There are several herbs of this name including Chinese star anise (Illicium verum) - which is safe for consumption and Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum) - which contains a toxic component.

The Chinese species is used in tea and for medicinal purposes, while the Japanese species is used in incense and other contexts.

In 2003 the FDA issued a warning over star anise tea as there had been a number of cases of serious illness.

The Wikipedia page is [1].

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