Today I went to a herb/spice store and bought some whole star anise. I can make some good tasting tea (or as recently established: infusion) from that, I thought. Never having used star anise before, I check the internet, what do I find? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to consume "teas" brewed from star anise. http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2003/NEW00941.html Spoiling all the fun Apparently there is a edible Chinese variety and a toxic Japanese variety which tend to get mixed up.. now all I've got to do is find a taxinomaly expert (how do you call plant experts!?) to tell me the difference..