ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Healthy Spices | Chinese Five Spice Powder

Updated on February 10, 2016
rajan jolly profile image

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Chinese Five Spice Powder
Chinese Five Spice Powder

About Five Spice Powder

Five spice powder is a mixture of five spices used mostly in Chinese cooking, and also in other Asian and Middle Eastern cooking.

Traditionally used to season Peking duck, the five spice powder provides 5 different flavors - sweet, salty, sour, bitter and pungent - to the food.

The name name five spice is symbolic rather than literal as the combination may include spices like nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, licorice, mandarin orange peel and cardamom.

It is an excellent marinade for beef, chicken, pork and sea food as well. It is one of the essential base seasonings for Chinese cooking.

Five spice powder can also be added to rice dishes and vegetable stir fried dishes to add sweetness, warmth and bite to the dishes.

Basic Recipe For Chinese Five Spice Powder

Here is a basic recipe for preparing your own five spice powder at home. All spices are to be taken in equal quantities.

  • 1 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp ground Fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground Star Anise
  • 1 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns

Mix well and store in an airtight container.

The homemade mix has a better flavour and is fresher and cheaper too.

Five spice powder is a good alternative to substitute and lessen the dependence on unhealthy common salt.

Health Benefits Of Five Spice Powder

The blend of different spices gives the five spice powder not only its unique flavour but several medicinal properties.

Some health benefits of the individual spices in the five spice powder mixture provide are enumerated below:


The cinnamon tree is native to Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan cinnamon is the real cinnamon while the cinnamon that is sold in the US is derived from the cinnamon like Cassia tree and is not the real one and therefore cheaper. Cinnamon has a sweet and biting flavour.

Cinnamon has anti bacterial properties and is especially useful in fighting stomach infections caused by H.pylori, the stomach causing pathogen.

Besides this, it regulates sugar and cholesterol level and balances hormonal levels in women. Read my article on the right of this to know more about the health benefits of cinnamon.


They are the unopened flower buds of an evergreen tree native to Indonesia. It is much used in Indian cooking and they give warmth to the body.

This very strongly flavoured spice with a numbing property contains Eugenol, a very powerful anti inflammatory. This chemical also provides cloves its sweet taste and aroma, anesthetic effect and antiseptic properties.

Cloves regulate blood sugar levels, reduce dental pain, counters indigestion and constipation and more.

Read my detailed health article on the health benefits of cloves in the link to the right.

Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are native to the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia. They are used in Indian spice mixes and Italian sausages and also used in breads, sauces, marinades and liquers. They are sweet in taste because of the presence of the chemical Anethole which is 13 times sweeter than sugar.

Fennel seeds have an antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties because of flavonoids like kaempferol, quercetin and rutin. Because of this, they provide protection against cancer, delay aging and age related degeneration disease.

The combination of dietary fiber and several vitamins and minerals help to relieve indigestion and alleviate anemia, regulate heart rate and blood pressure, and more.

Read more about these health benefits in detail in my article on the right.

Star Anise

Star anise is native to China and the Anethole component in it gives it the licorice like flavour. It is a dark brown, star shaped fruit that is widely used in Asian cooking. It is used in desserts and for flavouring liquers in the West.

It has strong anti viral properties and the quercetin and shikimic acid in them help to boost body immunity.

Star anise also has antiseptic, anti inflammatory and anti spasmodic properties that help in relieving abdominal pain, digestive issues and infections of the respiratory tract.

The drug Tamiflu is prepared from it.

Szechuan Peppercorns

Szechuan or Sichuan peppercorns are native to Sichuan province of China. Though not a pepper in terms of being derives from a pepper plant, are spicy. These are the red peppercorn like covering or outer peels of the berries of the prickly ash tree. They have anise like flavour with a slightly tangy taste but are less pungent than black peppercorns.

They have some unique essential oils, like B-myrcene, limonene, gerianol, linalool, cineol, citronella and dipentene, that give them their aromatic flavour.

Sichuan peppercorns have antiseptic, anti spasmodic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, stimulant and tonic properties.

They counter free radicals, are effective diuretics and because of the heating effect they provide, they raise the metabolic rate thus eliminating toxins through sweat.

Szechuan peppercorns also provide a numbing sensation to the mouth due to the presence of the chemical Hydroxy alpha sanshool.


The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

Five Spice Chicken

Five Spice Rice with Chicken | Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana

© 2016 Rajan Singh Jolly


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Peggy, is the comment box closed only on my articles or is this with all articles on Delishably? I am afraid I do not know the reason for this.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      I love the flavors imparted by using Chinese Five Spice Powder in dishes. It is a great flavor combination.

      By-the-way, it is now impossible to make comments on your articles that are on Delishably. Have you noticed that?

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @DDE, you're right spices are so mysterious with their awesome flavors. Thank you.

      @billybuc - thank you, Bill.

      @emge - thank you.

      @MsDora - thanks for stopping by.

      @Audrey - thanks for appreciating the hub. We use a variety of spices in our day to day cooking and I firmly believe they benefit one's health. And yes, I am keeping up with my singing though only to myself. Helps the mood. Thanks.

      @Vellur - we use all these spices in our daily cooking except probably the Sichuan pepper. If you cannot get it you can use black pepper instead. Thanks for reading.

      @swalia - thanks for appreciating.

      @GTF - spices as such are mostly strong because of the concentration of so many volatile oils in them and healthier for the very same reason. Reason enough to use it as much as possible, and of course, sparingly. Thanks.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      4 years ago

      I do love Chinese Five Spice Powder Rajan. It can be strong though and I remember accidentally using far too much of it on a recipe once. I won't do that again.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      4 years ago from India

      Your hubs are so full of interesting information. Very well-researched too!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 years ago from Dubai

      I use spices in my cooking, will try this one out. Thank you for sharing.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Thank you Rajan for another interesting and well-written hub. I'm really into spices these days and actually picked up some "Chinese Five Spice Powder" but haven't tried it yet.

      I appreciate how you always mention the nutritional value of foods in your articles. Stay healthy my friend and remember to sing each day. :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for the explanation on Five Spice Powder and the nutritional information of the spices. Good presentation as always!

    • emge profile image

      MG Singh emge 

      4 years ago from Singapore

      interesting and informative

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always an education, reading one of your hubs. Thank you as always and blessings to you and yours.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Five spices are intriguing. I have the spices except for the last one. That is what makes this spice special.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)