Anise Benefits for Health

The Anis -estrelado, also known as Star-of-anise or simply Anise ( Illicium verum ) is a Chinese and Vietnamese origin tree. From it is used its pod, which resembles a star, hence the name star anise, as a spice.

It has a wood texture and although consumed worldwide, it is in Chinese and Indian cuisine that it is prevalent in the preparation of teas, soups, juices, bakeries, biscuits, cake batters, meat seasonings and to flavor drinks alcoholic, such as sambuca.

In Brazil, despite not being commercially cultivated, it is used mainly in natural medicine, used in the form of infusions and teas, where the water is boiled, added with analysis and left to rest for a few minutes before consuming.

Among the properties of anise, we can mention its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, calming, digestive and diuretic action, the latter being its greatest application in herbal medicine. But perhaps its greatest contribution in the pharmaceutical industry is due to the presence of shikimic acid, a bactericidal and antiviral compound used in the synthesis of drugs for the treatment of influenza, such as oseltamivir, commercially known as Tamiflu, the main drug for the treatment of influenza A.

There are different types of analysis (Illicium verum), the best known are star analysis, green analysis and common analysis, which despite being different, have the same active principles and very similar properties. However, there is another type of analysis similar to Chinese, the Japanese star analysis (Illicium anisatum) which is highly toxic and unsuitable for human consumption.


The star anise plant can reach a maximum of 30 centimeters in height, has rounded leaves, white and small flowers. The fruits of the analysis plant are small and with aromatic seeds. Its pod is shaped like an irregular star with eight points, hard and rust colored, hence the name star analysis, and it measures up to 3 centimeters from side to side.

The star anise plant comes from tropical regions and needs several hours of sunlight a day to grow properly. To obtain aniseed, it is necessary to pluck it before it ripens and then dry it to obtain its flavor.

The ideal soil for your planting is one with a sandy-clay texture and a good amount of organic matter and good drainage with a spacing between plants of 3 to 4 meters.

To plant at home, choose a sunny place in your garden, as the plant requires many hours of sunlight each day. Place two to three seeds per hole no more than 3 cm deep and water daily. In 30 to 40 days seedlings will already be born.

Its flowering occurs in spring and after that, the star-shaped fruits are born. When ripe, harvest and dry them. To do this, place the fruit on absorbent paper and leave it in a dry, shaded place with not too high temperatures. Ready, you will have star anise to season, flavor or prepare tea with medicinal properties.


The anise is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and B vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, copper and calcium. Its most common medicinal use is for digestive system problems, such as stomach upset, diarrhea, intestinal cramps and gas, being very useful for those who have gastric sensitivity or digestion problems, as it stimulates secretions of stomach juices.

Anise is also widely used as a diuretic, a property that when combined with the practice of regular physical activity and a balanced diet helps in weight loss, so we can say that Star Anise slims down.

In addition to being beneficial to the digestive system, anise also helps in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, asthma and flu, relieves cough and has analgesic properties, and can be applied to combat rheumatism and back pain.

It also acts as an important antimicrobial and can be chewed to ward off germs and bad breath, has antioxidants that improve immunity and fight free radicals, regulates menstruation and increases libido. Next, we’ll take a closer look at all the benefits of anise.

  • Fights respiratory problems : Analysis has antimicrobial properties that help treat respiratory problems such as flu, colds, asthma, bronchitis, so much so that shikimic acid is extracted from analysis, an antiviral compound used in the synthesis of oseltamivir, known commercially as Tamiflu, the main drug for the treatment of influenza A. Other phytochemicals such as creosol and alpapinene, help relieve nasal congestion and clear the airways.
  • Beneficial for women : Analysis has a compound with estrogenic properties called anethole, which helps to increase milk production and regulate menstruation. Analysis can also increase libido and, in men, relieve the symptoms of andropause, the male “menopause”.
  • It regenerates the skin : due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, analysis can be used on bruises and cuts, making local asepsis and accelerating the wound regeneration process.
  • Good for the brain : analysis is a source of B-complex vitamins, such as pyridoxine, thiamine, niacin and riboflavin, substances of fundamental importance for the normal functioning of the nervous system. Its consumption maintains the proper functioning of the brain and prevents dementias.
  • It acts as a natural tranquilizer : star analysis has calming properties and the consumption of its tea is recommended before going to bed for a good night’s sleep.
  • Beneficial for the digestive system : since ancient times, anise tea was already used to combat digestive problems. It has a stimulating effect on digestive enzymes and increases the production of saliva and gastric juice that aid digestion. Its consumption also improves intestinal cramps, gas and bloating.


Despite being a natural remedy, star analysis tea is contraindicated and can be toxic in high doses or after prolonged use, causing from nausea and vomiting to cases of delirium and seizures caused by its essential oils.

It should also be avoided in children, during pregnancy and lactation and be careful with the type of analysis, as Japanese analysis is extremely toxic, so you should try to know the origins of analysis.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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