Star Anise / Badiyan (بادیان) also known as Chinese Star Anise and Illicium Verum, gets its name from its star shape. This fruit has a licoricelike flavor and is used as a spice in many cooked dishes, where it lends a soft, exotic scent and taste to a meal. Star anise also has a history as a healing herb.
Star anise contains plenty of important minerals and vitamins including Vitamins A and C as well as small amounts of B vitamins. It also contains calcium and phosphorus but in terms of its medicinal value, perhaps its most important compound is shikimic acid.
- It is essential that we get as many natural antioxidants into our bodies as possible and star anise is an excellent source of antioxidants thanks to the presence of linalool and Vitamin C.
- One of star anise’s most impressive benefits is its ability to deal with fungal infections and common yeast infections such as candida albicans. Candida is a naturally occurring fungus which is found in the throat, mouth, intestines and genitals.
- Star anise is the best natural source of Shikimic acid which is used in the anti-flu medication Tamiflu. Shikimic acid is rare in nature-it is present in sweetgum fruit and ginkgo but occurs in far greater concentrations in star anise.
- When applied topically, star anise essential oil is an excellent treatment for rheumatism and back pain. Before using the essential oil it should be combined with a carrier oil and massaged into the affected areas.
- Star anise is often prepared as a tea especially in South East Asian countries and China. It is mainly used to deal with a variety of digestive complaints such as gas, abdominal cramps, indigestion, bloating and constipation.
- Star anise has traditionally been used in China to help women during pregnancy and to new mothers wanting to increase their milk production. Traditional Chinese practitioners often prescribe it for pregnant women.
- According to traditional use and anecdotal evidence, star anise may have mild sedative properties which can help your nerves to settle down and also ensure a good night’s sleep. If you are having difficulty getting to sleep, try a cup of soothing star anise tea before going to bed.
- Star anise tea is an excellent natural remedy to ease a cough and soothe your sore throat.