Bird Flu

鳥インフレンザ  Bird Flu


There has been increasing interest in Star Anise recently, as this herb is a raw material for manufacturing the antiviral medicine Tamiflu; Shikimic acid is extracted from anise, which undergoes a 17 step chemical process to transform it into Tamiflu (generic name: Oseltamivir).

In traditional Chinese Medicine, star anise is used for clearing mucus congestion from the respiratory tract, as a digestive aid to relieves gas and bloating, improve appetite, and assist with digestion. The oil has antispasmodic properties, and is used to stabilize and improve mood. (ITM online page on anise (cache)) It is not widely used for influenza in Chinese Medicine, but is used for flu in traditional Tibetan medicine. (article in China Daily (cache))

In 2003, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning on the use of anise teas after approximately 40 reports of adverse effects. According to the advisory, Chinese Star Anise was believed to be contaminated with Japanese Star Anise. The Japanese variety is visually identical, but can cause neurotoxicity. FDA Advisory on Star Anise (cache).

Although star anise could have some direct antiviral effects, these have not been proven. One cannot assume that because Tamiflu is made from star anise, that star anise has the same properties as Tamiflu - it does not. At this time, I would put star anise on the 'interesting' list, but don't have evidence that it would be effective in treating H5N1 avian flu or any other serious disease.

The Latin name for star anise is Illicium verum HOOK. f. (sometime referred to by the older name Anisum setellatum.) The spice is popular in the cuisine of China, Vietnam, and other Asian countries, and it is a dominant flavor in the famous Five Spice powder. For a good overview of the culinary aspects of star anise, follow this link to Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages (cache).

H5N1 Avian Flu Disclaimer Copyright


Apitherapy and the Bird Flu

Put an extract of this Anise in propolis extract for better protection.
Propolis and honey as inhalation for the upper respiratory tract.
Take much more fluids than usual with your meals and inbetween.



Daruma Museum, Japan


No comments: