10. The A list : Herbs and Spices that Heal - ANISE and STAR ANISE
We are grouping these spices Anise  (Pimpinella anisum)  and Star Anise  ( Illicium verum) together.
They have common attributes.
These are two spices, they sound similiar, they have similar flavors and can be used interchangeably. 
The licorice flavor and scent makes it a common choice for soaps and baking too.
 Join the  Gulzar  Foods herb and spice journey routes into the roots of two spices on the same pathway.
Explore the spice route of Star Anise and the Anise seed.  

Appearance and Description

Anise  SeedStar Anise

They may have similar names but are from different plants in different parts of the world!
  • Anise is originally Egyptian or Mediterranean.
  • Star anise originates in China.
  • Both have a liquorice taste,  both contain anethole, an essential oil that contributes to their flavors.
  • Star Anise has a mild bitterness and herbaceous quality differing from the Anise seed.
They are different in appearance.
  • Anise a schizocarp about a quarter inch long.
  • Star Anise is in a  star-shaped pericarp. 
The plants of these spices come also differ in appearance
  • Star anise is from an evergreen tree that can reach 30 feet in height.
  • Anise seed is from a bush that is under 3 feet high.  The anise bush plant is also a herb.
  • Both spices have a licorice flavor and you can use one instead of the other.
Note: A substitute is not always ideal for every dish. Star Anise needs to be ground before use as an anise seed. This can be time-consuming
  • Star anise is used whole with pericarp removed and discarded before serving the dish.
  • Anise seed is smaller and difficult to remove.



  • Ancient Greeks and Egyptian used the anise seed for scented oils, teas, cakes, soaps, pastries.
  • The versatile distinct flavored spices blend well into savory dishes, desserts, tea, and liqueurs.
  • Health benefits were realized in time and the seed and essential oil were incorporated in traditional medicine mixtures.
  • The historically revered nutritional powerhouse healing spice anise seed has multiple health perks from lowering blood sugar levels to decreasing symptoms of menopause and it also boasts unique flavor ideal for flavoring any dish or any drink.
  • Commonly added to cakes and cookies and cakes. The flavorful seed can upgrade the nutritional profile of foods, supplying nutrients like iron and manganese.

ANISE Health benefits

  1. Regulates levels of Blood Sugar
  2. Blocks  Bacteria and Fungus growth
  3. Eases Menopausal Symptoms
  4. Treats Depression
  5. Protects Against Stomach Ulcers
  6. Improves the production of breast milk
  7. Reduces the risk of possible seizures


  1. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911), "Anise", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 5
  2.  Effects of water supply and sowing date on performance and essential oil production of anise (Pimpinella anisum L.). Acta Agronomica Hungarica49 (1): 75–81. doi:10.1556/AAgr.49.2001.1.9.
  3. Anise History"Our Herb Garden
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