گل ختمی (Star Anise)

گل ختمی Star Aniseگل ختمی Star Aniseگل ختمی Star Anise
Star Anise
lat. Illicium verum (Illiciaceae)
Group: Spices
Star Anise Illicium verum (Illiciaceae)
Star Anise Illicium verum (Illiciaceae)
Star Anise Illicium verum (Illiciaceae)
Odor profile: The steam distilled essence of Illicium verum, a star-shaped spice that is common in Asia. It resembles anise but is in fact more pungent with a

harsher and more bitter profile. It's rich in anethol, putting it in the same category as licorice, fennel, and tarragon.


BOTANY & ODOUR CHARACTERISTICS


Botanical Name: Illicium verum
Plant Family: Illiciaceae
Country of Origin: China
Plant Part: Seeds
Growth Method: Cultivated

Extraction Method: Steam Distillation
Colour: Clear to Pale Yellow
Consistency: Thin
Strength of Aroma: Strong and liquorice-like, more pungent and stronger
than anise

 

Family Illiciaceae includes flowering plants that have evergreen trees and shrubs with simple leaves and small, bisexual flowers composed of numerous petals.

The number of stamens and carpels are few to many, with each carpel containing single seed; floral features are generally highly variable. Extant species have

aromatic oils cells. The leaves bear essential oils and the fruits produce 2.5 – 5% of essential oil. The genus Illucium comprises 40 species of mainly trees and

shrubs, originating from eastern North America to Southeast Asia. The most important one is verum, star anise.
 

Our topic of discussion will be Star Anise from the specie Illicium verum, also known as Chinese Star Anise, as this is the most widely used and edible species.

But you will also learn a little about the other specie grown in Japan whose tree is similar to Chinese Star Anise, so read through…


Chinese Star Anise is a small, evergreen tree that is indigenous to China and Vietnam, today grown almost exclusively in southern China, Indo-China, and

Japan. The name illicere derives from Latin, meaning to attract, for its temping perfume, and verum means true or genuine. The plant has large, dark green

leaves and small, attractive, solitary flowers. The flowers are followed by distinctive star-shaped woody fruits that are made up of eight separate carpels. Each

carpel forms a small capsule with a single, shiny light brown seed housed inside. The fruits are harvested just before ripening, and then sun dried.
 

Chinese Star Anise has been used as a spice and medicine for over 3000 years. It was believed in Europe to originate from Philippines, as in 1578 the navigator

Thomas Cavendish brought the fruits first to Europe from Philippines, unaware that they actually originated from southern China.


STAR ANIS IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES
Anise Stars, Badain, Badiana, Chinese anise

French: anis de la Chine, anise étoilé, badiane
German: Sternanis
Italian: anice stellato
Spanish: anis estrllado, badian
Chinese: ba chio, ba (ht) g (h) ok, bart gok, pa-chiao, pak kok, peh kah
Indonesian: bunga lawang
Malay: bunga lawang
Russian: Бадьян
Srpski: Zvezdasti Anis
Hrvatski: Zvjezdasti Anis

 

The major products from star anise are the seeds (fruit), which are the spice. They are used as flavouring in a wide range of food and drinks including, chewing

gum, baked goods, gelatine, meat and meat products, liqueurs and brandies. They are also a constituent of Chinese five spices, and in India and Pakistan, it is a

major constituent of garam masala and also one of the ingredients in a dish called ‘Biryani’. If you are in Vietnam and digging in Vietnamese noodles, Pho, you

can easily tell from the taste that it has been flavoured with star anise and true is that it is used as a major ingredient in Pho. The dried ripe fruit is also found in

pot-pourris.
 



Talking of its medicinal uses, Star Anise has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over thousand years for its stimulating effect on the digestive system

such as stomach discomfort, indigestion and bloating, as well as for respiratory ailments including bronchitis and unproductive coughs. Star Anise is also useful

in dyspepsia, flatulence, spasmodic, dysentery, asthma, hemiplegia, facial paralysis and halitosis.
ESSENTIAL OIL

Star Anise oil is obtained from steam distillation from fresh and partly dried fruits and it is present in the fruit wall, not in the seed. The oil is a clear, colourless

to pale yellow liquid, with aromatic, sweet and pleasant fragrance that is similar to that of Anise, but less subtle and slightly bitterer.

The oil enhances relaxation, sleep patterns and emotional balance. It helps reduce tiredness or weariness resulting from physical or mental activity. It blends

well with bay, cardamom, caraway, coriander, cedarwood, dill, sweet fennel, lavender, mandarin, neroli, orange, petitgrain, rosewood.

NOTE: There are two kinds of star anise, two similar trees, Japanese Star Anise (Illicium anisatum) and Chinese Star Anise (Illicium verum). Only Japanese

star anise is not edible because it is highly toxic, instead, it has been burned as incense in Japan. Its fruit is smaller and with weaker odour which is said to be

more similar to cardamom than to anise. If you have been admitted to hospital with neurogical symptoms after having star anise tea, you probably have had

Japanese star anise tea.





Image of live plant from wikipedia


Author: Naheed Shoukat Ali  (naheed)
Fragrantica Writer

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