Illicium verum, Star Anise. -- The fruit, U.S.P. 1880-1890; N. Annam, S. W. China (mountains). Small tree, 3-6 M. (10-20') high, branched; leaves evergreen, lanceolate, pointed, entire, pellucid-punetate, 5-15 Cm. (2-6) long; flowers greenish-yellow. Fruit (capsule-integuments 87 p. c., seed 22 p. c.), star-shaped, being composed of 8 stellately arranged boat-shaped carpels, 8 Mm. (1/3') long, woody, wrinkled, brown, dehiscent on upper suture; internally each carpel glossy, reddish-brown, containing 1 flattish, oval, glossy-brown seed; odor anise-like (anisa-tun); taste sweet, aromatic -- seed oily; contains (integuments) -- volatile oil (one of the sources of Oleum Anisi, U.S.P.) 5.3 p. c. (congeals at 1.0 C.; 340 F., and consists chiefly of anethol, resin 10.7 p. c., fixed oil 2.8 p. c., saponin, protocatechuic acid, shikimic acid, mucilage, ash 2 p. c.; (seed) -- volatile oil 1.8 p. c., resin 2.6 p. c., fixed oil 20 p. c.; solvents: alcohol, hot water partially. Adulteration: Poisonous fruit of the allied species, Illicium religiosum (anitatum). Carminative, anodyne, stimulant, diuretic; flatulent colic, indigestion, infantile catarrh, bronchitis, rheumatism, earache, flavoring. Dose, gr. 5-30 (.3-2 Gm.); infusion, 5 p. c., 3j-2 (30-M cc.); volatile oil Tqj-2 (M-.13 cc.).
I. religio'sun (anim'tum). -- Cultivated around Buddhist temples in China and Japan, being called Shikimi. Fruit very similar to the preceding, having 8 carpels, but is more woody and shriveled, with thin, upward-curved beak; odor faint, clove-like; taste unpleasant; contains .44 p. c. of a non-solidifying volatile oil, sp. gr. 0.990, shikimic acid, sikimipierin (crystalline, bitter), and sikimin (poisonous). The oil consists of a terpene, safrol, C,HO, eugenol, CHO, and liquid anethol. The fruit is used natively for killing rats, fish, etc., the latter serving as food in spite of the poison. Upon persons it causes vomiting, epileptiform convulsions, and dilated pupils; L floridalnum and L parviforum; Fla., Ga., La.; the former has fruit with 13 carpels, the latter with only 8; barks are substituted sometimes for cascarilla.