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  1. So I was at RBG Kew yesterday for a seminar on authentication of herbs in TCM and an interesting thought? connection? possibility? occured to me. In doing herbal authentication work in China, the researchers found that Star Anise (Illicium verum) has several look alikes in the same genus that have volatile compounds that affect the CNS. Specifically, they are neurotoxins. Now, I know star anise has been used in some absinthes for a stronger anise flavor. Does anyone else think that maybe it's possible some of the neurological effects reportedly caused by absinthe may have been due to adulteration of the beverage by lookalike harmful herbs? I wish I could do a test to check, but at the moment, without a time machine I'm kind of out of luck. So... thoughts?
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