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Magnoliace

Magnolia Family.

Illicium anisatum, L.

NOM. VULG.—Anis estrellado, Badiana, Sp.; Sag̃ki, Tag.; Star Anise, Eng.

USES.—Although this plant does not grow in the Philippines, the use of its fruit is so common there that it demands a place in this work. It is employed chiefly as a condiment in the preparation of food, and its essential oil is used to prepare the native “anise cordial” by mixing it with alcohol obtained from the palm or from sugar cane.

The decoction of the fruit is given after meals as a tea-like beverage, to aid digestion or for its carminative effect in flatulent colic.

Star anise has an aromatic taste, slightly bitter and acrid, and a very marked perfume of anise which with its star-like form gives the plant one of its names. It is a very useful stimulant, tonic, stomachic and carminative.

It is official in all Pharmacopoeias and the pericarp is the part employed.

The dose is from 1 to 2 grams to 100 of water in infusion, to be taken in one draught.

According to Schlegel it contains the following substances: An essential oil 4.675; a green waxy material which melts at 51°, a resin, a gum and saponin.

The essential oil is (almost) identical with that of anise from which it is impossible to distinguish it chemically. The only difference is that the former has a blander odor and solidifies at 1°.25 instead of 10°, as does the oil of anise.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—The plant grows in the mountains of Yunnan, China, and in Tonquin. The part used in the Philippines is the fruit, being indeed the only part known here. This is composed of 8 woody follicles arranged about a central column in the form of a star. These follicles open at maturity and reveal the seeds, which are shining, smooth, ovoid, hard, of a pretty chestnut-red color.

In the Philippines they are sold even in the smallest food-vending shops.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

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