This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Anisum Stellatum, seu sinense & phi-lippense, & semen badian Pharm. Parif. Foenicu-lum sinense; Cardamomum siberyense. Zingi. Indian or stellated anise: a fruit or seed vessel; consisting of rusty brown coloured hard wrinkled capsules, half an inch or more in length, joined together by the bases, to the number of six or more, in the form of a star; each of which includes one seed or kernel, externally glossy and of the colour of linseed, internally white. It is the produce of a small tree, growing in Tartary, China, and the Philippine islands, called by Plukenet euonymo affinis philippinarum insularum, anisum spirans, muulas in capsulis stelliformiter congestis proferens: by Linnaeus, Illicium anisatum.
The capsules or husks of the stellated anise have a fragrant smell, and a sweetish glowing, not fiery, aromatic taste, resembling those of the common aniseeds, or rather of a mixture of aniseeds and fennel-seeds, but stronger and more agreeable. The seeds are said by some to have neither taste nor smell: of smell they have very little; but in chewing they fill the mouth with an agreeable aromatic flavour, of the same kind with that of the husks, but weaker, and accompanied with a greater sweetness.
The seeds afford, in distillation with water, the largest quantity of essential oil; and the husks, on being treated with spirit, yield the most acrid resinous extract (a). The oil is more limpid, and subtile, as well as more fragrant, than that of the common aniseeds (b); and the spirituous extract much warmer and more pungent. Infusions of the husks in water, diverted of their more volatile parts by evaporation, leave an extract slightly aromatic, amounting to twice the quantity of that obtained by spirit, or half the quantity of the husks them-selves (c).
(a) Cartheufer, fundamenta m. m. ii. 327.
(b) Geoffroy, m. m. ii. 470.
These seeds are employed in the eastern countries, and in some parts of Europe, in preference to the common aniseeds, to which they appear, from their sensible qualities, to be supe-riour. They have not as yet been received in practice among us, and are very rarely to be met with in the shops.