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Why is Star anise valued as a potential Cancer preventive agent?

What is star anise? Health benefits and medicinal values of star anise

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Star anise (Thakkolam) a small star-shaped fruit with one seed in each arm. It has an aniseed flavour and is used unripe in Asian cookery. Star anise (Illicium verum Hook) is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavour, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp. Star Anise is an essential component of Indian cooking and medicines. This star shaped spice,like an eight-pointed star,contains seeds with an aniseed flavour, which comes from the spice’s essential oil, anethole. It is used widely in Chinese cooking and is one of the five spices in Chinese five-spice powder.Besides, its culinary uses, star anise also has health benefits.

Star anise (Thakkolam) medicinal benefits and pharmacological properties

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Star anise has been assigned the following pharmacological properties.These medicinal values of star anise is useful in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and dry cough. For this reason, some cough mixtures contain star anise extract.

  • Carminative
  • Stomachic
  • Stimulant and diuretic
  • Antirheumatic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Chemopreventive
  • Insecticidal
  • Anti Flu drug

Which quality of star anise  helps  in cancer disease?






Phenylpropanoids and phyto quinoids isolated from Illicium plants showed inhibitory activities against Epstein-Barr virus early antigen.Phenol, showed more potent activities as antitumor promoters. The presence of a prenyl moiety in the phenylpropanoids plays an important role in antitumor-promoting activity. Hence, the prenylated phenylpropanoids might be valuable as potential cancer chemopreventive agents

The extract has shown excellent activity for the inhibition of primary and secondary oxidation products in rapeseed oil and could be considered as a natural antioxidant, which may be used for the chemoprevention of diseases occurring due to oxidative deterioration.The antioxidant activity is due to the high percentage of anethole, which is more than 80% .The antioxidant activity of star anise oil is due to the high percentage of anethole (more than 80%)

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