Star anise: 5 wonderful benefits of the spice for arthritis, asthma, and other diseases
Star anise with its mildly sweet and fragrant flavour can add a distinct taste to your preparations apart from providing a variety of health benefits.
Star anise, a common kitchen spice, both used as whole and grounded, can add distinct flavour to your preparations from rich curries, soups, biryani, mulled wine, to cookies and cakes. Derived from Illicium verum, an evergreen tree native to southwest China and northeast Vietnam, star anise pods are picked before they ripen and dried till they acquire the beautiful reddish-brown colour and are ready to be stored as spice. Star anise has been used since time immemorial for both culinary and medicinal purpose. (Also read: Summer bloating: Herbs and spices that can help; how to add them to your diet)
Star anise oil is also used for flavouring candies, liqueurs, and perfumes. Some of the medicinal uses of star anise range from treating respiratory infections, stomach disorders, to colic in babies. However, there is no good scientific evidence to support the above-mentioned uses.
Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal in her recent Instagram post talked about benefits of chakra phool or star anise. She recommends adding this underrated spice to the diet and lists it benefits.
BENEFITS OF STAR ANISE
1. Rich in antioxidants: Star anise contains a high level of antioxidants, which can help to protect the body against damage from harmful free radicals. This can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
2. Anti-inflammatory properties: Star anise contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body. This can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as arthritis and heart disease.
3. Digestive health: Star anise has traditionally been used to promote digestive health and relieve symptoms such as bloating, gas, and indigestion. It is believed to have a carminative effect, which means it can help to reduce gas and bloating in the digestive tract.
4. Immune system support: Star anise has been found to have antimicrobial properties, which can help to fight off harmful bacteria and viruses in the body. This can help to support the immune system and reduce the risk of infections.
5. Respiratory health: Star anise has traditionally been used to treat respiratory infections such as coughs and bronchitis (or asthma). It is believed to have expectorant properties, which means it can help to loosen mucus in the respiratory tract and make it easier to cough up.
"Overall, star anise is a flavourful spice that can provide a number of potential health benefits. It can be added to a variety of dishes, such as soups, stews, and curries, to add a unique flavour and provide potential health benefits," concludes Nmami.