Vietnam Star Anise flower is a rare and precious herbal medicine in Vietnam, which can be used for the treatment of many diseases such as flu, aches and pains, or to prevent infection symptoms. Thanks to its health benefits, this kind of medicine is highly appreciated and widely used in traditional herbal medicine.
(Vietnam Star Anise has been exporting to more than 30 countries in the world)
Star anise mainly blooms from March to May and bears fruit from June until September. In addition to this crop, star anise can still bear fruit at the end of the year and early spring. However, the quality of star anise flowers in this season is not as good as in the main season, as a result, its price is usually cheaper.
Star anise flowers grow singly in the leaf axils. Normally, a cluster includes two or three flowers with big and short stalks. A star anise flower has five white sepals with pink edges. Five or six dark pink petals are usually surrounded together. Fruits are star-shaped consisting of 6-8 carpels arranged in a whorl with a diameter of 2.5-3 cm. When older, they will turn from green to dark brown with larger carpels about 10-15 mm and pointed tips.
In Vietnam, star anise is grown mainly in some northern provinces such as Lang Son, Cao Bang, or Bac Can and becomes a precious specialty of these lands. With its aroma and warmth, star anise is used in a variety of ways. To be preserved for a long time, star anise can be dried, ground into powder, or made into essential oil. Star anise flower is also used as a medicine, spice, or cosmetic. Besides, the star anise flower has a distinct aroma that has an antibacterial effect and resistance enhancement.
In fact, the star anise fruit is shaped like a flower, so many people call it a star anise flower. However, it doesn’t matter the way we call it since star anise fruit is also the crystallization of flowers.
What is the benefit of star anise flower?
As mentioned above, the star anise flower has many benefits in many areas of our life.
Pathogenic bacteria can cause a variety of diseases, for example, ear or urinary tract infections. Star anise flower has been shown to have powerful antibacterial effects which are very beneficial in protecting our body against these harmful bacteria.
Prevent fungal infections
In addition to killing disease-causing strains of bacteria, some studies have also shown that star anise pods have strong antifungal effects.
Improve heart health
Containing powerful antioxidants, star anise flower can help reduce oxidative stress, prevent the build-up of harmful free radicals, and help improve heart health. Adding star anise to a healthy diet and lifestyle can keep your heart functioning properly and avoid the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Star anise flower contains a compound called shikimic acid, which is commonly found in flu medicines like Tamiflu. Therefore, when you feel uncomfortable with the weather, you can consider brewing a cup of star anise tea to strengthen your body’s ability to fight the flu.
Regulate blood sugar
Adding star anise to your diet can keep blood sugar levels stable thanks to “anethole” – a compound in this spice. Several studies have found that this powerful compound is effective in maintaining sugar levels, thereby preventing diabetes.
If you know how to cook, star anise will upgrade your dishes to a new level. Star anise flower helps dishes such as traditional pho, curries, or frozen meat become more delicious, attractive, and has a characteristic smell. Five flavors – a famous spice in cuisine which is widely used also has star anise and cinnamon as the main ingredients. Star anise flower not only helps your food reach the fullest taste but also increases the body’s resistance, especially when the weather turns cold or erratic.
Star anise flower in the form of powder or essential oil can be mixed with warm water, used for steaming to help tighten pores and brighten facial skin. Besides, the antibacterial essence in star anise also reduces the risk of skin inflammation and acne.
(Fresh Star Anise growing under USDA Organic Program)
With all above good benefits, the demand of Star Anise has been increasing significantly for past 5 years. Thus, the price of Vietnam star anise moved up from $2 to $15 per kg. The highest price level was happened in March 2021 when it was around $15-$17 per kg.