor of star anise is similar to that of fennel or anise, although it is not associated with either spice in any way. Star anise is not only popular for its flavor and culinary use but also for its therapeutic properties. This spice is commonly used in 5-spice blends, garam masala, and masala chai. Despite its sweetness, star anise has long been used in savory dishes, particularly meat dishes.
- Star anise can be steeped in water to make tea which may be used to relieve the symptoms of respiratory infections, nausea, and indigestion.
- Drinking star anise tea may help relieve digestive problems such as gastritis, bloating, indigestion, and constipation.
- Star anise has potent antifungal properties, which may fight against fungal infections, such as ringworm and athlete’s foot.
- Star anise is rich in antioxidants such as linalool, thymol, quercetin, terpineol, anethole, caffeic acid, kaempferol, as well as a significant amount of iron and vitamins, which aid in the fight against free radicals that cause premature aging and disorders like diabetes.
- Star anise oil is used to treat coughs and flu.
- The iron content of star anise helps increase energy levels by promoting circulation and proper oxygenation.
Star Anise is popularly used to flavor biryani, pulao, and other Indian cuisines. Star Anise is used whole in stews, soups, and braising broths, adding a sweet-licorice-peppery flavor. It pairs well with citrus, onions, ginger, and nutmeg. Star anise can also be added to desserts and sweet dishes such as pies, baked fruits, muffins, and quick bread.