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Home » Plant infomation

Illicium anisatum  L.


Botanical Name


Illicium anisatum L.

English Name


Japanese star anise, Star anise, Sacred anisetree



Illicium religiosum Siebold.&Zucc.





General Info


An evergreen shrub or small tree up to 8 m tall; wood and leaves highly aromatic. Leaves alternate, simple, narrowly ovate to lanceolate, 4—12 cm x 1.5—5 cm, base cuneate, tapering, apex blunt, entire, coriaceous; petiole 0.7—2 cm long; stipules absent. Flowers axillary, sometimes solitary, usually crowded, bisexual, regular, 2.5—3 cm in diameter, perianth lobes 12—15(—30), arranged spirally, slender, acute, 3 mm wide, pale yellow to white; pedicel 0.5—1.5 cm long; stamens (16—)18—20(—25), arranged spirally; carpels 7—9(—10), arranged in a single row. Fruit a capsule-like follicetum, 2.5—3 cm in diameter, consisting of an aggregate of 7—8 follicles, arranged around a central axis in the shape of a star; each follicle boat-shaped, 1-seeded. Seed obovate-ellipsoid, 6—7 mm long, smooth, glossy, yellowish, containing copious endosperm.

Herb Effects

Oestrogenic agent, carminative, stimulant and stomachic (fruit); antidiarrhoeal (powder or decoction of the fruits); antibacterial (leaves and seeds); stimulant, antiseptic, stomachic, carminative, mildly expectorant and gastrointestinal spasmolytic (plant essential oil).


Plants For A Future
PROSEA (Plant Resources of South-East Asia) Foundation



Medicinal Use

The fruit is used to increase milk secretion, promote menstruation and facilitate childbirth. A powder or decoction of the fruits is used to treat abdominal colic, lumbago arising from a deficiency in the kidneys, vomiting and epigastric pain due to cold in the stomach and diarrhea. The plant essential oil is employed against rheumatism and body lice, and as bronchial expectorant for upper respiratory tract congestion.



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