Spice star anise or badian that closely resembles anise in flavor is obtained from the star-shaped pericarps of the fruit of I. verum which are harvested just before ripening. Star anise oil is a highly fragrant oil used in cooking, perfumery, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and skin creams.
Culinary use :
Star anise contains a compound called anethole, that gives it its flavor. Star anise is a less expensive substitute for anise in baking and in liquor production. Star anise enhances the flavour of meat. It is used as a spice in preparation of biryani and masala chai all over the Indian subcontinent. It is widely used in Chinese cuisine, and in Malay and Indonesian cuisines. It is widely grown for commercial use in China, India, and in Vietanam. Star anise is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. It is also a major ingredient in the making of phở, a Vietnamese noodle soup.
It is also used in the French recipe of mulled wine, called vin chaud (hot wine). If allowed to steep in coffee, it deepens and enriches the flavor.
Pharmaceutical use :
Star anise is the major source of the chemical compound shikimic acid used in pharmaceutical synthesis of the antiinfluenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu). About 90% of the world's star anise crop is used for extraction of shikimic acid.