So what is the shikimate pathway, and why should we care? Let’s put it this way: if you want to encourage vibrant health, then this shikimate glycerite tincture will help you reach your goal.
We know that the body has an immune system, and that we need to keep it in tip-top shape. The problem oftentimes is how to go about doing that. It can get quite confusing! You see, not only do we want to keep our cells happy, but we want to keep our microbiome happy, too. (1)
Herbs are a fantastic option for many natural world-lovers, but how can we go one step further to potentize their potential benefits? Today, you will find out as we discover together the glycerite method of herbal preparations.
Benefits of Herbal Shikimate Glycerite Tincture
Also referred to as glycerol, glycerin is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol. This odorless, clear extraction is typically derived from soybeans, coconut or palm oils. (2) While it has no scent, it has a mild honey-like undertone which gives it an appealing taste.
But can you create your own? Well, probably not, actually. To extract glycerin, you first boil vegetable fats under intense pressure. This causes the glycerol back-bone to spit from the triglyceride molecules. And when the molecules combine with water, the two form a syrup-like substance. This process is called hydrolysis. (3)
So for your own Shikimate Glycerite Tincture, you should first obtain a quality product that went through USP Grade, solvent-free extraction. Really, this is crucial for the highest quality option. Though it is sweet like sugar, unlike sugar it will not lead to tooth decay. (4)
In addition, herbal botanicals extracted through glycerin – called glycerites – are advantageous because the glycerin preserves the botanicals alcohol-free. This option helps those who are sensitive or who may want to avoid potential toxicity. Also unlike alcohol, the glycerin leaves intact some of the sensitive plant fraction alkaloids and other constituents which would otherwise be damaged. As a bonus, this feature also makes glycerites child-friendly if they need to take medicine but you want to avoid alcohol or vinegar intake. And, of course, it tastes good, too!
Sometimes named shikimate, shikimic acid is a phytochemical compound in many organic plants that research shows are immune enhancing. We know that it has the ability to combat blood clotting – “inhibition of platelet aggregation, inhibition of vein thrombosis and cerebral thrombosis.” (5)
Beyond this, it also has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-tumor and anti-viral properties. (6) Shikimic acid acts as a central metabolite in the shikimate pathway responsible for the enzymatic regulation of phenolic metabolism, to form aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan – all responsible in our sense of taste and smell. (7)
Star Anise comes from the Chinese Evergreen tree (Illicium verum). The tiny seeds grow in these wonderful star-shaped pods. With a flavor similar to licorice, this spice is widely esteemed for its anti-viral effects in TCM medicine. In fact, did you know that the blockbuster drug, Tamiflu, uses Star anise as its source shikimic acid? And this is the main active ingredient for influenza prophylactic treatment. (8)
This spice also happens to be one of the richest natural sources of raw shikimic acid. Research shows it has up to 7% in the seed! (9) Star anise is chock full of flavonoids and polyphenols, which helps explain its anti-fungal, anti-mycotoxigenic, and antioxidant properties. All these benefits at applications of only 200ppm. That is some potent stuff! (10)
Scientists also demonstrated that it contains antibiotic properties that can work effectively against multiple drug-resistant pathogenic bacteria. (11) As the spice is becoming less accessible, scientists are investigating Norfolk Island Pine, native to Australia, as an alternative source for this potent compound. It contains over 5% of shikimate.
Shikimate Glycerite Tincture Recipe
Star Anise seed (crushed) – 60g
(Edible) Pine Needles (chopped) – 25g
Fennel seed (crushed) – 10g
Optional: Lobelia leaf (added for optimizing formula) – 5g
Organic USP-Grade Vegetable Glycerin – 420ml
RO/Distilled Water – 280ml
Amber Mason Jar – 32 oz
Slow Cook Crock Pot / Instant Pot
- Get organic bulk herbs and Veg. Glycerin from botanical dispensary (examples below)
- Get Mason jar, Nut milk bag/organic flannel or cheesecloth, tinted glass tinctures and Ceramic Crockpot/Slow cooker
- Prep Minstrum solution by combining 60% Glycerin with 40% distilled/RO water for dry root/leaf extracts. Fresh herbs will require more glycerin.
- Combine in Mason jar dry root/herb to minstrum at a ratio of 1:2. Mix well.
- Place in crockpot water bath or Instant Pot. For tough root use medium-high mode for overnight, for light leaves use warm mode for overnight or several hours.
- Remove and place contents in nut milk bag and strain out extract
- Place extract in glass jar or tinctures for medicine. Will last up to a year unopened. Best to place in fridge after opening.
I made my own immune flu formula with several herbal needles and seeds known to target the immune system. Be creative and make your own! It’s fun, and saves you tons of money!