Botanical Name: Illicium verum Family Name: Illiciaceae Common Name: Star anise, star aniseed, or Chinese star anise Part used: Fruit, oil, seeds Optical rotation: +1Â° to -2Â° at 20 Â°C Refractive index: 1.553-1.560 at 20 Â°C Specific gravity: 0.975-0.988 Blends well with: You can blend it with Rose, lavender, orange, pine and other spice oils like clove
Uses: It is used as essential oil in various health problems like cough, bronchitis, loss of appetite etc. It is used in cough syrups and it is also used in Chinese medicines above one thousand three hundred years
Countries where it's found
Star Anise oil is very important due to its medicinal value. It is native to South East Asia and it is produced by the various countries like China, Vietnam, India and Japan.
The plant of the Star Anise grows 16 feet in length and spreads around 9 feet. The ripe fruits reach up to a diameter of 1 Â¼ inches. The fruits of Star Anise are harvested just before ripening.
History of the Plant
The star anise or Illicium verum is a kind of seed pod which grows in China, Vietnam, Japan and India. The star anise is a key ingredient used in china in its five types of Chinese Spice seasoning. These seeds of star anise are chewed after the meals to help in better digestion of food. It also gives a sweet sense to the breath. In china there is a tradition to use seeds of this Illicium verum to treat patients of digestion and rheumatism. It is believed in china that if you plant star anise tree around the temple then it does protect that why these plants are planted around the temples of china in large amount. The bark of this plant is toxic but it is sometimes collected and then powered after this it is burned as incense.
The star anise (Illicium verum) fruits are dried firstly then the oil is extracted from them by the liquid CO2 method. In conventional steam distillation method the time and yield of the crop are compared. In terms of stem distillation method the extraction of oil is more in by the liquid CO2 method. The amount of yield is 9.8 percent in liquid CO2 extraction process. There is one compound named Anethole found in star anise oil and its content in the oil extracted by these two methods is not very different it varies from 89 to 92 percentage of the total oil. The time of ninety minutes is ideal to obtain particle size of 0.425 to 0.710 mm in both the process of steam distillation and liquid CO2 extraction. There are two different mathematical models is used to describe the relationship between the yield and time of the extraction process. In terms of energy saving, product quality and product yield for the star anise oil the liquid CO2 method is better than steam distillation method.
Commonly known Benefits
Culinary uses: Star anise also increases the flavour of meat. In all over Indian continent it is used to enhance the flavour of Biryani and masala chai. It is a famous herb as well as a spice.
Medicinal uses: It is an antidepressant, skin disease treatment, cough syrup, colic, cold, flu, indigestion, rheumatism and also to make toothpaste etc.