Star anise is commonly used in its whole form to flavor teas, marinades, soups, broths, and other liquids. It is generally removed before serving. Anise seed is a lovely spice that can add a wonderful aroma and flavor to your cooking. Anise seed can be used in whole or ground form to add an aromatic licorice flavor to recipes. Star anise is packed with protective antioxidants which neutralize damaging free radicals in the body.