STAR ANISE POWDER
Star anise (Illicium verum) is the spicy fruit, obtained from evergreen tree native of South-West China. It has similar flavor and taste like that of anise seed. The tree bears star-shaped fruits, which turn rust-red color when ripen and envelope inside amber-colored seeds. Both the seed as well as the husks are used as spice in cooking.
Star anise enhances the flavour of meat, and in all receipes , Star anise is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder
Traditionally used as a spice and also as a healing herb, star anise appears to have medicinal properties that endow it with significant health benefits.
Ground star-anise should be stored in an airtight container, away from sunlight
Star anise is the primary source of shikimic acid, a plant-based compound that is the precursor to oseltamivir, an antiviral medication that is marketed as Tamiflu, according to an article in a 2011 issue of “Alternative Medicine Studies.” Although shikimic acid also occurs naturally in ginkgo and sweetgum fruit, star anise has far greater concentrations. Italian researchers tested shikimic acid alone and in combination with quercetin, an antioxidant-rich plant-based nutrient, to see if they could bolster immune function to help fight off flu or other viral infections. Although shikimic acid on its own had little or no effect on immune function, its combination with quercetin, even at low doses, appeared to help ramp up immune function to better resist viral infection. Researchers published their findings in the April 2008 issue of “Journal of Medical Virology.”
Candida albicans is a yeast — a form of fungi — that occurs naturally in the human mouth, throat, intestines and genitourinary tract. However, when your body’s delicate balance of microbes is disturbed or your immune system is somehow weakened, this yeast can grow unhindered and lead to serious infection, known as candidiasis. South Korean researchers found that extracts and essential oils of star anise exhibited strong antifungal properties when tested against Candida albicans. In the Dec. 10, 2010, issue of “Korean Journal of Medical Mycology,” they said their findings confirm that extracts from Illicium verum are promising candidates for use as antifungal agents.
The upsurge in bacterial infections that exhibit resistance to existing antibiotics has intensified the search for new agents that may prove more effective against these resistant strains of bacteria. Researchers in Taiwan tested four new antimicrobial compounds from star anise and found that they were effective against 67 strains of drug-resistant bacteria. Chronicling their study in the October 2010 issue of “Journal of Medicinal Food,” the researchers reported that their findings pave the way for the development of new antibiotic medicines from the star anise compounds they studied.
Antioxidants target free radicals – atoms or molecules with unpaired electrons – that can cause disease and cellular damage. Free radicals can damage cellular DNA and initiate carcinogenesis – the beginnings of cancer. You can’t really avoid free radicals, which are byproducts of your body’s metabolic processes, but you can neutralize them by eating a diet rich in antioxidants. Indian researchers conducted an animal study to determine whether star anise’s antioxidant properties helped protect lab rats from artificially induced liver cancer. In a 2007 issue of “Chemico-Biological Interactions,” researchers reported animals that were fed star anise after the induction of carcinogenesis exhibited significantly less evidence of cancer development than those that did not receive star anise.