Best Herbal Extracts

What is Shikimic Acid Used For?

Shikimic Acid

What is Shikimic Acid?

Shikimic acid, also known as camphoric acid, has the chemical formula C10H16O4. It typically appears as colorless crystals with a distinctive camphor odor. This compound is naturally found in various plants and was first isolated from star anise (Illicium verum). Shikimic acid is a precursor in the biosynthesis of many aromatic amino acids, making it an essential component in plant metabolism.

Industrially, camphoric acid is widely used in the synthesis of antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu. Tamiflu is known for treating and preventing influenza. Since star anise contains a high concentration of camphoric acid, it has become a crucial raw material for producing Tamiflu.

Classification of Shikimic Acid:

Shikimic acid is an organic acid that can be classified based on its source and usage:

Classification of Shikimic Acid

Fig 1. Classification of Shikimic Acid

What are the Benefits of Shikimic Acid?

Shikimic acid has various pharmacological effects, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antitumor activities, which hold potential applications in the treatment and prevention of many diseases.


Shikimic acid has antioxidant properties. It effectively scavenges free radicals, reducing oxidative stress damage to cells. This characteristic gives it potential protective effects against chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

Inhibition of Platelet Aggregation:

Studies have shown that camphoric acid can inhibit platelet aggregation, thereby reducing the risk of thrombosis. This effect is significant for preventing diseases related to blood clots, such as heart attacks and strokes.


Shikimic acid exhibits significant anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the production and release of inflammatory mediators. This makes it potentially useful in treating inflammation-related diseases such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Inhibition of Arterial and Venous Thrombosis and Cerebral Thrombosis:

Due to its ability to inhibit platelet aggregation and its anti-inflammatory effects, shikimic acid shows potential in preventing and treating arterial and venous thrombosis and cerebral thrombosis.


The anti-inflammatory properties of shikimic acid also lead to analgesic effects, relieving pain caused by inflammation. This makes camphoric acid valuable in the development of pain relief medications.

Antiviral Intermediate:

Shikimic acid is an important precursor in the synthesis of antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu, which inhibits viral replication and spread. This is particularly crucial in treating influenza.

Anticancer Drug Intermediate:

This herb extract plays a role as an intermediate in the synthesis of certain anticancer drugs. Research suggests that camphoric acid and its derivatives have the potential to inhibit cancer cell proliferation and promote apoptosis.

Benefits of Shikimic Acid

Fig 2. Benefits of Shikimic Acid

Applications of Shikimic Acid in Other Industries

As time progresses, the application fields of shikimic acid have gradually expanded beyond pharmaceuticals to include the food and cosmetic industries.

Applications in the Food Industry

Natural Preservative:

Shikimic acid possesses antibacterial and antiviral properties, making it a natural preservative that extends the shelf life of food. It can inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms in food, reducing the risk of spoilage.


Due to its antioxidant properties, shikimic acid can serve as an antioxidant in foods, effectively preventing fat oxidation and maintaining the freshness and flavor of food.

Functional Food Ingredient:

Shikimic acid can be added to health foods and beverages as a functional ingredient to enhance their antioxidant and immune-regulating functions. This application helps improve the health benefits of food, meeting consumer demand for healthy products.

Applications in the Cosmetic Industry

Antioxidant Skincare Products:

Due to its potent antioxidant properties, shikimic acid is widely used in anti-aging skincare products. It neutralizes free radicals, reduces oxidative stress on the skin, prevents skin aging, and improves skin elasticity and radiance.

Anti-inflammatory Repair Products:

The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb extract make it an effective component in skin repair products, relieving skin inflammation and redness. This is particularly important in sensitive skin care and post-sun repair products.

Whitening Products:

This herb extract has some efficacy in inhibiting melanin production, making it useful in whitening products. It helps reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation, resulting in more even and radiant skin.

Moisturizing Skincare Products:

This herb extract can enhance the skin’s moisturizing ability, improve skin barrier function, and maintain skin hydration balance. This application is common in products for dry skin.


With the advent of the era of great health, people’s demand for health products continues to increase. As a natural compound, shikimic acid is favored by consumers for its unique pharmacological effects and health functions. In addition, it has also been widely used in the food and cosmetics industries due to its multiple biological activities. With the increasing demand for natural and safe ingredients, the application prospects of camphoric acid in these industries are expected to be further broadened.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *