Star anise contains some of the most important plant-derived chemical compounds that are known to have been antioxidant, disease-preventing and having health promoting properties.
The chief component that gives the characteristic sweet, aromatic flavor to anise is anethole, the essential volatile oil present in the seeds. Other important compounds found in those seeds include estragol, p-anisaldehyde, anise alcohol, acetophenone, pinene and limonene.
Anise seed oil obtained from extraction of the seeds has found application in many traditional medicines as stomachic, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, stimulant and tonic.
The seeds are an excellent source of many essential B-complex vitamins such as pyridoxine, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin. Pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) helps increase GABA neuro-chemical levels in the brain.
The spicy seeds are a great source of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium. 100 g dry seeds contain 36.96 mg or 462% daily required levels of iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood
The spice also contains good amounts of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C and vitamin-A. Anise preparations are an excellent remedy for asthma, bronchitis cough as well as digestive disorders such as flatulence, bloating, colic stomach pain, nausea and indigestion.
The essential oil comprises 75 – 90% anethole, which has an observed estrogenic effect. The beverage obtained from the seeds oftentimes is prescribed in the nursing mothers to promote breast-milk production.
Anise seed water is very helpful in relieving running nose condition in infants.