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Cover Story: Star Anise

Written By Ffjorren Zolfaghar |

The word star has many connotations. For some, stars are luminous balls of plasma, offering speculation on past, present and future. For others, the star represents their history and faith. To many, a star conveys hope, joy and harmony. We use them as décor, we watch them on TV, and we hang our star-filled flags to honor American humanity. The “star” is brilliant and vibrant, yet elusive; it holds a deeper meaning within.

Similarly, the star anise possesses a myriad of uses. Scientifically known as Illicium verum, star anise means “eight-horn,” or “eight corners,” in Chinese. The fruit is harvested from its small evergreen tree, native to Vietnam and China. Its flavor resembles that of anise and is used in food and medicinal recipes alike. It flavors liquors, baked goods, meats, soups and teas. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to remedy rheumatism, digestion and cold-stagnation. It is also a popular ingredient in anti-flu drugs.

Whether you use the star symbolically, or to add a touch of warmth to your food and drink, make note of the feelings derived from its use. Pay attention to the vibration it emits, and feel its energy; for there must be a reason behind the star’s historical presence.