Chinese star anise (Illicium verum Hook) is widely used as culinary and medicinal fruit and is most popular in indigenous system of medicine. The fruit is an important source of essential and volatile oil. Tradionally the fruit has been used as carminative, digestive, dyspepsia, antispasmodic, and stimulant, antirheumatic and diuretic. Preclinical studies indicate the therapeutic potential of oil of I. verum fruit in the treatment of microbial diseases, as antifungal and antioxidant. This review presents a detailed compilation of the literature on phytochemistry, traditional and biologically evaluated medicinal uses of Illicium verum.