Research

Bulbine frutescens, an African plant, expected to treat HIV naturally

A study, published in the Journal of Herbal Medicine, revealed that the stalked Bulbine or Bulbine frutescens possesses potent anti-HIV properties. In their study, researchers from the Bindura University Science Education and the University of Namibia tested the extracts of the plant against HIV. They stated that Bulbine plant could potentially be used as a natural treatment for HIV and AIDS.

Bulbine is an evergreen plant native to South Africa. It finds extensive use as a traditional medicine in wound healing.

For the study, the researchers derived extracts from the aerial parts, like the leaves and the branches, of the plant. Afterward, the extracts were tested for their ability to inhibit the enzymes contributing to the replication of HIV. Moreover, the antioxidant potential, physical, and chemical components of the extracts were also examined.

The results of the study showed that the extracts possess significant inhibitory activity against HIV-1 protease and reverse transcriptase. These enzymes cause the virus to replicate. Furthermore, the extracts also showed potent antioxidant properties. The researchers attributed these antioxidant properties to the presence of phenols, alkaloids, and flavonoids. Remember, the inhibitory effect of the extracts largely depend on the concentration applied to the area.

The researchers concluded that B. frutescens extracts are anti-HIV in nature. The potential use of the plant, as a traditional medicine in wound healing, is due to the high antioxidant activity demonstrated by the extracts.

Some other alternatives for treating HIV

The data from the World Health Organization reveals that at least 37 million people are living with HIV all across the world. Most importantly, Africa is the region where most of the cases are reported. There is currently no cure for the infection of HIV. However, many people opt for complementary medicines or natural alternatives to improve the condition or slow down the disease.

Here are some potential treatments for managing the symptoms of HIV.

Body Therapies

Acupuncture has been a popular choice for dealing with the symptoms of HIV. It is, in particular, very effective against pain and nausea during the condition. As a result, the treatment causes the body to release chemicals, relieving nausea.

In addition, yoga and massage therapy also reduce anxiety and depression, which is a common outcome of the situation. Studies often relate that it helps to boost the levels of the immune cells that HIV targets named the CD4 cells.

Meditation

Meditation or other relaxation therapies also help a lot in dealing with the stress during the infection. It helps to alleviate the anxiety of people, suffering from chronic disease.

Herbal medications or supplementation

Studies link milk thistle to boost immunity among the HIV infected individuals. Plus, selenium can also help to slow down the HIV’s progression. Both the methods work, offering minimum side effects. However, one should seek the advice of a healthcare professional before taking any kind of herbal medicines and supplements.

Medical marijuana

Medical marijuana improves appetite, sleep, and mood, as well as reduces neuropathic pain among HIV-positive patients.

Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan has studied bio-medical sciences and loves to contribute her research into the field of health through her writing. Her expertise includes product reviews and health news reporting but she enjoys writing research-based news, the most. Twitter- @MichelleKwan19

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