Novel herbal cures for HIV reval­i­dated

“The ob­ject of all health ed­u­ca­tion is to change the con­duct of in­di­vid­ual men, women, and chil­dren by teach­ing them to care for their bod­ies well, and this in­struc­tion should be given through­out the en­tire pe­riod of their ed­u­ca­tional life.” — Char­lie H.

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NATURAL HEALTH - By Chuk­wuma Muanya, As­sis­tant Editor

TO­MOR­ROW, De­cem­ber 1, 2017, is World AIDS Day (WAD). A day set aside to raise aware­ness on Hu­man Im­muno-de­fi­ciency Virus (Hiv)/ac­quired Im­mune De­fi­ciency Syn­drome (AIDS) preven­tion, treat­ment and care. Anti Retro­vi­ral (ARV) drugs have been sci­en­tif­i­cally val­i­dated to be ef­fec­tive in treat­ment of HIV and pre­vent­ing new in­fec­tions. But the ben­e­fit comes at a great cost: liver and kid­ney dam­age, can­cer among oth­ers. How­ever, sev­eral stud­ies have iden­ti­fied and val­i­dated lo­cal plants/herbs that could be used to boost im­mu­nity, pre­vent and treat op­por­tunis­tic in­fec­tions in peo­ple liv­ing with HIV with­out un­pleas­ant side ef­fects. Ear­lier stud­ies had shown that a com­bi­na­tion of lo­cal herbs in­clud­ing bit­ter leaf, bit­ter kola, lemon, lemon grass, Moringa, Gar­donema mush­room and Neem tree could pro­vide the elu­sive cure for HIV that causes AIDS.

Neem and cit­rus fruits

In­dian Jour­nal of Tra­di­tional But a re­cent study pub­lished in Knowl­edge showed how leaf ex­tracts from neem tree Azadirachta in­dica/do­gon­yaro) ( stopped HIV in­fec­tion. The study is ti­tled “HIV-1 in­fec­tion in­hi­bi­tion by neem Azadirachta in­dica ( A. Juss.) leaf ex­tracts and Azadirachtin.” The re­searchers wrote: “… the ob­jec­tive of this study was to eval­u­ate HIV-1 in­fec­tion in­hi­bi­tion by neem leaf ex­tracts and neem com­pounds. Cy­to­tox­i­c­ity of aqueous and ethano­lic neem leaf ex­tracts and Azadirachtin and Li­monene com­pounds was eval­u­ated in CEM T-cells at con­cen­tra­tions of 1 ppm, 10 ppm (ex­tracts); 1 μm, 10 μm (com­pounds). Only the aqueous ex­tract con­cen­tra­tion of 1 ppm and Azadirachtin at 1 μm and 10 μm con­cen­tra­tions al­lowed a cell vi­a­bil­ity of 100 per cent com­pared with con­trols. Based on the re­sults of cy­to­tox­i­c­ity we pro­ceeded to eval­u­ate the HIV in­fec­tion in­hi­bi­tion with the aqueous ex­tract at con­cen­tra­tion of 1 ppm and Azadirachtin at both con­cen­tra­tions. In­hi­bi­tion per­cent­ages greater than 50 per cent were ob­tained and showed to be sig­nif­i­cant com­pared to con­trols. “This work ev­i­denced the HIV in­fec­tion in­hi­bi­tion by aqueous neem leaf ex­tracts and Azadirachtin; even though, the an­tiretro­vi­ral mech­a­nism is not com­pletely un­der­stood. Fur­ther­more, more stud­ies need to be con­ducted in or­der to iden­tify the ac­tive com­pound re­spon­si­ble for the anti HIV ac­tiv­ity de­scribed in the aqueous ex­tract.” D-li­monene is one of the most com­mon ter­penes in na­ture. It is a ma­jor con­stituent in sev­eral cit­rus oils (orange, lemon, mandarin, lime, and grape­fruit).


A study pub­lished in In­dian Jour­nal of Med­i­cal Sci­ences has demon­strated the ef­fects of al­ka­loidal ex­tract of Phyl­lan­thus niruri on HIV repli­ca­tion. Phyl­lan­thus niruri Com­monly called stone­breaker, also known as ‘Chanca piedra’ be­longs to the fam­ily Euphor­biaceae. Phyl­lan­thus niruri Phyl­lan­thus amarus, is sim­i­lar to which also be­longs to the same fam­ily. It is a wide­spread trop­i­cal plant com­monly found in coastal ar­eas that grows 40 to 70cm tall. enyik­wonwa ngwu In Nige­ria, it is called and in the Ibo, oy­omokeso amanke edem geeron-tsuntsaayee in Efik, (bird’s ehin olobe yin-olobe mil­let) in Hausa, and in Yoruba. The re­searchers from the Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Divi­sion, In­sti­tute of Chem­i­cal Tech­nol­ogy, Univer­sity of Mumbai, Matunga, Mumbai, Phyl­lan­thus niruri In­dia, noted: “has been found to ex­hibit marked in­hibitory ef­fect on hep­ati­tis B virus ev­i­dent by its ex­haus­tive util­ity in cases of chronic jaun­dice. How­ever, till date, re­search has not been fo­cused on iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and val­iPhyl­lan­thus niruri da­tion of ac­tive phar­ma­cophores of re­spon­si­ble for the re­ported in­hibitory ef­fect of its aqueous ex­tract on anti-hu­man im­mun­od­e­fi­ciency virus. The present in­ves­ti­ga­tion ex­am­ines the anti-hiv ef­fects of the al­ka­loidal ex­tract of Phyl­lan­thus niruri in hu­man cell lines. “The in­hibitory ef­fect on HIV repli­ca­tion was mon­i­tored in terms of in­hi­bi­tion of virus in­duced cy­topatho­genecity in MT-4 Phyl­lan­thus niruri cells. The al­ka­loidal ex­tract of showed sup­press­ing ac­tiv­ity on strains of HIV-1 cells cultured on MT-4 cell lines. The CC50 for the ex­tract was found to be 279.85μgml-1 whereas the EC50 was found to be 20.98μgml-1. In­ter­est­ingly the Se­lec­tiv­ity In­dex (SI) was found to be 13.34, which showed a clear se­lec­tive tox­i­c­ity of the ex­tract for the vi­ral cells. The Phyl­lan­thus niruri al­ka­loidal ex­tract of was thus found to ex­hibit sen­si­tive in­hibitory re­sponse on cy­to­pathic ef­fects in­duced by both the strains of hu­man im­mun­od­e­fi­ciency virus on hu­man MT-4 cells in the tested con­cen­tra­tions.” In­deed, Phyl­lan­thus niruri has po­ten­tial ben­e­fi­cial ther­a­peu­tic ac­tions in the man­age­ment of hep­ati­tis B, and its an­tivi­ral ac­tiv­ity ex­tends to HIV-1 RT in­hi­bi­tion. Qian-cutrone et al. isoPhyl­lan­thus niruri. lated from a dried leaf of A novel com­pound, which they named ‘niruri­side’, has a spe­cific in­hibitory ac­tiv­ity against the bind­ing of a reg­u­la­tor of ex­pres­sion of the virion (REV) pro­tein to Rev-re­sponse el­e­ment (RRE) RNA. The REVRRE reg­u­la­tory mech­a­nism plays a key role in the main­te­nance of high lev­els of vi­ral prop­a­ga­tion. There­fore, it can be fur­ther sug­gested that a par­tial block of REV func­tion of Phyl­lan­thus niruri may mod­u­late pro­gres­sion in Hiv-in­fected in­di­vid­u­als.

Plant com­pound ‘much more ef­fec­tive’ than tra­di­tional anti-hiv drug

Azi­dothymi­dine, the first drug that was ap­proved in the fight against AIDS in the 1980s, is still a main com­po­nent in the med­i­ca­tion mix com­monly pre­scribed to HIV pa­tients to­day. But new re­search may have found a plant-de­rived chem­i­cal com­pound that is much more ef­fec­tive than azi­dothymi­dine. Although there is yet no cure for HIV, an­tiretro­vi­ral ther­apy sig­nif­i­cantly slows down the pro­gres­sion of the virus. The first drug to have been ap­proved in the fight against AIDS is azi­dothymi­dine (AZT). AZT works by in­hibit­ing an en­zyme that the HIV virus needs to repli­cate in­side a host cell. This en­zyme is called re­verse tran­scrip­tase. Jour­nal of Nat­u­ral Prod­ucts, New re­search, pub­lished in the has found a plant com­pound that may be more ef­fec­tive at in­hibit­ing this en­zyme than AZT. The chem­i­cal com­pound is called “paten­ti­florin A” and is Jus­ti­cia gen­derived from a medic­i­nal plant found in East Asia: darussa. The dis­cov­ery is the re­sult of a re­search ef­fort ex­tend­ing over sev­eral years, car­ried out by an in­ter­na­tional team of sci­en­tists from the Univer­sity of Illi­nois at Chicago (UIC), the Hong Kong Bap­tist Univer­sity in Kowloon Tong, and the Viet­nam Acad­emy of Science and Tech­nol­ogy in Hanoi. Forthere­main­ing­partofthissto­ryvis­




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