LM Lenora, D Suresh Babu, J Senthil Kumar, N Senthil Kumar
Shikimic acid is a lead compound in the manufacture of the drug oseltamivir phosphate, commercially known as TamifluÂ®,
which is an oral antiviral used to treat influenza viruses, as a H5N1(avian influenza) and a H1N1(swine influenza). The major bottleneck in Tamiflu production is the availability of shikimic acid. The only source for the extraction of shikimic acid is fruits of Chinese star anise, Illicium verum
(Hook. f.). However, it takes almost six years after plantation to get fruits of star anise. Therefore, search of alternative source for shikimic acid is warranted. The water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes
(Mart.) Solms. (Pontederiaceae) is considered as one of the most productive plants on earth, and an aquatic weed, which causes serious environmental problems. In this study, E. crassipes
is considered as an alternative renewable source of shikimic acid since, n-hexane extract of leaves of E. crassipes
was found to have more shikimic acid content (3.25%) than that of star anise (1.77%), hence, it may be considered as an alternate renewable source of shikimic acid.
LM Lenora, D Suresh Babu, J Senthil Kumar, N Senthil Kumar. Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms. - An alternate renewable source for shikimic acid, a precursor for Tamiflu, a swine flu drug. J Pharmacogn Phytochem 2016;5(1):178-181.