Star anise is the star-shaped fruit of an evergreen plant known
scientifically as Illicium verum. Originating in southern China, star anise has
a licorice- or anise-like flavor, although it is not related to the true anise
plants native to the Mediterranean basin and Middle East. Traditionally used as
a spice and also as a healing herb, star anise appears to have medicinal
properties that endow it with significant health benefits.