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Combating avian flu.

Chinese pharmaceutical companies believe the key to combating the avian flu may be in the star anise fruit, turning the crop into a hot commodity, but health officials advise against consuming the fruit to ward off the disease, reports The Washington Post, Dried star anise--or bajiao, as it is called in Mandarin Chinese--is a spice found in many Chinese kitchens, imparting a licorice-like taste to stewed meats. Chinese doctors have prescribed bajiao to treat colic in babies, as well as headaches, abdominal pain and intestinal distress in adults for as long as anyone can remember. When Tamiflu was invented nearly a decade ago by researchers at Gilead Sciences Inc. in California, they used quinic acid from the tropical cinchona tree. But when Roche Holding AG, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant, bought a license to make the drug, it substituted a form of star anise found in southwestern China.


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Title Annotation:star anise fruit
Author:Toops, Diane
Publication:Food Processing
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Feb 1, 2006
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