Reference Number: 449
Medicinal herbs are one of the imperative sources of drugs all over the world. Star anise (Illicium verum), an evergreen, medium-sized tree with star-shaped fruit, is an important herb with wide distribution throughout southwestern parts of the Asian continent. Besides its use as spice in culinary, star anise is one of the vital ingredients of the Chinese medicinal herbs and is widely known for its antiviral effects. It is also the source of the precursor molecule, shikimic acid, which is used in the manufacture of oseltamivir (Tamiflu®), an antiviral medication for influenza A and influenza B. Besides, several other molecules with numerous biological benefits including the antiviral effects have been reported from the same plant. Except the antiviral potential, star anise possesses a number of other potentials such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, anthelmintic, insecticidal, secretolytic, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, sedative properties, expectorant and spasmolytic, and estrogenic effects. This review aimed to integrate the information on the customary attributes of the plant star anise with a specific prominence on its antiviral properties and the phytochemical constituents along with its clinical aptness.
Significance of this study to the baker:
Star anise is the ripe, dried fruit of Illicium verum. It’s fruit is an important element as a spice in oriental cuisine. More recently in the west it is used in baking, liquor production and enhances the flavour of meat. Star anise is rich in flavonoids and is a major source of a neutral organic compound called shikimic acid, famous for its antiviral effects. So on top of boosting flavours and providing flavonoids, it may help modulate a healthy gut microbiota through its antimicrobial effects demonstrated in this recent review.
This is a reason star anise is a great ingredient to add into one of our botanical blends.