Not A lot of people are aware that when they are offered the drug, Tamiflu (oseltamivir) for swine flu, chicken flu or seasonal influenza They can be using a product derived in the notably tasty, attractive spice, star anise.

Star anise (Illicium verum) can be a universally employed spice developed mainly in China, India plus the Philippines. It can be included in a wide array of ethnic dishes which is a ingredient of Chinese cooking’s five spice powder and Indian cuisine’s garam masala. It’s got an identical style to everyday anise and is frequently made use of as a substitute for that spice. However it is the star formed pericarps (seed pods), instead of the seeds them selves, that provides it equally its flavor and provides the shikimic acid the chemical compound Employed in the production of Tamiflu.

Shikimic acid

Shikimic acid itself does not have any regarded antiviral action. Having said that it does have a distinctive chemical structure that is utilised because the start line for a posh, multistage process that culminates within the production of Tamiflu.


Oseltamivir is recognized as a neuraminidase inhibitor that doesn’t truly destroy swine flu or other influenza viruses specifically. In its place it inhibits the internal unfold of such viruses by blocking a protein that facilitates the escape of replicating viral particles from human body cells. Although some virus strains have made resistance to this drug it is still very effective typically especially if it is taken early on inside the infective system.

International Lack?

Because of the rising swine flu pandemic There’s now a global scarcity of star anise. Nevertheless this is probably going to generally be A brief difficulty as shikimic acid can now be made by the fermentation of unique E. coli micro organism. One more less important plant source of shikimic acid may be the fruit in the liquidambar (sweetgum) tree. On the other hand the sweetgum fruit doesn’t have pretty high concentrations of this compound. Other spices that comprise shikimic acid, but are usually not utilised as commercial resources for the compound, are ginger and fennel.

Other health and fitness great things about star anise

While shikimic acid doesn’t have any direct antiviral outcomes, star anise contains a compound referred to as linalool that does certainly have antiviral activity. Like all spices, star Furthermore, it has potent antioxidant action. Particularly it protects versus the oxidation of fatty acids thereby helping to have the deposition of cholesterol deposits in the arterial partitions. Limonene is another critical phytonutrient present in star anise that demonstrates solid anticancer activity.

Star lifesaver

In star anise We have now Yet one more spice that, in addition to its improvement of our gustatory encounters, is generating a massive contribution towards the containment of yet another daily life threatening disorder.