ingredient information
Star Anise
AAA
Native to China and Vietnam, star anise is today grown almost exclusively in southern China, Indo-China, and Japan. It was first introduced into Europe in the seventeenth century. The oil, produced by a process of steam extraction, is substituted for European aniseed in commercial drinks. Star anise is the unusual fruit of a small oriental tree. It is, as the name suggests, star shaped, radiating between five and ten pointed boat-shaped sections, about eight on average. These hard sections are seed pods. Tough skinned and rust coloured, they measure up to 3cm (1-1/4�) long. The fruit is picked before it can ripen, and dried. The stars are available whole, or ground to a red-brown powder. Like anise, star anise has carminative, stomachic, stimulant and diuretic properties. In the East it is used to combat colic and rheumatism. It is a common flavouring for medicinal teas, cough mixtures and pastilles.