Star anise is an unmistakable looking spice that resembles a rusty coloured star. It is sourced from the medium-sized evergreen tree, Illicium verum, which is native to Vietnam and southwest China.
Good question. Star anise and Liquorice are very similar in flavour, and both share a common compound known as Anethole. This makes star anise a viable option in liquorice tasting confectionery.
Despite its sweetness, and aforementioned use in liquorice sweets, you may be surprised to learn that star anise was traditionally used in savoury recipes. And to this day it is still used in soups, stews and meat-based dishes.
The aforementioned Anethole compound in which star anise shares with liquorice is said to have varying beneficial effects on human health. Many studies have concluded that anethole has anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic, antithrombotic, immunomodulatory and neuroprotective properties. Star anise is also a source of Vitamin C too, which is required for the growth, development and maintenance of all body tissues.
Ayurvedic practices suggest that a tea with star anise may possess sedative properties, which could settle the nerves of those who struggle to sleep. If you are someone who has difficulty getting to sleep, there certainly isn't any harm in trying a tea that features soothing star anise in it, such as NutraTea Nutra Cleanse - 20 Enveloped Tea Bags or Taka Turmeric Organic Turmeric Blend with Hibiscus & Cinnamon 15 Tea Bags.