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The oil produced from star anise contains thymol, terpineol and anethole, which is used for treating cough and flu. Anise also helps improve digestion, alleviate cramps and reduce nausea. Consuming star anise tea after meals helps treat digestive ailments.
The flavour, which is contained in both the seeds and the star itself, is very sweet and licorice-like, similar to aniseed though the plants are not related.