- What other names is Star Anise known by?
- What is Star Anise?
- How does Star Anise work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Dosing considerations for Star Anise.
Anis de Chine, Anís Estrellado, Anis Étoilé, Anis Étoilé Chinois, Aniseed Stars, Anisi Stellati Fructus, Ba Jiao Hui, Badiana, Badiane, Badiane de Chine, Bajiao, Chinese Anise, Chinese Star Anise, Eight-Horned Anise, Eight Horns, Illicium, Illicium verum.
Star anise is an herb. The seed and oil are used to make medicine.
Be careful you know what you are taking. The star anise used as medicine is Chinese star anise. Don't confuse it with Japanese star anise, which is poisonous and should not be taken. Some Chinese star anise tea products have been contaminated with Japanese star anise. You cannot tell the difference between them just by looking. Unless safety can be assured by chemical analysis, star anise tea should not be used.
Star anise is also used for increasing sexual drive (libido) and treating symptoms of “male menopause.”
Some people inhale star anise to treat respiratory tract congestion.
In foods and beverages, star anise is considered a culinary spice; both the seed and oil are used as flavoring.
In manufacturing, the oil is used as a fragrance in soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, and toothpaste, and to mask undesirable odors in drug products.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Gas (flatulence).
- Loss of appetite.
- Menstrual disorders.
- Lung swelling (inflammation).
- Upset stomach.
- Other conditions.
Star anise seeds contain ingredients that might have activity against bacteria, yeast, and fungi. People try star anise for treating flu because it is a good source of shikimic acid, which is used in the manufacture of oseltamivir (Tamiflu), a flu treatment. However, there isn't any research showing that star anise has any activity against viruses such as the flu virus.
Star anise is LIKELY SAFE when used as a flavoring in foods. There is not enough information to know if it's safe for use as a medicine. Some ingredients can cause skin problems including swelling, scaling, and blisters when applied to the skin.
Be sure you are using Chinese star anise, not Japanese star anise, which is poisonous.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking star anise if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: It is UNSAFE to use star anise in infants. It's too hard to make sure the product you are using is pure Chinese star anise, not contaminated with poisonous Japanese star anise. Pure Chinese star anise is commonly used in infants and has a history of safe use. However, some infants given star anise tea have shown irritability, vomiting, and seizures. These symptoms are likely attributable to star anise that has been adulterated with toxic Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum). Unless it can be verified that star anise tea does not contain Japanese star anise, the tea should be avoided in infants. Not enough is known about the safety of star anise for older children.
The appropriate dose of star anise depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for star anise. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Chang, K. S. and Ahn, Y. J. Fumigant activity of (E)-anethole identified in Illicium verum fruit against Blattella germanica. Pest.Manag.Sci 2002;58(2):161-166. View abstract.
Garzo, Fernandez C., Gomez, Pintado P., Barrasa, Blanco A., Martinez, Arrieta R., Ramirez, Fernandez R., and Ramon, Rosa F. [Cases of neurological symptoms associated with star anise consumption used as a carminative]. An.Esp.Pediatr. 2002;57(4):290-294. View abstract.
Gil, Campos M., Perez Navero, J. L., and Ibarra, De La Rosa, I. [Convulsive status secondary to star anise poisoning in a neonate]. An.Esp.Pediatr. 2002;57(4):366-368. View abstract.
Hendrich, S. and Bjeldanes, L. F. Effects of dietary cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Illicium verum, Schizandra chinensis and alfalfa on the benzo[alpha]pyrene metabolic system in mouse liver. Food Chem.Toxicol. 1983;21(4):479-486. View abstract.
Hendrich, S. and Bjeldanes, L. F. Effects of dietary Schizandra chinensis, brussels sprouts and Illicium verum extracts on carcinogen metabolism systems in mouse liver. Food Chem.Toxicol. 1986;24(9):903-912. View abstract.
Iauk, L., Lo Bue, A. M., Milazzo, I., Rapisarda, A., and Blandino, G. Antibacterial activity of medicinal plant extracts against periodontopathic bacteria. Phytother.Res 2003;17(6):599-604. View abstract.
Ize-Ludlow, D., Ragone, S., Bernstein, J. N., Bruck, I. S., Duchowny, M., and Garcia Pena, B. M. Chemical composition of Chinese star anise (Illicium verum) and neurotoxicity in infants. JAMA 2-4-2004;291(5):562-563. View abstract.
Johanns, E. S., van der Kolk, L. E., van Gemert, H. M., Sijben, A. E., Peters, P. W., and de, Vries, I. [An epidemic of epileptic seizures after consumption of herbal tea]. Ned.Tijdschr.Geneeskd. 4-27-2002;146(17):813-816. View abstract.
Kampf, R. and Steinegger, E. [Thin layer and gas chromatographic studies on oleum anisi and oleum anisi stellati]. Pharm.Acta Helv. 1974;49(2):87-93. View abstract.
Lee, S. W., Li, G., Lee, K. S., Jung, J. S., Xu, M. L., Seo, C. S., Chang, H. W., Kim, S. K., Song, D. K., and Son, J. K. Preventive agents against sepsis and new phenylpropanoid glucosides from the fruits of Illicium verum. Planta Med 2003;69(9):861-864. View abstract.
Lee, S. W., Li, G., Lee, K. S., Song, D. K., and Son, J. K. A new phenylpropanoid glucoside from the fruits of Illicium verum. Arch Pharm Res 2003;26(8):591-593. View abstract.
Minodier, P., Pommier, P., Moulene, E., Retornaz, K., Prost, N., and Deharo, L. [Star anise poisoning in infants]. Arch Pediatr. 2003;10(7):619-621. View abstract.
Nakamura, T., Okuyama, E., and Yamazaki, M. Neurotropic components from star anise (Illicium verum Hook. fil.). Chem.Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 1996;44(10):1908-1914. View abstract.
Nam, N. H., Kim, H. M., Bae, K. H., and Ahn, B. Z. Inhibitory effects of Vietnamese medicinal plants on tube-like formation of human umbilical venous cells. Phytother Res 2003;17(2):107-111. View abstract.
Okuyama, E., Nakamura, T., and Yamazaki, M. Convulsants from star anise (Illicium verum Hook.F.). Chem.Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 1993;41(9):1670-1671. View abstract.
Park, I. K. and Shin, S. C. Fumigant activity of plant essential oils and components from garlic (Allium sativum) and clove bud (Eugenia caryophyllata) oils against the Japanese termite (Reticulitermes speratus Kolbe). J Agric.Food Chem. 6-1-2005;53(11):4388-4392. View abstract.
Perry, L. M. Medicinal Plants of East and Southeast Asia. 1980;180.
Rudzki, E., Grzywa, Z., Krajewska, D., Kozlowska, A., and Czerwinska-Dihm, I. New contact allergens and allergen sources. Arch.Immunol.Ther.Exp.(Warsz.) 1978;26(1-6):735-738. View abstract.
Sy, L. K. and Brown, G. D. Novel phenylpropanoids and lignans from Illicium verum. J Nat Prod 1998;61(8):987-992. View abstract.
Tuan, D. Q. and Ilangantileke, S. G. Liquid CO2 extraction of essential oil from star anise fruits (
Zhou, J., Lu, G., Zhong, X., and Wen, H. [Quantitative determination of anethole in the fruit of Illicium verum from various places of Guangxi province]. Zhong Yao Cai 2005;28(2):106-107. View abstract.
Albert-Puleo M. Fennel and anise as estrogenic agents. J Ethnopharmacol 1980;2:337-44. View abstract.
Anon. FDA issue advisory on star anise "teas." FDA News P03-67; September 10, 2003.
De M, De AK, Sen P, Banerjee AB. Antimicrobial properties of star anise (Illicium verum Hook f). Phytother Res 2002;16:94-5. View abstract.
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
Franks A. Contact allergy to anethole in toothpaste associated with loss of taste. Contact Dermatitis 1998;38:354-5. View abstract.
Ize-Ludlow D, Ragone S, Bernstein JN, et al. Chemical composition of Chinese star anise (Illicium verum) and neurotoxicity in infants. JAMA 2004;291:562-3.
Ize-Ludlow D, Ragone S, Bruck IS, et al. Neurotoxicities in infants seen with the consumption of star anise tea. Pediatrics 2004;114:e653-6. View abstract.
Kramer M, Bongaerts J, Bovenberg R, et al. Metabolic engineering for microbial production of shikimic acid. Metab Eng 2003;5:277-83. View abstract.
Rudzki E, Grzywa Z. Sensitizing and irritating properties of star anise oil. Contact Dermatitis 1976;2:305-8. View abstract.