Star Anise is a dark colored, uniquely star shaped spice that comes from an evergreen tree plant that is native to southern China and Northeastern Vietnam, but is cultivated in the Philippines as well. The Star Anise gives off a bitter, licorice- like flavor that is perfect for meat and poultry dishes, specifically pork and duck. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of star anise is useful in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and dry cough. Star anise, in its natural form, can help the body’s immune system fight off many strains of flu, as well as many other health challenges. Star anise can also be used as for its sedating properties to ensure a good sleep. Star Anise spices must be stored whole in tight-sealed containers to keep its flavor for over a year.