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Star anise is a spice made from the fruit of the Chinese evergreen tree Illicium verum.
It’s aptly named for the star-shaped pods from which the spice seeds are harvested and has a flavor that is reminiscent of licorice.
Because of similarities in their flavor and names, star anise is often confused with anise, though the two spices are unrelated.
Star anise is famed not only for its distinct flavor and culinary applications but also for its medicinal benefits.
This article reviews the benefits, uses and potential risks of star anise.