Monday 28 November 2011

Medical & Healthy and Fitness: Star Anise As A Cure For Flu

Star Anise
Image from Wikipedia

In fact, I have completed this research long time ago, but there are so many interesting topics that I just have to give them the priority and have to put this one till now.

Recently, I attended student Suki's wedding banquet (Congratulations to Suki and Chiu by the way!) and somehow I must have caught a cold then. When I got home, I started sneezing and blowing my nose non-stop, at one point I couldn't even find time to take my breath. Because of this, I went into the kitchen, got 5 pieces of this miraculous seeds, crushed them, poured half a cup of boiling water into a flask with the seeds, soaked them for 5 minutes or so and drank all the water. I added another half of cup of hot water just in case. In 10 minutes' time, all my symptoms were gone, then after I woke up from sleep that night, I was back to 100%.
Star Anise tea with Cinnemon, lemon and honey
Image from colourbox

Why would I choose this seed? Because it contains Shikimic acid which is a primary ingredient in the anti-influenza medicine Tamiflu, the heroic drug that was used to combat Swine Flu in 2009.

Chinese Five Spice Powder
Image from tumblr

Star Anise, literally "eight-corners" or "eight horns" in Chinese, (Illicium verum, commonly called Star anise, star aniseed, or Chinese star anise) is a spice that has been widely used in many regions of South-East Asia, a key ingredient of the traditional Chinese Five Spice Powder, and is commonly used in Chinese cooking to make the sauce known as "Lou" in "Lou Mei", literally means "marinated dishes".

Lou Mei
Image from

According to Wikipedia's reliable sources,

Image from

"Star anise has been used in a tea as a remedy for rheumatism, and the seeds are sometimes chewed after meals to aid digestion. As a warm and moving herb, star anise is used to assist in relieving cold-stagnation in the middle jiao, according to Traditional Chinese medicine.

Modern pharmacology studies demonstrated that its crude extracts and active compounds possess wide pharmacological actions, especially in antimicrobial,antibacterial, [1] antioxidant, insecticidal, analgesic, sedative and convulsive activities."

So if you think you are coming down with a cold or a flu, do give this Star Anise water a try! Add some honey to balance the sour taste is a big tip from me! Adding cinnamon will increase the flavour!

rheumatism -- (n) [U] a medical condition that causes stiffness and pain in the joints (= places where two bones are connected) or muscles of the body
stagnation -- (n)[U] staying the same and not grow or develop
antimicrobial -- (adj) kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms[1] such as bacteriafungi, or protozoans.
antibacterial -- (adj) intended to kill or reduce the harmful effects of bacteria especially when used on the skin
antioxidant -- (n) [C] a substance which slows down the rate at which something decays because of oxidization (= combining with oxygen)
insecticidal -- (adj) of a chemical substance made and used for killing insects, especially those which eat plants
analgesic -- (n)[C] (adj) a type of drug which stops you from feeling pain
sedative -- (n)[C] a drug used to calm a person or animal or to make them sleep
convulsive -- (adj) describes sudden uncontrollable movements of the muscles in your body
come down with sth -- (phrasal verb) to start to suffer from an illness, especially one that is not serious

Anise Star @ Wikipedia

Shikimic Acid @ Wikipedia

Tamiflu  @ Wikipedia

Swine Flu @ Wikipedia

Lo Mei @ Wikipedia