Star anise is a spice made from the fruit of the Chinese evergreen tree Illicium verum. Star anise also helps improve digestion, alleviate cramps and reduce nausea. Consuming star anise tea after meals helps treat digestive ailments such as bloating, gas, indigestion and constipation. Star anise can be used whole or ground, and in both sweet and savory dishes. Use this fragrant spice whole to infuse flavor into tea, cocktails, soup broth, and even pasta sauce. The ground version can be used in baked good and is an ingredient in five spice powder.