from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to shikimic acid or its derivatives

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Noting an acid, a colorless, levo-rotatory, non-poisonous compound, C7H10O5, contained in the fruit of Illicium religiosum (Japanese shikimi). It crystallizes in fine needles, and melts at 184° C.


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  • (For example, most suppliers of shikimic acid, the base ingredient in the antiviral drug Tamiflu, are in China.) "You cut those off and you cripple the health care system," he said.

    Alex Pasternack: Swine Flu Is the Twitter of Viruses

  • However this is likely to be a temporary problem as shikimic acid can now be produced by the fermentation of specific E. coli bacteria.

    Doctor Star | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

  • However it is the star-shaped pericarps seed-pods, rather than the seeds themselves, that gives it both its flavor and provides the shikimic acid – the chemical compound used in the production of Tamiflu.

    Doctor Star | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

  • Although shikimic acid does not have any direct antiviral effects, star anise contains a compound called linalool that does indeed have antiviral activity.

    Doctor Star | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

  • Another less important plant source of shikimic acid is the fruit of the liquidambar sweetgum tree.

    Doctor Star | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

  • Other spices that contain shikimic acid, but are not used as commercial sources for the compound, are ginger and fennel.

    Doctor Star | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

  • By that reckoning, one ton of shikimic acid would be enough for 770,000 people.


  • It's an interesting article that explores other methods of producing the key ingredient, shikimic acid, as well.

    Archive 2005-11-01

  • According to a presentation at a conference last year by a Roche chemist, it takes 13 grams of star anise to make 1.3 grams of shikimic acid, which in turn can be made into 10 Tamiflu capsules - enough to treat one person.


  • But Mr. Hamied, a chemist, disputed that, saying one ton of shikimic acid would yield enough for only 300,000 people at most.

    Archive 2005-11-01


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