For thousands of years practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have used Star Anise for clearing mucus from the respiratory tract, for arthritis relief and for a digestive aid to relieve gas and bloating.
Interesting that a compound in this star is used in Tamiflu the most commonly prescribed drug for treating flu. Star Anise fights infection-viral, bacterial, or fungal and the inflammation that infection leaves in its wake.
Japanese researchers have found that Star Anise compounds can inhibit the growth of Epstein-Barr virus that causes mononucleosis. German researchers investigated Herpes Simplex 1 and found that compounds in this star could limit "viral infectivity" by 99 percent.
I love to add this star to tea. However Star Anise tea should not be given to infants through breast feeding mothers drinking tea with Star Anise.
I also like to use Star Anise when I make Pho broth. It is also found in the well known Chinese fie-spice powder as well as other Asian spice mixes. I am glad this wonderful spice made its way to Europe in the 17th century so I can enjoy it today.