Among the natural remedies and allies of gastronomy, there is theanise, a spice much appreciated and used by the ancients. In traditional medicine it was in fact used to treat digestive problems or swelling.
The used parts of the'anise they are the dried seeds or fruits. There are also three varieties of anise:
- Green anise, its flowers are light yellow or white and the flavor is very close to that of fennel
- Star anise or badian, the fruits have the shape of an eight-pointed star and the flavor recalls licorice
- Peppery anise, is a little known species and has a very intense and spicy flavor.
Anise, beneficial properties
The fruit of the star anise is picked when it is not fully ripe and is then subjected to drying and possibly further treatments. Its beneficial virtues are highly appreciated; it is in fact an excellent digestive, antispasmodic, relaxing, diuretic and antibacterial.
It is the gastrointestinal system that benefits most from the virtues of this spice which can be taken in herbal tea: it contains anethole, a substance that facilitates digestion and abdominal bloating, helps sufferers of irritable colon.
The preparation of a digestive herbal tea, to be taken after meals, consists in boiling 1 star anise fruit in 300 ml of water for 5 minutes; to have a purifying and anti-swelling effect, it is advisable to prepare the herbal tea by boiling 3 star anise fruits with 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds in 500 ml of water for 10 minutes
Star anise is effective for the development of breast milk; in any case, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking the product, as the active ingredients of star anise not tolerated by the newborn may be excessively concentrated.
The essential oil is extracted from the green anise, a product highly appreciated for its expectorant and relaxing virtues. Even those who suffer from oily and impure skin can benefit from this oil thanks to its cleansing and antibacterial action.
Anise, uses in the kitchen
Anise is used in the kitchen to prepare both sweet and savory dishes. Before use, it is advisable to boil the spice and then crush it finely in a mortar to obtain a very thin powder.
Star anise can be used to flavor soups and broths: just add it after cooking so as not to lose the flavor. Aniseed-flavored liqueurs are very popular and are used as digestives or to flavor sweets, fruit salads and coffee. Among the best known liqueurs we can mention the Italian Sambuca and Anisetta.
To discover the beneficial properties of other medicinal plants, you can read our article with the complete list and the detailed sheets on all medicinal plants.
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