5 surprising benefits of star anise for arthritis, asthma and more

Star anise has a mildly sweet and fragrant flavor that can enhance food taste, providing various health benefits.

The spice star anise can be used whole or ground to flavor various dishes, such as curries, soups, biryani, and mulled wine. They’re harvested before they ripen and dried until they develop a beautiful reddish-brown color and are ready to be stored as spices. 

Illicium verum, a tree native to southwest China and northeast Vietnam, produces star anise pods. You can also use star anise medicinally.

Aside from flavoring candies, liqueurs, and perfumes, star anise oil is also used in food. The medicinal properties of star anise vary from treating respiratory infections and stomach disorders to treating colic in babies. These uses, however, need more scientific evidence.

A recent Instagram post by nutritionist Nmami Agarwal discussed the benefits of chakra phool or star anise [1]:

Contains a high level of antioxidants: Star anise is rich in antioxidants, which can work to protect the body against injury from harmful free radicals. This can help to lessen the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Has anti-inflammatory properties: Star anise contains compounds with anti-inflammatory effects, which can help decrease inflammation in the body. This can help to minimize the risk of arthritis and heart disease.

Assists with digestive health: Star anise has historically been used to promote digestive health and relieve symptoms like bloating, gas, and indigestion. It is believed to have a carminative effect on the digestive tract, meaning it can reduce gas and bloating.

Supports the immune system: A study found that star anise has antimicrobial properties, which can help the body fight off harmful bacteria and viruses [2]. As a result, the immune system is supported, and infection risks are reduced.

Aids in respiratory health: Star anise has long been used to treat respiratory infections like coughs and bronchitis (or asthma). Known for its expectorant properties, it can help loosen mucus in the respiratory tract and facilitate coughing.

Star anise is a tasty spice that provides many health benefits. It can be used in soups and stews to give them a unique taste and to provide health benefits [3].

[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/CrVCHxGooNK/
[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11807977/
[3] https://www.hindustantimes.com/lifestyle/health/star-anise-5-wonderful-benefits-of-the-spice-for-arthritis-asthma-and-other-diseases-101682931016054.html

Photograph: NoShanti/Envato
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