People use star anise for lung infections, gas, colic in babies, and many other uses, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
The star anise used as medicine is Chinese star anise. However, some Chinese star anise tea products have been contaminated with Japanese star anise. Japanese star anise is poisonous and should not be taken. It is not possible to tell the difference between these two ingredients just by looking. The only way to ensure that a star anise product is safe is through chemical analysis.
In foods and beverages, star anise is considered a culinary spice; both the seed and oil are used as flavoring.
In manufacturing, the oil is used as a fragrance in soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, and toothpaste, and to mask undesirable odors in drug products.
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