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Case reports of acute toxicity associated with star anise (Illicium verum) products have caused several countries, including the US, to pass warnings about or import restrictions on star anise products. These case reports generally involve infants given star anise tea as a treatment for colic. The toxic reaction is generally thought to be caused by adulteration of star anise with the fruit of the highly toxic congener shikimi (Illicium anisatum L.), also known as Japanese star anise, and possibly by other toxic species of Illicium as well. Shikimi contains the neurotoxic sesquiterpene lactones anisatin and neo-anisatin in concentrations that can induce gastrointestinal upset and epileptiform convulsions (Johanns et al. 2002; Matsumoto and Fukuda 1982; see Neurotoxicity).