star-aniseThere are several spices all over the world and it is widely presumed that everyone knows the reasons for using spices, their culinary benefits but most unlikely, their medicinal purposes. The fact still remains that we often times are only interested in satisfying our hunger quest but do fail to understand the prevailing health benefits of such food and inclusive of spices.

This post is focused on unearthing some prevailing benefits of chakri phool (star anise), which everyone ought to be aware of. Chakri phool, botanically known as Pimpinella anisum L. or Illicium verum, is popularly known as star anise, Chinese star anise or star aniseed. This spice is derived from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, which is originally from China and Vietnam. The star-shaped anise, which is known as chakri phool in Hindi are usually harvested before ripening, dried, preserved and then used as a spice.

As the name suggests, the chakri phool spice is star-shaped in appearance with approximately five to eight segments that are dark brown in colour. The spice has a very strong smell as a result of the presence of anethol compound in it. Chakri phool (star anise) oil can be processed and used for many purposes such as cooking food, manufacturing of skin products, dental products, fragrances and medicinal purposes. It can be grounded into powder form or used whole while cooking food but if used whole, it is usually discarded after food preparation before serving.

Health Benefits of chakri phool (star anise)
1. Medicinally, the chakri phool (star anise) is prepared as a local medicine for treating indigestion and colitis.
2. Star anise can be infused as home remedy for rheumatism.
3. It is usually recommended for nursing mothers to increase breast milk production.
4. chakri phool is an excellent source of shikimic acid, which is pharmaceutically used for synthesizing anti-influenza drug known as oseltamivir.
5. The star anise oil can be prepared as a home remedy, which can be used as an expectorant for treating cold and cough.
6. Star anise can serve as a tranquillizer or an appetizer.
7. It can also be used as a diuretic drug.
8. Star anise has therapeutic effects on respiratory health conditions.
9. Chakri phool (star anise) can be used for boosting the health of female reproductive organs.
10. It has a carminative influence on the nervous system.

Preservation of Chakri phool (star anise)
1. Chakri phool (star anise) is hard in texture and can last for several months if preserved properly.
2. Preserve chakri phool (star anise) in a cool and air-tight container.

This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.

1. Ariamuthu S., Balakrishnan V. and Kesavan A. (2012), Estimation of Shikimic acid from fruits of Illicium griffithii Hook.f. & Thoms and Illicium verum Hook.f., International Journal of Advances in Pharmaceutical Research, Vol. 4 /Issue. 2, pp. 1418-1420.

2. Dinesha R., Thammannagowda S. S, Shwetha K. L., Prabhu M. S. L., Madhu C. S.,
Srinivas L. (2014), The antioxidant and DNA protectant activities of Star Anise (Illicium verum) aqueous extracts, Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 2014; 2 (5), p.98.

3. Mohamed H. S. A. A., Abdelgadir W. S., Almagboul A. Z. I. (2015), In vitro antimicrobial activity of Anise seed (Pimpinella anisum L.), International Journal of Advanced Research (2015), Volume 3, Issue 1, pp. 359-360.

4. Parasa L. S., Tumati S. R., ch. Prasad CH. S., Kumar L. C. A. (2012), In vitro antibacterial activity of culinary spices aniseed, star anise and cinnamon against bacterial pathogens of fish, International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences ISSN- 0975-1491 Vol 4, Issue 3, pp. 667-668.

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    Star Anis is is botanically Illicium verum alright a member of family Schisandraceae, the fruits forming a star-shaped figure (hence the name) and borne on a tropical evergreen tree. You have confused it with Pimpinella anisum, Anise and Aniseed, a totally different spice borne on a small herbaceous member of family Apiaceae. The fruit is made of two small segments. It would be better that this latter name is removed from the article or replace with clarification: “not to be confused with Anise or Aniseed, Pimpinella anisum, a totally different spice obtained from a small herb, and not a tree”