May 3, 2016

Star Anise

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What other names is Star Anise known by?

Anis de Chine, Anís Estrellado, Anis Étoilé, Anis Étoilé Chinois, Aniseed Stars, Anisi Stellati Fructus, Ba Jiao Hui, Badiana, Badiane, Badiane de Chine, Bajiao, Chinese Anise, Chinese Star Anise, Eight-Horned Anise, Eight Horns, Illicium, Illicium verum.

What is Star Anise?

Star anise is an herb. The seed and oil are used to make medicine.

Be careful you know what you are taking. The star anise used as medicine is Chinese star anise. Don't confuse it with Japanese star anise, which is poisonous and should not be taken. Some Chinese star anise tea products have been contaminated with Japanese star anise. You cannot tell the difference between them just by looking. Unless safety can be assured by chemical analysis, star anise tea should not be used.

People try taking star anise for respiratory tract infections, lung swelling (inflammation), cough, bronchitis, the flu (influenza), swine flu, and bird flu.

They also use it for digestive tract problems including upset stomach, gas, loss of appetite, and colic in babies.

Some women use star anise for increasing the flow of breast milk, promoting menstruation, and easing childbirth.

Star anise is also used for increasing sexual drive (libido) and treating symptoms of "male menopause."

Some people inhale star anise to treat respiratory tract congestion.

In foods and beverages, star anise is considered a culinary spice; both the seed and oil are used as flavoring.

In manufacturing, the oil is used as a fragrance in soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, and toothpaste, and to mask undesirable odors in drug products.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Cough.
  • Gas (flatulence).
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Menstrual disorders.
  • Lung swelling (inflammation).
  • Upset stomach.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of star anise for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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