Star anise, Flu and Tamiflu

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Star anise (Illicium verum Hook.f.) of Illiciaceae (star-shaped fruit tastes like anise or aniseed), Chinese name is 八角 (octagon: octagonal fruit) is a tree 6-10m high, can live up to 100 years or more. Star anise grows in northern Vietnam and southern China. It is considered a specialty of Lang Son (Viet Nam) and is grown popularly in almost all districts in the province. Star anise trees flower (traditionally called flowers, actually fruits) and can be harvested at the age of five, with an output of 20-40 kg/year in mature trees (30-40 years). There are 2 main harvests every year: crop (August-September) and wet season (November-February).
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lang son vietnam star anise
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Star anise is also used as…

The content of essential oils in star anise is quite high, fruit (8-9%), leaves (0.56-1.73%), in which the main ingredient is trans-anethole (85-90%). Trans-anethole is also the main ingredient in star anise, but the two plants are very different; While star anise is a woody, perennial, anise is a herbaceous plant, belonging to the family of Apiaceae. Small aniseeds like paddy seed contain anethole oil (3-12%). Due to its similar composition, in Oriental medicine, it is used as star anise. In the West, star anise is used as a flavor in some dishes and especially in some wines such as Anisette, Pastis, Sambuca. However, due to its low production, star anise oil is now also used in the manufacture of these drinks.
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Star anise is also used as medicin
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It should be noted that on the market it is necessary to distinguish the mountain anise (Illicium griffithii) due to the fact that it is used as star anise. The mountain anise contains essential oils but no anethol and the main ingredient is safrole. Mountain anise gives more berries, and essential oils have a hint of pepper. In addition, Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum) is very similar to Vietnamese-Chinese star anise; However, Japanese anisatin contains anisatin, which is toxic so it cannot be used as food.
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In addition to being used as a condiment, star anise is also used as medicine to help digestion, treat diarrhea, bloating, indigestion; Used topically to treat pain, rheumatism, sprains. Star anise oil is used to make liqueur as a pre-meal dessert. In addition, star anise pulp is also used to process insecticides of herbal origin.
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Star anise is used to prepare Tamiflu & anti-flu

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Especially today star anise is used to prepare Tamiflu anti-avian influenza because it has the main ingredient to make Tamiflu anti-avian influenza virus. However, when the drug Tamiflu was born (nearly 10 years ago), Gilead Corporation, California (USA), people used Quinkina (not anise) to use as the main ingredient. But when Roche Holding AG acquired the patent for Tamiflu, it replaced Quinkina with anise. But the star anise extract to get the substance used in Tamiflu drug production must undergo a very complicated process to produce shikimic acid, not like the original ingredient. In addition, in the future, Roche is planning to prepare this shikimic acid by fermentation in order not to depend too much on the anise that has been grown for a long time.
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Star anise is used to prepare Tamiflu anti-flu

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