Antiviral Activity of Star Anise

Antiviral Activity of Star Anise

When glyphosate is applied to weeds, it kills them by disrupting the shikimate pathway which is the plant’s viral and bacterial defense. It dies after a few days.

Human cells do not have shikimate pathway. However, our gut bacteria do. The good bacteria in the gut suffers and the imbalance occurring in the microbiome, which affects our immunity, our defense against viruses, bacteria and other pathogens, as well as our defense against oxidative stress, and cancer mutations. Remember our immunity starts in the gut. Again, let me reiterate that, our immunity starts in the gut. And “all disease begins in the gut”, as Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine well understood. He is also well quoted for saying, “Let thy food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” There’s a deeper scientific explanation we can delve into why it is so. Think and ask, why. That’s the key to finding answers.

And because of the controversial requirement of glyphosate use by the GMO crops, it makes us question if the system in place is meant to bring us health or lead us to be a more disease-stricken society.

Dr. Don Huber, Professor Emeritus, in Plant Pathology at the Purdue University said, “genetic engineering as we currently practice, it is really an infectious type of disease. In fact, Dr. Patrick Brown of the University of California said, it is much more like a virus infection than a breeding program.”

Wow, what a statement! A virus infection program. Somehow, we can hypothesize that the prevalence (total no. of people affected at a given time) of virus infections, its virality (ability to spread quickly) and virulence (deadliness) can somehow be attributed to glyphosate and GMO, and its effect to the shikimate pathway disruption in the human gut.

So, what can we do? The Creator gave us answers if we only look more deeply in nature. In the shikimate pathway, also known as the shikimic acid pathway, one important biochemical metabolite is the shikimic acid. It was first isolated in 1885 by Johan Fredrik Hyman, named after a Japanese flower, shikimi, the Japanese star anise.

Although known for its culinary significance, in centuries of old, it is not uncommon for the star anise to be hoarded and sold for a higher prize even worth more than gold when plague breaks out. In modern times, the shikimic acid from the Chinese star anise is used as a base for the production of Tamiflu (oseltamivir), an antiviral oral treatment for influenza A and B.


Ghosh, Christi and Banerjee in 2012 published the study of the production of the shikimic acid sourced from the seed of the Chinese star anise.

Patra and colleagues published the results of their study in January 29, 2020, Star Anise (Illicium verum): chemical compounds, antiviral properties, and clinical relevance. Besides the antiviral potential, they’ve also found a number of other potentials such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, anthelminthic, insecticidal, secretolytic, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, sedative properties, expectorant and spasmolytic, and estrogenic effects.


You know what I’m thinking, if it is that great, let’s put it into practice then. Absolutely!

This recipe is made by an amazing herbalist I personally know, Edris Clarke.

I named it Star Booster Shot.

You need:

5 Star Anise

10 Cloves

½ a slice of Lemon, juice

2-inch Ginger, grated

Cayenne as tolerated

1 ½ cup water


1. Boil the water.

2. Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the heat.

3. Then add the ginger. Add the cloves and star anise.

4. Steep in 10 minutes.

5. Strain and add the lemon juice and cayenne.


Let me quote Hippocrates again, “all disease begins in the gut”. “Let thy food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

Cheers to a healthy gut, a better immunity!

Myrtle Pettit is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist. She finished her Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Nutrition at Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA. Furthermore, her drive to combine theory and practice led her to Living Light Culinary Institute, Fort Bragg, CA, to be certified as a Raw Food Chef and Instructor. She also holds a Master Food Preserver from Cornell University. Myrtle offers one on one consultation, provides health lectures, seminars, and healthy cooking classes to promote a healthier lifestyle. She’s very supportive of her students’ journey to health in every stage.