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  • Writer's pictureMichele Spence

Tamiflu and it's Link to Star Anise

Star anise is a star-shaped fruit of an evergreen plant known scientifically as Illicium verum. Traditionally used as a spice and also as a healing herb, star anise appears to have medicinal properties that endow it with significant health benefits. Read on to learn more about this amazing plant.

Rich in Shikimic Acid

Star anise is the primary source of shikimic acid, a plant-based compound that is the precursor to oseltamivir, an antiviral medication that is marketed as Tamiflu, according to an article in a 2011 issue of “Alternative Medicine Studies.” Although shikimic acid also occurs naturally in ginkgo and sweetgum fruit, star anise has far greater concentrations. Italian researchers tested shikimic acid alone and in combination with quercetin, an antioxidant-rich plant-based nutrient, to see if they could bolster immune function to help fight off flu or other viral infections. Although shikimic acid on its own had little or no effect on immune function, its combination with quercetin, even at low doses, appeared to help ramp up immune function to better resist viral infection. Researchers published their findings in the April 2008 issue of “Journal of Medical Virology.”

Antifungal Properties

Candida albicans is a yeast -- a form of fungi -- that occurs naturally in the human mouth, throat, intestines and genitourinary tract. However, when your body’s delicate balance of microbes is disturbed or your immune system is somehow weakened, this yeast can grow unhindered and lead to serious infection, known as candidiasis. South Korean researchers found that extracts and essential oils of star anise exhibited strong antifungal properties when tested against Candida albicans. In the Dec. 10, 2010, issue of “Korean Journal of Medical Mycology,” they said their findings confirm that extracts from Illicium verum are promising candidates for use as antifungal agents.

Antibacterial Properties

The upsurge in bacterial infections that exhibit resistance to existing antibiotics has intensified the search for new agents that may prove more effective against these resistant strains of bacteria. Researchers in Taiwan tested four new antimicrobial compounds from star anise and found that they were effective against 67 strains of drug-resistant bacteria. Chronicling their study in the October 2010 issue of “Journal of Medicinal Food,” the researchers reported that their findings pave the way for the development of new antibiotic medicines from the star anise compounds they studied.

Antioxidant Properties

Antioxidants target free radicals – atoms or molecules with unpaired electrons – that can cause disease and cellular damage. Free radicals can damage cellular DNA and initiate carcinogenesis – the beginnings of cancer. You can’t really avoid free radicals, which are byproducts of your body’s metabolic processes, but you can neutralize them by eating a diet rich in antioxidants. Indian researchers conducted an animal study to determine whether star anise’s antioxidant properties helped protect lab rats from artificially induced liver cancer. In a 2007 issue of “Chemico-Biological Interactions,” researchers reported animals that were fed star anise after the induction of carcinogenesis exhibited significantly less evidence of cancer development than those that did not receive star anise.

You can use our tincture as an extract (that tastes like licorice) or as a tincture.

How to use the tincture

Our Star Anise tincture has been infused for over 6 months, making it a potent ally against colds and flu. As little as one teaspoon of the Star Anise tincture stirred into a glass of water or juice twice per day at the first signs of flu will boost your immune system. If you’re really sick, take it three times per day for two days only, no more. After the two days, reduce the amount of tincture to only ½ teaspoon twice per day for two days and you should be healed.

If you have children, the dose is 1/2 teaspoon in a glass of orange juice twice daily for the first two days then one dose a day for two days.

If you’re worried about the alcohol content, it’s a very small amount.

We highly suggest pairing the above with Quercetin drops orpills, which are available online or at most health food stores. Quercetin can also be found in Elderberries. If you choose to use an Elderberry syrup, mix one teaspoon of it with one teaspoon of the Star Anise tincture and swallow as you would any liquid cough medicine. Just remember to mix them one for one, no matter if you're dosing at a half or whole teaspoon rate.

While we believe in traditional medicine, there are times when you need to go to a doctor and seek medical treatment. We are in no way, offering any form of medical advice. If pregnant, speak to your doctor first, and always use caution when trying anything for the first time.

Star Anise tincture contains: Vodka, and Star Anise.

All of the products made at BCLF are tested on each other and used right here on the farm. Many of our products contain essential oils, which are natural but, still deserving of a bit of caution. We always recommend testing any product made at BCLF on a small area of skin first, most are external use only, excluding our culinary items. Check with your doctor before using any product containing essential oils, especially if pregnant, nursing or under a physician’s care. Keep all essential oil products away from children. ​ Use caution when consuming culinary or medicinal items as an allergic reaction may occur. Please be advised that food prepared here may contain the following ingredients: Milk, eggs, wheat, soybean, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.

Big Creek Lavender Farm is a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the NWF. We grow plants to help the pollinators thrive, provide water and brush cover for all critters that visit us on the farm.

#health #preservingherbs #herbs

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