Star anise - Health benefits and uses
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Meaning, powers and uses of Star aniseDiscover Star anise's association with your zodiac sign and Chinese zodiac sign, and its applications in dietetics, phytotherapy, aromatherapy and magic rituals.
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Star Anise: Technical sheet
Popular names: Badiane, Chinese star anise, Eight horns
Latin name: Ilicium verum
Origin: Southwest China, Vietnam
Color: black, dark reddish brown, red and yellow ocher (fruits and seeds), yellow (flower), green (leaves)
Description: Star anise is the fruit of an evergreen tree, about 1.5 cm in diameter, which resembles an eight-branched star in which its seeds are lodged, one per branch. Its uses and virtues are many, since it is used in cooking as well as in traditional and Western medicine, perfumery and body care. It is from its dried fruit rather than from its seeds that its most useful components are extracted. As its name partly suggests, its fragrance has a strong aniseed and peppery tone.
Culinary and dietary uses: In India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and all of Asia, star anise is a key ingredient in many recipes, with its subtle aroma serving to enhance meat or flavor rice and vegetables. In India, star anise is used for biryani, a dish of rice sautéed with vegetables, which can also be non-vegetarian. In Asia, star anise is part of the most popular spice blend of Chinese cuisine: the 5-spice powder. Star anise is also a key ingredient of the most popular tea in India, which street and train vendors offer in terracotta cups: The "masala chai" (tea with a mixture of spices) is a excellent black tea with milk, even if sometimes a little too sweet. The "masala chai" teapot usually contains some green cardamom seeds, cloves, fresh ginger, cinnamon and star anise. In western cuisine, though star anise is sometimes used as a substitute for anise, its use remains very limited. It tends to be integrated only with sweet or chocolate recipes, often in combination with cinnamon. In France, the preparation of spices of "vin chaud" (mulled wine) is surprisingly close to the "masala chai", except that red wine replaces tea and that zests of lemon and orange add their character this popular drink among skiers of French and Swiss Alps resorts. The spice blend of mulled wine contains cinnamon, aniseed stars, cloves and fresh ginger. If mulled wine is a winter drink, its summer equivalent, the Spanish "sangria", is an ice-cold drink based on the massing of red wine and fruit. Here again, star anise plays an ideal role to subtly encase by its perfume the flavors of the whole.
Star anise: Nutrition facts, health benefits
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Star anise oil's main constituents: Anethole, Methyl chavicol, Limonene, Linalool, Foeniculin, Nerolidol, Cinnamyl acetate
Health properties: As a drug precursor and antiviral, the shikimic acid extracted from Star anise is one of the main components used for the production of anti-flu drug Tamiflu. The oil extracted from the dried fruit of Star anise, anethole, is known for its strong antimicrobial qualities, whose properties are particularly effective against bacterial, yeast and fungi strains. The star anise also has a positive action for disorders of the digestive system, bladder, hormonal dysregulation, respiratory diseases or hypertension.
Aromatherapy, phytotherapy: When diluted in a carrier oil, Star Anise essential oil is used for the relief of rheumatism, while its use in inhaler blends can help ease the symptoms of coughing, the flu, colds and bronchitis.
Possible side effects: The essential oil of Star anise is contraindicated for people under medication, pregnant and breastfeeding women, children and for those with sensitive skin or skin problems. Japanese star anise, which is part of the same tree family, is highly toxic and unsuitable for consumption. Its use is limited to the manufacture of incense. Yet another variant, called Swamp star anise and which is native to South Florida in the United States, is also toxic and unfit for any consumption or use.
Star anise: Astrological, traditional, magical properties
Planet, deity: Jupiter
Vedic element: Ether
Related chakra: Throat chakra, Third eye chakra, Crown chakra
Zodiac sign, moon sign: Sagittarius, Pisces
Chinese element: Water, Fire
Chinese zodiac sign: Rat, Snake, Horse, Pig
Ayurveda, traditional medicine: In Ayurveda, star anise is used to warm the abdomen and purify the bladder and intestines. On the psychic plane, Star anise is a liberator of the creative energy that lies dormant in us. By removing negative thoughts, it contributes to spiritual awakening.
Psychological benefits: Star anise can boost libido, reduce stress and keep illusions away.
Magical uses: Carried in necklace, placed on an altar or burned as incense, the seeds of the star anise fruit are often used for their ability to increase parapsychic powers. The fruit of the star anise is also often worn as a necklace for the good luck it brings.
Did you know? The fruit of the star anise is an excellent base of pendulum.