Illicium verum

Plant family: Illiciaceae (Illicium family)

Part used: fruit (syncarp)

Taste: aromatic, sweet

Historical commentary: Star anise has long been used in China and was adopted into European herbalism recently. It is viewed as a type of anise, though it is botanically unrelated.


Anticattharal: resolves mucus congestion of the respiratory tract.

Digestive aid: relieves gas and bloating (carminative), improves appetite and alleviates gastric insufficiency and distress (stomachic).

Modern findings: The volatile oil has antispasmodic effects.

Dosage: 2-4 grams.

Active constituents: The essential oils are the main active constituents, with anisole, which is the main active ingredient of botanically unrelated anise, present. The fruit contains 0.5-4% volatile oil (about 80% antheole), coumarins, glycosides, and fixed oils.

Cautions: none known.

Künzle Formula: Tea for Mood.