Botanical Name: Illicium verum Hook. f.

Family: Magnoliaceae, Illiciaceae

 

Star anise is the major source of the chemical compound shikimic acid, a primary precursor in the pharmaceutical synthesis of anti-influenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Shikimic acid is produced by most autotrophic organisms, and whilst it can be obtained in commercial quantities elsewhere, star anise remains the usual industrial source. In 2005, a temporary shortage of star anise was caused by its use in the production of Tamiflu. Later that year, a method for the production of shikimic acid using bacteria was discovered. Roche now derives some of the raw material it needs from fermentation by E. coli bacteria. The 2009 swine flu outbreak led to another series of shortages, as stocks of Tamiflu were built up around the world, sending prices soaring.

 

Star anise is grown in four provinces in China and harvested between March and May. It is also found in the south of New South Wales. The shikimic acid is extracted from the seeds in a 10-stage manufacturing process which takes a year.

 

In traditional Chinese medicine, star anise is considered a warm and moving herb, and used to assist in relieving cold-stagnation in the middle jiao.

 

Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum), a similar tree, is highly toxic and inedible; in Japan, it has instead been burned as incense. Cases of illness, including "serious neurological effects, such as seizures", reported after using star anise tea, may be a result of deliberate economically motivated adulteration with this species. Japanese star anise contains anisatin, which causes severe inflammation of the kidneys, urinary tract, and digestive organs. The toxicity of I. anisatum, also known as shikimi, is caused by its potent neurotoxins anisatin, neoanisatin, and pseudoanisatin, which are noncompetitive antagonists of GABA receptors.

 

Names in different Indian languages

 

English

Star Anise, Chinese Anise,

Aniseed Stars

Hindi

Anasphal

Kannada

Kankola

Malayalam

Takkolam, takkolaputtu

Sanskrit

Takkolam

Tamil

Takkola, Anasippo

Telugu

kuppi

Unani

Baadyaan Khataai

Folk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action & uses:

respiratory tract and peptic discomforts.

 

Chemical constituents:

trans-anethole,  feniculin , with estragole, beta-bisabolene, beta-farnesene, caryophyllene, nerolidol.

 

 

Descriptions on  Ayurveda books / Nighandu:

  

 

 

 

 

Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

01 September 2013

Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants/Herbs mainly using in Ayurveda with good quality pictures and information like therapeutic usage of Medicinal Plants, cultivation, morphology, habitat, flower characters, Chemical content, parts used, research works etc.

medicinal plants