Anise Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/22/22 •  10 min read

What are star anise benefits? Is star anise vegan? Good for you? Healthy? Sustainable? Here is info on star anise that every ethical consumer wants to know…

anise benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day. If you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on star anise benefits and possible side effects.

You are going to learn all about star anise. This will include star anise benefits for your health and potential risks, star anise water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if star anise is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if star anise is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about star anise benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Top Star Anise Benefits


Star anise benefits may include:

Additionally, star anise is…

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Water footprint: high, it takes 8,280 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of anise / 992 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of anise, anise has a relatively high water footprint

Carbon footprint: low, 1.6 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of spices, a car driving equivalent of 3.75 miles or 6 kilometers, a low carbon footprint

Destruction: low, anise production is relatively sustainable, there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc., be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Anise is…


Kills: none, anise production does not require any animals to die

Harms: none, anise production does not require any animals

Indirectly kills or harms: none, buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Anise is…


Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers often experience exploitation, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits


What are uses for anise?

Anise uses include desserts, coffee drinks, cakes, cookies, curries, teas, meat seasonings, and more.

Where does anise come from?

China is the world’s leading anise exporter followed by Egypt, India, Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Is anise nutritious?

Yes, anise offers a good amount of several important minerals, including iron, manganese and calcium.

Other names for anise?

Other names for anise are badian seeds, star anise and aniseed.

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anise is alkaline when fresh.

acidic foods and alkaline diet to improve ph levels

Is anise alkaline or acidic?

Anise is alkaline when fresh.

What is the pH level of anise?

Anise and other fresh spices have an 8.0 pH level when fresh, once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

anise is gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Is anise gluten free?

Yes, anise is naturally gluten free. Anise does not contain gluten. Anise is a type of spice, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

anise is not a common food allergen.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is anise a common food allergen?

No, anise is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to anise but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

anise has a high water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does anise have a high or low water footprint?

Anise has a relatively high water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of anise?

It takes 8,280 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of anise / 992 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of anise.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

anise has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does anise have a high or low carbon footprint?

Anise has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of anise?

It takes around 1.26 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of spices, a car driving equivalent of 3.75 miles or 6 kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may be…

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

anise is moderately sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is anise eco friendly? Is anise sustainable?

Anise production is moderately sustainable due to its relatively high water consumption. Aside from that factor, there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

anise is vegan.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Is anise vegan?

Yes, anise is vegan. Anise is a spice from the flowering anise plant and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

anise may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is anise a product with labor concerns?

At this time there are no major concerns with anise production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade


Anise pros include:

Anise cons include:

This post was all about star anise benefits.


Spices, anise seed – FoodData Central – USDA

Sweet Anise Grades and Standards | Agricultural Marketing

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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