You may have already heard about the Chinese Star Anise health benefits as this has been quite a hot topic in many television shows. Although there are other countries that have their own version, such as the Japanese Star Anise and the Indian Star Anise, the Chinese version is more popular because of its health benefits and uses.
What is Star Anise?
The scientific name is Illicium verum and this is a spice that is almost like the anise, particularly when it comes to the flavor. Star anise is just what its name says, a star because of the shape. Illicium verum is the evergreen tree from which the star anise is extracted as a seed pod. This is quite common in southwestern China, but it can also be found in many parts of Japan.
Japanese Star Anise vs. Chinese Star Anise
Illicium anisatum is the Japanese star anise’s scientific name and it closely resembles the Chinese counterpart. It is impossible to recognize whether you have a Japanese or Chinese star anise because they look very much alike. This is why you always have to be careful because there is no way that you can eat the Japanese version as it is poisonous. It can only be used as incense though it does have its own medical uses.
Star Anise Uses
Although the Chinese star anise odor is not very pleasant, this is a popular spice added as an ingredient in many dishes, particularly the ones with meat. This is because the ingredient helps enhance the flavor> it can also be used as a spice for masala chai and biryani. Aside from the mentioned Indian cuisines, they are of course popular in Chinese food as well as in Malay and Indonesian food. If you have ever eaten phá»Ÿ, which is a well-loved noodle soup in Vietnam, then you have also consumed the Chinese star anise because it is one of the major ingredients here.
Although it is not widely used in western countries, there are star anise recipes that are slowly gaining popularity in different regions outside of China. When cooking, the ground star anise is mostly used such as this one from Amazon known as the Star Anise Powder. The whole ones such as the Frontier Natural Products Anise Star Select Whole and the Hoosier Hill Farm Whole Select Anise Star can also be used for cooking, but you may have to ground them yourself. Star anise is also added to tea and coffee all over China.
Chinese Star Anise Health Benefits
This star anise has a number of medicinal uses, which include the following:
1. Rheumatism Remedy
If you have rheumatism and pains in your joints and connective tissues, consuming star anise in tea form will help soothe the pain.
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2. Digestion Aid
For those who have digestive system problems, the whole seeds that you can purchase from Amazon can help your digestion. Simply chew them after every meal to somehow alleviate your stomach problems.
Star anise contains shikimic acid, which is a chemical compound in which this plant has been its main source for years. Anise is used as an ingredient of a drug that cures influenza. This can also fight E. coli bacteria and swine flu.
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4. Colic Cure
Star anise is quite effective when it comes to helping babies with their colic problems.
5. Reduces Flatulence
If you have problems with being gassy and other related conditions, Chinese star anise can help. This has been well-known in China for being able to help reduce flatulence in adults.
6. Cough Reliever
People with incessant coughing problems can try star anise as this is believed to have the ability to reduce the occurrence of coughing and wheezing.
7. Fights Flu
Chinese star anise is used in China as well as in other parts of the globe when combating flu. Aside from that, it can also clear the lungs so that you can breathe freely. It can liquefy mucus because it comes with expectorant compounds. You can boil water and add the seeds to it, which will help quicken the healing process.
8. Help for Women
Star anise is believed to be able to help women gave healthier reproductive organs. The spice is said to increase the production of breast milk.
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Eating star anise can help prevent candida albicans, a form of fungi that takes place in the throat and mouth among others.
Star anise can help make you look good as it has antioxidant properties that get rid of free radicals.
Whether it is to prevent flu or reduce gas, Chinese star anise is one of the spices with the most number of health benefits.