What is Anise?
Pimpinella anisum, more commonly known as anise or star of anise, is a flower commonly used as a spice. It is a member of the Apiaceae family and has a sweet candy-like taste similar to black licorice.
Anise is native to Crete, Egypt, and Greece, and there is evidence of anise use in Egypt as early as 1500 B.C.
Anise can be used in many different products and industries. While commonly used for food and beverage purposes, it can also be used for bath and body products, medicinal purposes, ointments, and lotions.
1- Contains Antioxidant Properties
The oxidation process is one whereby free radicals are released, causing damage to the body’s cells. This process contributes to aging, cancer, and other harmful diseases. However, consuming food and spices with naturally occurring antioxidants slows this process and stops the free radicals from damaging the cells.
Star Anise contains such antioxidants, contributing to healthy skin, bones, and organs and reducing the risk of cancer and other diseases.
2- Promotes Better Sleep
Star anise tea has been traditionally used to promote a good night’s sleep. Anethole, a compound in star anise, may have a mild sedative effect that aids sleep.
Also, sipping a hot cup of star anise tea before bed soothes the mind and reduces anxiety, allowing for rejuvenating slumber.
3- Rich in Vitamins A and C
Anise is a rich source of vitamins A, and C. Vitamin A plays a critical role in immune system wellness, vision, cellular communication, and reproduction. Organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys are dependent on vitamin A for healthy performance.
Vitamin C is primarily responsible for the health and maintenance of the body’s tissues. Additionally, the nutrient contributing to the health of immune and cardiovascular systems and maintains good vision and skin.
4- Aids Digestive Health
Star anise aids digestion and relieves stomach aches. The spice also helps in combating gas, bloating, abdominal cramps, indigestion, and constipation. Star anise cans also help the gastrointestinal tract drain mucus caused by a cold, preventing stomach aches.
5- Promotes Healthy Bones
Star anise is rich in calcium, an element imperative to healthy bone growth and maintenance. Calcium strengthens bones, which reduces pressure and alleviates pain. It also prevents arthritis and osteoporosis. In addition to promoting bone growth and maintenance, calcium is also highly beneficial to heart and muscle health. The mineral is also responsible for regulating muscle contraction. Keeping up your calcium stores is vital because it will draw it from your bones if your body is deprived of sufficient calcium.
Possible Side Effects
Anise is likely safe when consumed in amounts typically found in food. It’s almost safe for everybody unless you’re allergic to related plants such as asparagus, celery, cumin, and fennel.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid the use of medicinal anise.