Last update: Jan. 5, 2020

Star Anise

High Risk for breastfeeding


Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully.
Use safer alternative or interrupt breastfeeding 3 to 7 T ½ (elimination half-lives).
Read the Comment.

The fruits of the tree are used. Contains essential oil (with trans-anethole, anisatine and straggly), flavonoids and tannins (de Groot 2016, Mathon 2013, Alós 2006). Allegedly, attributed properties are: antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, estrogen agonist.

Indications from the Commission E of the German Ministry of Health are: anorexia, cough, bronchitis.

Anethole is neurotoxic (Mathon 2013, Alós 2006, Ize 2004) and is excreted into the milk (Hausner 2008).
Reportedly, two young infants were severely intoxicated after ingestion by the mother, as galactagogue, of two daily liters of a mix infusion with Licorice, Fennel, Anise and Galega officinalis (gout's rue), Symptoms were attributed to Anethol from both Fennel and Anise (Rosti 1994).

A high risk of accidental contamination exists with Illicium religiosum (Illicium anisatum, Japanese star anise) which is a substance not fit to be eaten, very toxic (Techen 2009, Alós 2006, Ize 2004, Minodier 2003, Vandenberghe 2003) and withdrawn from the market in Spain (MSC 2004) and with warnings in other countries (FDA 2003, n.a.l. 2003).

Many infants have severe poisonings with convulsive episodes after direct administration (not through breast milk) of infusions of star anise, contaminated or not with Japanese star anise (Casanova 2019, Obando 2016, Madden 2013, Perret 2011, de la Rubia 2009, Alós 2006, Ize 2004, Minodier 2003, Johanns 2002, Gil 2002), which is why in Spain the marketing of star anise was temporarily withdrawn in 2001 (Europa Press 2001, Gil 2002).

An occasional or moderate consumption of star anise by the mother may be compatible during breastfeeding, but not administered directly to the infant.

Precautions when taking plant preparations:
1. Ensure that they are from reliable source: poisoning has occurred due to confusion of one plant with another with toxic properties, poisonings from heavy metals that are extracted from the soil and food poisoning due to contamination with bacteria or fungi (Anderson 2017).
2. Do not take too much; follow recommendations from experienced phytotherapy professionals. "Natural" products are not good in any quantity: plants contain active substances from which a large part of our traditional pharmacopoeia has been obtained and can cause intoxication or act as endocrine disruptors (they contain phytoestrogens: Powers 2015, Zava 1998) if they are taken in exaggerated quantities or over extended time periods.


See below the information of this related product:

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Star Anise is also known as


Star Anise in other languages or writings:

Group

Star Anise belongs to this group or family:

Tradenames

Main tradenames from several countries containing Star Anise in its composition:

  • Atrobel™. Contains other elements than Star Anise in its composition
  • Bittner™. Contains other elements than Star Anise in its composition
  • Cefabronchin™. Contains other elements than Star Anise in its composition
  • Ductoveran™. Contains other elements than Star Anise in its composition
  • Ervossil™. Contains other elements than Star Anise in its composition
  • Pervivo™. Contains other elements than Star Anise in its composition
  • Relaxcol™. Contains other elements than Star Anise in its composition
  • Tisane laxative™. Contains other elements than Star Anise in its composition
  • Tisane pectorale et antitussive™. Contains other elements than Star Anise in its composition
  • Wunderbalsam™. Contains other elements than Star Anise in its composition

References

  1. Casanova Cuenca M, Calzado Agrasot MÁ, Mir Pegueroles C, Esteban Cantó V. Persistenlasintoxicacionesporanísestrellado,¿estamosdandolasuficienteinformación? [New cases of star anise poisoning: Are we providing enough information?] Neurologia. 2019 Apr;34(3):211-213. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Obando Pacheco P, Martínez-Martínez PL, Pérez de Eulate Bazán Y, de la Mota Ybancos JL, Milano Manso G, Sierra Salinas C. Liver failure secondary to poisoning by a homemade product made of star and green anise in a 4-month-old infant. Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2016 Dec;108(12):819-821. Abstract
  3. de Groot AC, Schmidt E. Essential Oils, Part III: Chemical Composition. Dermatitis. 2016 Jul-Aug;27(4):161-9. Abstract
  4. Mathon C, Bongard B, Duret M, Ortelli D, Christen P, Bieri S. Analysis of the neurotoxin anisatin in star anise by LC-MS/MS. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2013;30(9):1598-605. Abstract
  5. Madden GR, Schmitz KH, Fullerton K. A case of infantile star anise toxicity. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2012 Mar;28(3):284-5. Abstract
  6. Perret C, Tabin R, Marcoz JP, Llor J, Cheseaux JJ. Malaise du nourrisson pensez à une intoxication à l’anis étoilé. [Apparent life-threatening event in infants: think about star anise intoxication!]. Arch Pediatr. 2011 Jul;18(7):750-3. Abstract
  7. Techen N, Pan Z, Scheffler BE, Khan IA. Detection of Illicium anisatum as adulterant of Illicium verum. Planta Med. 2009 Mar;75(4):392-5. Abstract
  8. de la Rubia Fernández L, Orizaola Ingelmo A, Hurtado Barace L, Lozano de la Torre MJ. Intoxicación por anís estrellado [Star anise poisoning]. An Pediatr (Barc). 2009 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  9. Hausner H, Bredie WL, Mølgaard C, Petersen MA, Møller P. Differential transfer of dietary flavour compounds into human breast milk. Physiol Behav. 2008 Sep 3;95(1-2):118-24. Abstract
  10. Alós Almiñana M, Marco Peiró S, Beltrán Martinavarro B. Intoxicación por anís estrellado. Información Farmacoterapéutica de la Comunitat Valenciana, nº 6. 2006 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. Ize-Ludlow D, Ragone S, Bruck IS, Bernstein JN, Duchowny M, Peña BM. Neurotoxicities in infants seen with the consumption of star anise tea. Pediatrics. 2004 Nov;114(5):e653-6. Epub 2004 Oct 18. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. MSC - Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo de España. ORDEN SCO/190/2004, de 28 de enero, por la que se establece la lista de plantas cuya venta al público queda prohibida o restringida por razón de su toxicidad. BOE 2004; 32:5061-6065 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. [No authors listed] FDA warns consumers about star anise teas. FDA Consum. 2003 Nov-Dec;37(6):4. No abstract available. Abstract
  14. Vandenberghe N, Pittion-Vouyouvitch S, Flesch F, Wagner M, Godet E. [An inaugural generalized tonic-clonic convulsive crisis following ingestion of Japanese star anise]. Presse Med. 2003 Jan 11;32(1):27-8. French. No abstract available. Abstract
  15. [No authors listed] Caution about star anise tea for colic. Child Health Alert. 2003 Oct;21:5. No abstract available. Abstract
  16. Minodier P, Pommier P, Moulène E, Retornaz K, Prost N, Deharo L. Intoxication aiguë par la badiane chez le nourrisson. [Star anise poisoning in infants]. Arch Pediatr. 2003 Jul;10(7):619-21. French. Abstract
  17. Johanns ES, van der Kolk LE, van Gemert HM, Sijben AE, Peters PW, de Vries I. [An epidemic of epileptic seizures after consumption of herbal tea]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2002 Apr 27;146(17):813-6. Dutch. Abstract
  18. Garzo Fernández C, Gómez Pintado P, Barrasa Blanco A, Martínez Arrieta R, Ramírez Fernández R, Ramón Rosa F; Grupo de Trabajo del Anis Estrellado. Casos de enfermedad de sintomatología neurológica asociados al consumo de anís estrellado empleado como carminativo. [Cases of neurological symptoms associated with star anise consumption used as a carminative]. An Esp Pediatr. 2002 Oct;57(4):290-4. Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  19. Gil Campos M, Pérez Navero JL, Ibarra De La Rosa I. Crisis convulsiva secundaria a intoxicaciónpor anís estrellado en un lactante. [Convulsive status secondary to star anise poisoning in a neonate]. An Esp Pediatr. 2002 Oct;57(4):366-8. Spanish. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  20. Europa Press. Sanidad retira cautelarmente los anises para bebés tras detectar efectos adversos en 20 niños. El Mundo.es, 27.10.2001 2001 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  21. Blumenthal M. The American Botanical Council. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Ed. Integrative Medicine Com. Boston. 1998
  22. Rosti L, Nardini A, Bettinelli ME, Rosti D. Toxic effects of a herbal tea mixture in two newborns. Acta Paediatr. 1994 Jun;83(6):683. No abstract available. Abstract
  23. Montoya-Cabrera MA. [Poisoning by star anise (Illicium verum) tea]. Gac Med Mex. 1990 Jul-Aug;126(4):341-2. Spanish. No abstract available. Abstract

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