Oleum Anisi stellati. - Sternanisol. - Essence de Badiane1)Origin. The several species of Illicium are native to the middle and northern portions of western Asia, japan and the islands of the Chinese Sea and Indian Ocean. Owing to the similarity of the various species of this genus, the statements concerning the origin and the species from which the commercial fruits are derived have been conflicting until recently. Linne first named the tree, which belongs to the Magnoliaceae, Bada1) Chem. Ztg. 34 (1910), 857.
-) Report of Schimmel & Co. April 1894, 60.
3) Philippine Journ. of Sc. 6 (1911), A, 342. - Journ. Americ. chem. Soc. 33 (1911), 1763.
4) Originally staranise was known in Europe as Anis de la Chine, de la Sibdrie, Fceniculum sinense, Bad/an. The latter name derived from the Arabic "Badiyan" for fennel, was used by Pierre Pomet, the author of Histoire g6n6rale des drogues (livre 1, p. 43), and remained in use for a long time.
nifera anisata1), later Illicium anisatum-). A Japanese species, which is cultivated particularly in Buddhistic temple gardens, was described by Kasmpfer in 16903), by Thunberg in 17814) and again by Fr. von Siebold in 18255). The last mentioned named it Illicium japonicum, which name he changed in 1837 to Illicium religiosum. In 1886 Jos. Hooker Jr.") pointed out that the officinal staranise was not derived from the species designated Illicium anisatum by Linne, but from another species which he named Illicium verum.
Illicium verum, Hooker f., is an evergreen tree that grows 7 to 8 metres high (Radisson7)), according to others 10 to 15 m. high (Eberhardt8)). On account of its white bark it reminds one somewhat of the birch. The staranise tree, which yields a full crop only after 16 to 17 years, is propagated by means of seeds. The fruit known as staranise can be harvested three times a year, but the trees yield a full crop only once in three years. This is probably due to the bad treatment which the trees receive while the fruit is picked. On an average a tree is said to yield 30 to 35 kg. or even as much as 45 kg.8) of fruit.
Production. For the production of the fruit, the staranise tree is cultivated principally in the south-eastern province of China and the adjoining parts of Tonkin. A part of the fruits is dried and enters the market in this condition. Another part is distilled fresh on the spot for oil. In Tonkin the principal centers of distillation are Dong-Dang inch Langson (see fig. 36, p.383), Vinh-Rat, Halung, Nachan and Thatkhe. In China the areas of production are the provinces Kwantung and Kwangsi with distillation centers at Ping-Siang, Lung-Tschou (Lungchow, Long-Tcheou) and Pe-Se (identical with Pac-Se2), Pak-Se), Po-se, Pos-Seh3), Po-Seh?).
1) Linne, Materia medica e regno vegetabile. Stockholm 1750, Lib. 1, p. 180.
2) Linn'e, Species plantarum. Stockholm 1753, p. 664.
3) Kampfer, Amoenitates exoticae. Lemgo 1712, p. 880.
4) Thunberg, Flora japonica. Leipzig 1784, p. 235.
') Het gezag van Kampfer, Thunberg, Linnaeus en anderen, omtrent den botanischen oorsprong van den steranijs des Handels. Leiden 1837, p. 19. - Rein, Japan 1886, vol. 2, p. 160 and 307.
6) Botanical Magazine. July 1888. - Watt's Dictionary of India. Calcutta 1890, vol. 4, p. 330. - E. M. Holmes, Americ. Journ. Pharm. 60 (1888), 503.
7) Culture, Distillation et Commerce de la Badiane. Rev. des cult, colon. 5 (1899), 65, 138.
8) Ph. Eberhardt, L'Anis etoile au Tonkin. La Nature, 25 mai 1907; Journ. de Pharm. et Chim., VI. 26 (1907), Renseign. et Nouvelles Xlii.
Fig. 34. Tonkin Chinese apparatus for the distillation of staranise.
On account of the congealing point, which frequently is higher, the Tonkin oil is more highly esteemed than the Chinese article. Of particularly poor quality is the oil from the Pe-Se district. It has a very low congealing point and appears to consist in part of the distillate of the leaves.
1) Report of Schimmel & Co. October 1911, 85. 2) Ibidem April 1904, 84. 3) Ibidem October 1898, 48.
At the present time the distillation of the staranise fruits is still conducted in a primitive manner. According to English1) and French reports the method of procedure is the same in Tonkin as in the Chinese provinces.
The body of the still (Fig. 34) consists of a strong, steam-tight, wooden vat or an iron cylinder the bottom of which is freely perforated. This body rests on an hemispherical or flat, iron kettle which in turn is supported on a masonry fire-place over direct fire. The upper part of the vat or cylinder is so constructed that charging and discharging can be effected and that when sealed the vapors must pass through a central opening which is provided with a tube that passes into the condenser above. The condenser mostly consists of a glazed earthenware vessel, on the top of which is placed a well fitting, flat, sheet-iron kettle which serves as cover. Into this kettle cold spring water is passed by means of a bamboo tube and is withdrawn by means of a siphon.
Fig. 35. Chinese apparatus for the distillation of staranise.
l) Decennial Reports on the trade, navigation and industries of the ports open to foreign commerce in China and Corea. Statistical series No. 6, 1882 to 1891. Published by the Inspector General of Customs. Shanghai 1893, 659.
The cylinder, which serves as body of the still, is filled with comminuted staranise. After all of the joints have been sealed the water in the lower boiler is heated over a direct fire. After the contents of the cylinder have been heated, the water vapors saturated with oil pass through the upper opening into the condenser where they are condensed by the flat or hemispherical kettle which serves as top. The distillate, as it drops, flows directly into a tube placed at the base of the condenser and is mostly conducted to a wooden tank lined with tin.