Ba Jiao Hui Xian (Illicium verum)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Ba Jiao Hui Xian
Illicium verum

The pounded bark is used as an incense[4].

  • Medicinal Use

    The fruit is antibacterial, carminative, diuretic, odontalgic, stimulant, and stomachic[4, 21, 61, 176, 240]. It is taken internally in the treatment of abdominal pain, digestive disturbances and complaints such as lumbago[176, 238]. It is often included in remedies for digestive disturbances and cough mixtures, in part at least for its pleasant aniseed flavour[238]. An effective remedy for various digestive upsets, including colic, it can be safely given to children[254]. The fruit is also often chewed in small quantities after meals in order to promote digestion and to sweeten the breath[4, 238]. The fruit has an antibacterial affect similar to penicillin[176]. The fruit is harvested unripe when used for chewing, the ripe fruits being used to extract essential oil and are dried for use in decoctions and powders[238].

    A homeopathic remedy is prepared from the seed[4].

  • Edible Use

    The fruit is used as a flavouring in curries, teas and pickles[2, 132, 177, 238]. It is an ingredient of ‘five spice powder’, used in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine[238]. The fruit is also chewed after meals in order to sweeten the breath[4]. Caution is advised because it is said to be poisonous in quantity[19, 177].

    The essential oil is used to flavour liqueurs, soft drinks and bakery products[238].

  • Cautionary Notes

    The fruit is poisonous in quantity[19, 177].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – it does not require pre-treatment and can be sown in early spring in a greenhouse[113]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give some protection from the cold over the winter for the first year or two. Layering in early spring. Takes 18 months[78]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame[113]. Pot up the cuttings when they start to root and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out after the last expected frosts.
Prefers a light, moist well-drained loam and a sheltered position[1, 11] Prefers a humus-rich lime-free soil[182, 200]. Succeeds in sun or semi-shade[200]. This species is not very cold-hardy, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10¡c and requires a very sheltered position or the protection of a wall when grown in Britain[200]. Chinese anise is extensively cultivated in China for its fruit and medicinal essential oil[200]. It is planted in the grounds of temples in Japan, and also on tombs[4]. Plants seldom grow larger than about 3 metres in Britain, but eventually reach about 18 metres tall in their native habitat[200].
E. Asia – China, Vietnam.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.