Magic of Herbs: Star Anise
Star Anise (Illicium verum) is a beautiful and sweet smelling spice. If you've used it, you've probably added it to a soup or stew for that subtle sweet flavor it's known for. If you haven't already, I urge you to drop a star or two in your herbal tea for some extra sweetness.
Add some powdered Star Anise to your dessert baking to add some sweet complexity to your treats. Chinese Medicine uses Star Anise as an expectorant and as a bloating and gas reliever. Interestingly, Star Anise is often used by pharmaceutical companies for its flu-fighting capabilities, and is a common ingredient in flu medicines.
For metaphysical purposes, Star Anise is often used to bring in sweetness and good fortune, and a star is often is added to medicine and mojo bags for that purpose. I've had great experience with Star Anise as a topper to my intuition enhancing and divination tea blends. It's that otherworldly and simultaneously earthy energy that works wonders for traveling between worlds.
As it is very much a "bringing" spice, Star Anise also works well to draw love and passion, which can be useful even out of romantic settings. I threw some Star Anise in another simmer pot I used today to sweeten the energy of my space, just for me! In its ground or powedered form, Star Anise is also burned as incense for the aforementioned intentions.
A note, always make sure your Star Anise is actually Star Anise. This sounds ridiculous, but there have been situations where a poisonous faux Star Anise made it into the market and caused serious illness and death. Google "Japanese Star Anise" (Illicium anisatum) for more info.