How herbal therapies increase immune function in HIV/AIDS patients
Neem tree showing the leaves and twigs…extract showed ANTIRETROVIRAL activity
MORE studies are supporting the use of herbal therapies to boost CD4 count (a measure of the immune system function) in people living with Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Top on the list of local herbs that have shown great promise in boosting the immune system are neem tree (dogonyaro or Azadiratcha indica), and sweet basil or scent leaf (nchuanwu in Ibo and effirin in Yoruba).
According to a study published in Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the extract of neem showed antiretroviral activity and may help in the development of novel antiretroviral and anti-malarial drugs.
The study is titled: “An antimalarial extract from neem leaves is antiretroviral.”
The researchers evaluated an acetone–water neem leaf extract with anti-malarial activity in vitro at 5microgramme/milliliter (?g/ml) for inhibition of adhesion of malaria parasite-infected erythrocytes and cancer cells to endothelial cells, and at 10?g/ml for protection of lymphocytes against invasion by HIV.
The researchers wrote, “the extract was also evaluated in 10 patients with HIV/AIDS at 1000mg daily for 30 days. The mean binding of infected erythrocytes (red blood cells) and cancer cells per endothelial cell was 15 and 11 respectively in the absence of the extract, and zero and two respectively in with the extract. The endothelium is the thin layer of cells that lines the interior surface of blood vessels.
“ No adverse effects were observed during the study. The extract showed antiretroviral activity with a mechanism of action that may involve inhibition of cytoadhesion. The results may help in the development of novel antiretroviral and anti-malarial drugs.”.
The organization that carried out this research is called African Research Institute.