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The star anise, a spice from the shape and the unmistakable aromas that combine many recipes and make extraordinary nutritional and medicinal substances the body. From particular form, the star anise is adaptable to different and varied uses. Already known to the times of Marco Polo, this spice is widely used in the kitchen. Star anise has been known in China as a spice and medicine for over 3,000 years. When in 970 AD, the southern states lost a cruel and merciless war with the Chinese emperor, they had to pay war reparations in star anise. The English pirate Sir Thomas Cavendish brought star anise to Europe from the Philippines in 1588. It began appearing in European kitchens during the 17th century as an aromatic agent added to tea in the Russian Czar's court. It was not used in Germany until the end of the 18th century. The genus name Illicium comes from the Latin illicere, meaning lure or attract.