Star anise, the spice named after its shape is obtained from the dried fruit of the Illicium Verium plant which traces its origin to China. A distant relative to the anise plant from Europe and contains the distinct anise taste.
Besides been a popular spice, star anise is also known for its medicinal values. Apart from a host of essential minerals and vitamins, star anise contains the very important bio-active compound, shikimic acid, which is an important element in the production of tamiflu, the cure for the influenza virus.
Read on about the medicinal values of star anise.
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Health Benefits of Star Anise
Rich in Anti-Oxidants
Star anis is rich in a number of anti-oxidants. These anti-oxidants protects the living tissue from damage from harmful toxins and free radicals. Premature aging, weaker immunity and a higher susceptibility to cancerous growth in the body are some of the conditions from which anti-oxidants protect us.
Essential extracts of star-anise is boosted with potent anti-microbial properties. It is highly effective in the treatment of fungal and bacterial infections. It is equally effective against common microbes as well as those which develop a resistance against antibiotics.
Treatment of influenza
Star anise is boosted with a high percentage of shikimic acid. It is the most important ingredient used in the manufacture of Tamiflu, which is the conventional medication for the influenza virus.
Cure for Rheumatic and Joint Pain
Essential oil of star anise is very effective when applied topically, in the treatment of rheumatism and body and joint pain. However a carrier lubricant may be needed for the application of the essential oil on the affected area.
According to oriental culture, star anise extracts are often brewed into a tea concoction, in order to aid the process of digestion. Star anise according to traditional Chinese medication is a proven remedy from a host of metabolic complaints like flatulence, indigestion and constipation.