607436.fig.002
Figure 2: Biosynthesis and relationship of shikimic acid to “alternative aspirins” and “vanilloids”. The shikimic acid pathway is a key biosynthetic pathway for several phytochemicals known for their medicinal attributes. The Figure illustrates the biosynthesis of shikimic acid from pyruvic acid and erythrose and the relationship between the acid and its byproducts and intermediates, some of which possess aspirin-like effects, like analgesia and desickling of sickled RBCs. Such byproducts/intermediates include salicyclic acid derivatives, vanillin, piperine, capsaicin, and cubebin. Piperine, capsaicin, and cubebin as byproducts of shikimic acid are the likely antisickling agents Niprisan [14]. It is of note that Ouattara [15] had attributed the antisickling properties Fagara zanthoxyloides to divanilloylquinic acids.