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Related to Illicium verum: Illicium anisatum, star anise

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, annual plant (Pimpinella anisum) of the family Umbelliferae (parsley family), native to the Mediterranean region but long cultivated elsewhere for its aromatic and medicinal qualities.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Star Anise


or true anise (Illicium verum), a plant of the family Illiaceae (formerly classified in the family Mag-noliaceae). The tree reaches a height of 10 m and has leathery evergreen leaves. It grows in Indochina, southern China, and other parts of Southeast Asia. The flowers are bisexual, polypetalous, and single. The fruits are cyclical and mul-tileaved, containing an essential oil with a composition close to that of anise oil and containing up to 90 percent anethole. This oil is used in medicine, in liqueur and vodka distillation, and in the food industry. Another species of anise, Illicium anisatum (I. religiosum)—the so-called shikimi—grows and is often cultivated in Japan, Korea, and China. It has extremely poisonous fruit containing the alkaloid skimmianine which does not differ from the fruit of the true anise. Several other representatives of the genus lllicium (which has 42 species in all) have local importance as a source of essential oils.


Uphof, J. C. T. Dictionary of Economic Plants, 2nd ed. New York-London, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Caption: FIGURE 3: Effect of Illicium verum extract (IVE) and trans-anethole (AET) on histologic markers of airway inflammation in lung tissue of OVA-induced mice.
Drastic morphological changes, suggesting induction of apoptosis, were observed after treatment with Illicium verum, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Rhamnus Frangula, and Linum usitatissimum at a concentration of 25 [micro]g/mL.
A significant level of apoptosis was observed in SW872, SW982, HS 39.T, HS 5.T, HL-60, M14WM, MCF-7, and HT29 cell lines treated with Illicium verum, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Rhamnus Frangula, and Linum usitatissimum at a concentration of 10, 25, and 50 [micro]g/mL, as compared to negative controls (Table 4).
RT-PCR analysis detected Bax and p53 mRNAs in almost all cell lines treated with 10 [micro]g/mL of Illicium verum, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Rhamnus Frangula, and Linum usitatissimum.
Shikimic acid extracted from the pods (which wraps the seeds) of Chinese star anise (Illicium verum) is the starting material of Tamiflu[R] (Roche Laboratories), an antiviral drug which has gained popularity with the recent spread of the bird flu (H5N1).
The results obtained in this study suggest that alcoholic extracts from Illicium verum, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Rhamnus Frangula, and Linum usitatissimum are able to induce growth inhibition and apoptosis and modulate the expression of both Bax and p53 proapoptotic genes and the extent of gene expression was obtained at only 10 [micro]g/mL cell culture treatment.