Star anise, star aniseed, badiane or chinese star anise is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavor, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a small native evergreen tree of southwest China. The star shaped fruits are harvested just before ripening. It is widely used in Chinese cuisine, in Indian cuisine where it is a major component of garam masala, and in Malay–Indonesian cuisine. It is widely grown for commercial use in China, India, and most other countries in Asia. Star anise is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking.
It is used as a spice in preparation of Biryani in Andhra Pradesh, a state of southern India. Star anise contains anethole, the same ingredient which gives the unrelated anise its flavor. Recently, star anise has come into use in the West as a less expensive substitute for anise in baking as well as in liquor production, most distinctively in the production of the liquor Galliano. It is also used in the production of Sambuca, pastis, and many types of absinthe. Star anise has been used in a tea as a remedy for rheumatism, and the seeds are sometimes chewed after meals to aid digestion. As a warm and moving herb, Ba Jiao is used to assist in relieving cold-stagnation in the middle jiao. Shikimic acid, a primary feedstock used to create the anti-flu drug Tamiflu, is produced by most autotrophic organisms, but star anise is the industrial source.