Spices are an integral part of cooking. For star anise Hindi word is “chakra pool”. Spices are of many different varieties and there are very few cuisines in the world that do not use spices in their cooking. Spices are used in both savory dishes as well as in desserts. Each spice has its characteristic flavor, aroma and health benefits. Let us embark on a star anise journey here today to learn more about it and the health benefits it provides. There are various health benefits of spice.
A spice that is native to China, it is popularly used in Asian and European cuisines. Star anise is the most used spice in Asian countries. star anise Hindi named “chakra Phool” is an ancient herb. It’s a star-shaped pericarp of a seed that can be used as a whole or ground into a powder. Star anise is not just used for its flavor, but also for its medicinal properties, which are attributed to the presence of a compound called shikimic acid which is used in many anti-influenza drugs. However, it is interesting to note that certain varieties of star anise are naturally toxic.
Nutrients in star anise
Star anise Hindi version of chakra Phool plays an important role as an ingredient in the kitchen and our health. As already mentioned, the star anise provides many health benefits. Apart from the shikimic acid, star anise also contains the following nutrients:
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin C
- Antioxidants like coumaric acid, caffeic acid, terpineol, thymol, quercetin, Linalool, kaemferol
- Organic acids
With so many unique nutrients in it, star anise is bound to provide a wide range of health benefits.
- Boosts immunity- Star anise is well known for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is especially known to treat bacterial infections of the stomach.
- Extremely useful to treat influenza- The shikimic acid present in the star anise is known to be extracted for anti-influenza medication. Though this compound is found in other plant-based sources as well, star anise is said to contain the highest concentration of it. The combination of shikimic acid with quercetin is said to have a strong immune effect.
- Improves digestion– Like many other fiber-rich foods like flax seeds, chia seeds, oats, etc., star anise is said to improve digestion and relieve many problems like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and cramps.
- Helps resolve sleep disorders- Star anise has mild sedative properties due to its antioxidant components and magnesium, both of which help release neurotransmitters that induce sleep.
- Reduce cancer risk- Due to the high level of antioxidants in star anise, it tends to reduce the oxidative stress in the cells of the body. This helps reduce the free radical levels which subsequently prevents the development of cancer.
Even though star anise is a spice and we expect it to be used in curries, gravies, or savory dishes, Actually star anise is more versatile than you think and can be used in many different types of foods. Heard of star anise tea? Well, it’s a healthy alternative to your regular tea and can help you stay fit. Drinking a glass of star anise infused water after dinner can help you digest your food better, sleep better, and also increase sex drive! These are a few out of the box uses of star anise, but, it is a great spice that can help you stay healthy and fit.