By Gary Null

Penthouse Feb. 1994

The words death sentence usually makes us think of criminals awaiting execution. But in the past decade, a sad thing happened on the way to the doctor's office. We began handing down death sentences to an innocent group of people who live among us - those who test positive for the HIV virus.

The medical and scientific communities, aided and abetted by the mainstream media, have declared that people with HIV antibody are a step away from developing AIDS (defined as the presence of HIV along with any one of the 26 established diseases). That's the sentence of death. Once a person is diagnosed with AIDS, the medical establishment - and most of the public at large - believes he or she will die. There's nothing left to do for the dying but hand out prescriptions for such toxic drugs as AZT, ddI, or DDC.

But for years, in defiance of this narrow view of the epidemic called AIDS, another story is quietly being written. People diagnosed with AIDS are challenging the mortality statistics and leading healthy lives by choosing alternative approaches to treatment. Their reprieve from their death sentence has come from radical changes in their behaviour and diet, as well as through innovative medical treatments.

The question is, why haven't these stories made the front pages of our newspapers? The media is only too happy to give credibility to the highly toxic drugs used to treat AIDS, but they become strangely silent when presented with clinical evidence that many of the diseases grouped under the AIDS umbrella can be managed - and even reversed - with natural therapies.

A typical example: Last year there was greatly fanfare when two Harvard University researchers reported that a "cocktail" combining AZT, ddI, and DDC could halt the AIDS virus. Though the researchers' results had occurred only in test tubes - the treatment later proved to be ineffective in further research - the media presented the cocktail as a major breakthrough.

But there have been major, real life breakthroughs - as you'll see when you read, in their own words, the experiences of patients who have successfully fought back against their diseases. Why, when live human beings have something to say about their own experience with AIDS, does the national press ignore the story?

These people represent the vanguard of a new movement in HIV and AIDS therapy, and their health-activist approach is backed by good scientific data of the substances used in natural protocols. So why, than, aren't scientists examining these patients more closely? Why aren't we spending more money to research such protocols?

These simple questions seem to demand equally direct answers. But the fact that they must be asked at all is a result of factors that date back more than a century, to the 1880s, when debates over some key health-care issues were raging in the scientific community. According to Dr. Dean Black, an author, lecturer, and consultant on natural health, the results of those debates gave us the prototype of today's modern medical establishment - the establishment that has locked out the reality of these patients' lives.

The first debate was over whether or not ordinary citizens had the ability to discover what's true and make informed choices for themselves. Of course, the American Revolution and the very basis of our nation was rooted in this "self-evident" truth. But, Dr. Black points out, a Supreme Court case in the late 1880s stated that real certainty exists only within the realm of exact science. "[Therefore, some may argue] that ordinary people do not have the capacity to discern the truth. Only scientists do," he explains.

The second major battle involved disease. Essentially, the question was, Are germs the sole cause of a disease, or is the condition of a patient's own body also responsible? "The debate was resolved in favour of the idea that the germ is the only cause of disease," Dr. Black says. As a result, today's established medical thinking now holds that "the cause of disease are outside of us and cannot be defeated by the human body. These causes are an all-encompassing threat, and if something is not done to stop them, we will die."

Finally, the third debate involved the nature of what exactly constitutes a cure. The medical community decided that the only way to identify a cure for any given disease was to have an absolute, unbiased knowledge of the treatment itself - unaffected by the mental or physical state of the patient. Hence, the double-blind study was developed, in which none of the participants (doctors or patients) know who receives a drug and who receives a placebo. As Dr. Black points out, "What you have is a pure cause [the germ] and a cure [the drug]. Everything else, including the human mid and desire to live, has been absolutely neutralized and made irrelevant."

So where does that leave us today? Do we still believe that ordinary people cannot discern the truth? Do we believe that germs are the sole cause of disease and that the individual's own state of health and lifestyle have no effect? And, most important, do we believe that only those drugs that pass double-blind studies can cure diseases?

According to Dr. Black, "Anybody with rational thinking has got to say, 'Wait a minute. I don't believe that ordinary people cannot choose or that outside powers will always defeat us, regardless of the strength we build within ourselves. I don't believe that only drugs can cure and that everything else must be made totally irrelevant.'

"We now know that people do have the capacity to discern," Black continues. "We have seen this with [AIDS] patients. We know that germs are not the only cause of disease. The HIV virus is not a death warrant that causes everyone to have AIDS, and we know that drugs are not the only cure. In fact, drugs substitute for body organs, taking the place of something the body ordinarily would do for itself. When we replace a body system - as antibiotics or chemotherapy replace the immune system - that system begins to die. So the long-term consequence of taking a drug is that the body will produce the very condition the drug was supposed to overcome."

Clearly, our established medical thinking needs to be reconsidered, especially when it makes outcasts of treatment that are less toxic and more effective for many patients. The voices of HIV and AIDS patients who have reversed their health status with natural substances must be heard. Research money must be directed to such therapies, and our society must stop believing that a diagnosis of HIV or AIDS is a death sentence.


Here, four AIDS patients who are thriving today - despite being diagnosed with late-stage AIDS - describe the therapies they used. As you read their stories, keep in mind that these four are not exceptions. I have interviewed hundreds of patients who reversed the immune system's decline and halted the disease process with natural therapies. It's worth noting that these four patients either never used such toxic drugs as AZT, or stopped using them when their health deteriorated. Had they not made that choice, it's likely they would have died.

Chuck DeMarco participated in a hyperthermia treatment program at the University of Rome in 1991. He is now in complete remission.

"I was diagnosed with HIV in 1988, and slowly became sick. In the mid-1989 I collapsed at work and was taken to the hospital, where I was found to have high titers for cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus and the beginnings of other infections, such as Kaposi's sarcoma lesions in my throat and my legs, and herpes on my lungs. That summer I developed a cough and eventually was coughing up blood. I lost more than 30 pounds and became weaker and weaker until I had absolutely no energy left.

"Even so, I decided not to take antiretroviral drugs. Many of my friends who took these drugs got well for only a short period of time and then got sick again and died. I didn't want to put more poison into my body. I also believed that AIDS was a very personal disease that affected each person differently, so I decided to look at more holistic approaches. Several of the therapies I tried however, did not show any promise for me.

"I discussed various options with my radiation therapist, and he told me of a doctor in Atlanta who used a treatment called total-body hyperthermia on a patient who had been given about six weeks to live. The patient had extreme Kaposi's sarcoma lesions - both internally and externally - and was so weak he could no longer defecate. He was the first person to undergo this treatment for AIDS, and [as of July 1993] he has been in complete remission for 44 months.

"I researched the topic and found that hyperthermia has been used around the world for 4,500 years, but only one or two people had used it to treat HIV or AIDS. I also learned that a few people had died from the procedure, but all who used it were end-stage patients, meaning the medical community had given them less than 12 months - and, in some cases, only weeks - to live.

"I met with the Atlanta doctor, who told me that a hospital at the University of Rome planned to test hyperthermia on a trial basis. After a month long battery of tests, I left for Rome in March 1991. There I underwent a procedure called extra-corporeal low-flow hyperthermia, in which my blood was removed from my body and heated to 108 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot blood was then returned to my body, where it would raise my core temperature known to damage and kill the HIV virus - for just over an hour.

"During the procedure I was under a general anesthesia and attached to a heart monitor. The blood temperature is raised to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit to kill the active virus there, but the brain and other organs also are monitored to ensure that the whole body temperature reaches 108 degrees. Research shows that 90 percent of viruses are in the cells and lymphatic system. So by bringing the core temperature up, they get more of the virus, but still not all.

"When the treatment ended, the first thing I noticed was that the terrible cough I'd had for the three previous years completely disappeared. I had so much energy that I was up and walking around Rome that afternoon. I spent ten days vacationing in Italy.

"When I returned to the States, my Kaposi's sarcoma lesions began to clear and eventually went away completely. I also gained weight and had an enormous amount of energy.

"Recently, my PCR [the DNA of the virus] was tested, which is the final test of whether or not any HIV viral activity exists. The test did come back positive, but I am completely culture-negative. I asked the National Institutes of Health about this, and they were astounded that I became totally culture-negative and remain so today. The antibodies are the only thing I continue to test positive for, and I probably will do so for several more years [the antibodies are a protective marker].

"Now I am trying to bring this treatment back to the United States and make it available to patients here. Of 56 patients who have used hyperthermia, 42 are alive and enjoying a good standard of life. But I have noticed a difference between people who combine the therapy with positive lifestyle changes and those who do not. One patient who underwent the therapy two years ago, for example, says it did not help him, because his T-cell count has dropped by 20 or 30 points. But I know that he completely stabilized until he returned to an unhealthy lifestyle."

Stanley Rebultan has used bitter melon to reverse his declining immune functions. Today his immune markers are the normal range.

"I was diagnosed HIV-positive in late 1987. My first tests showed a T-cell count of 658, with a percentage of 35 percent and a ratio of 1:21. I was devastated by the news, but did not do anything about it for a year. Then I went back for another T-cell count and saw that the markers of my state of heath were dropping drastically. My T-cell count was 480, my percentage was 30 percent, and my ratio was 0:91.

"At this point I was alarmed, because I was more aware of the seriousness of my condition. I asked my doctor to prescribe AZT - then a newly approved antiviral drug and the hottest news - to keep me from deteriorating further. But he said he didn't know much about AZT and recommended that I postpone the treatment for about six months. I continued without any drugs.

"During that six-month period, I stumbled on the idea of using bitter melon as a treatment. While visiting my family, a friend who had just returned from the Philippines mentioned that bitter melon was being used there as a therapy for leukemia. I thought, If it works for leukemia, then it should be tried for HIV. After all, both are diseases of the blood. So I started to experiment with bitter melon, drinking juice extracted from the fruit and leaves.

"Since then the results of my tests have been amazing. A year after starting the therapy, my T-cell count came up to 670, with a percentage of 36 and a ratio of 1:18. Four years after the discovery of my HIV infection, I showed a T-cell count of 1,060 (an increase of 120 percent), with a percentage of 46 and a ratio of 1:54, which is in the normal range. My CD-8 ratio increased by 68 percent, while my CD-4 percentage increased by 77 percent.

"My most recent blood tests show a viral count substantially lower than before I began using bitter melon. In fact, my blood levels are now completely normal. As a result, I am able to work full-time. I have a lot of energy, and I never get sick, even though I lead a stressful life. I am considered a very healthy normal person.

"Bitter melon is the only therapy I've used since receiving my diagnosis. Based on my experience, I believe it to be a gradual immune-system builder. I have shared this knowledge with the HIV community, and a lot of people are now using bitter melon.

"I was privileged to participate in a panel at the national AIDS conference. I would like the government or independent AIDS researchers to study the use of bitter melon. Unfortunately, the alternative therapies are not getting sufficient attention from most people. I have lost so many friends, and I hope we will more attention to such therapies. We've got to help the people who are sick and infected out there. We've got to save lives."

Len Browning has used a variety of immune-enhancing therapies in the past few years. His T-cell count has more than doubled.

"I left the United States in the summer of 1981 to take a job in Germany. I developed some serious health problems, including food poisoning, recurring bouts of hepatitis, and a liver condition caused to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Shortly thereafter I learned that I was HIV-positive, but that didn't bother me as much as the liver problems and the effects of Agent Orange. I figured I would just deal with HIV and AIDS as it occurred. Basically that's what I did.

"By July of 1985, however, I was bedridden and deathly ill. I didn't feel that I was getting proper care, so I came back to the States. I still believed I was going to beat HIV one way or another. I have always had that attitude. I believed I was in control and that AIDS was just this stupid little virus that I would not let control my body. I don't mean to imply that it has been easy. On the contrary, it's been very difficult.

"At first I found doctors in the Washington, DC., area, including some at [the National Institutes of Health], and I thought they would be some of the best doctors in the country working with AIDS. But my experience proved otherwise. My therapy consisted of taking 22 pills a day, including AZT. I turned into a zombie and lost all sense of time. I was gravely ill and severely depressed. My liver was no longer functioning, and I was as yellow as a dandelion.

"Finally, I was given three months to live - my doctors even put that in writing. I had a long chat with my family and bought my cemetery lot and tombstone. My funeral was paid for. One day in May 1991, I woke up convinced that I would die within 24 hours. Then I thought, No, this is crazy. I literally crawled from my bedroom to the bathroom. I grabbed every pill I had-probably about $2,000 worth of medication -- and dumped them in the toilet and flushed it. I have never taken a pill since that day.

"I started doing a lot of research, talking to doctors and other people. I came across Dr. [Laurence E.] Badgley's book, Healing AIDS Naturally, which was a big help to me. I got involved in support groups and started trying out some therapies. I feel comfortable with, and I am continuing to use the ones I believe are strengthening my immune system.

"I now have a very strict nutritional regimen. Basically, if I don't make it, I don't eat it. I don't eat any cooked foods. Having AIDS, I believe I needed to make some drastic changes in my diet, so I eat only live foods. As soon as heat makes contact with food, it destroys some of the enzymes. My body needs those enzymes to fight the virus and build up the immune system. I also make cheeses from nuts, do a lot of juicing, and drink wheat-grass juice.

"I have also discovered that the internal cleansing - colonics and enemas - are very important. It's common sense that you have to cleanse the colon, since that's where viruses harbour and disease start. I am convinced that you have to flush out the colon. I've really gotten into exercise, too. I have become very athletic recently, joining a gym and working out for two hours at least three mornings a week. As a result, I have a lot of energy.

"I do a variety of other things as well. I meditate and do positive visualization. I'm very big on baroque music, which I play over and over, because I believe it is good for the immune system. You have to keep a strong attitude and know that you're going to beat this. Again, it's just a stupid little virus. I am a firm believer in P.N.I. [psychoneuroimmunology]. I feel there should be a lot of research on the topic, as the mind can control everything going on in the body.

"I think it is key for people to get off the medications. Drugs are killing people. I have no medical background, but I've had enough health problems in the past 12 years to know what I'm talking about. I personally feel that the virus is harmless and that it is the medications that are killing people.

"All of my friends who were on AZT and ddI are dead. I am so tired of the wakes and funeral services that I don't go to them anymore. I talked to these people until I was blue in the face. I begged them to try wheat-grass and watermelon juice. I asked them to just try anything. I offered to take them into my home and work with them, but they were brainwashed by the medical profession to be afraid of anything different. I can understand, because I was afraid, too. But I was dying, and I thought, I don't want this. I will cure myself this way. And I'm doing it.

"I have talked to physicians around the world who are involved in AIDS research. My message to them is that pills will never cure AIDS or HIV and that there are a lot of alternatives. I believe you have to look at the whole individual and get back to basics - like mother earth, fresh air, and sunshine."

Vernon Bryan has improved his health with holistic therapies and a healthy environment.

"In 1988 I started to feel very tired during the course of the day. One day I went home early and felt the need to lie down. Before I knew it, it was seven o'clock the next morning. Whole parts of the day started to disappear, and I was getting little lesion on my skin. I was found to be HIV-positive with Kaposi's sarcoma.

"I went to a holistic physician who decided that most of my problems were in my head. He also felt that a problem with my diet was causing the lesions. Then I went to another physician, who found that my adrenals were partically nonfunctional. He wondered how I had managed to stay alive over the past months and put me on a bovine-adrenals extract and an intravenous vitamin C drip, which started to help me feel better.

"I planned to take a vacation in Australia and New Zealand in early 1989, but I wondered if I was going to make it, because I was still feeling tired and having outbreak when I did not feel well. Something told me to go ahead with the trip, which I did. My first impression of Australia was that things were much nicer. The air was cleaner and the food better, with health-food stores everywhere and most restaurants serving vegetarian food. The people were nice, and the environment was peaceful. I felt at home and decided to live in Australia.

"I started seeing a holistic doctor in Sydney who was very helpful. His first concern was to see me get well. He started me on intravenous vitamin C and various supplements, including vitamin C powder and vitamin E. I was able to get L-tryptophan again. It was wonderful to be in an environment where you don't have to look over your shoulder and wonder if this or that will be taken away. I was in a foreign country and feeling more support from strangers - medical doctors and individuals - than I felt at home, where certain family members said, 'Don't tell people you're doing this or that because they'll think you're strange.' The Australian doctors are very open, and they're more interested in helping you than in how much you can pay.

"The turning point for me, however, was colonic cleansing, which I had not heard of before. Within a week I began to feel a real cleansing of my system and a deeper sense of energy than I had ever felt before. My T-cells started to go up, and I felt very robust - a feeling I had never experienced before because I was always tired, even as a child. When others were running and jumping, I would tire out quickly. Now, for the first time, I was feeling much more alive and full of energy.

"I have since moved to New Zealand and continue my detoxification program. I have been able to get chelation therapy with my insurance, and I've continued with the colonics, which I feel really boost my immune system. I also get vitamin C every day and eat a lot of watermelon in season. I find it's wonderful for cleaning the system. I had never thought of becoming a vegetarian, but once I cut down on dairy and eliminated meat and sugar from my diet, my body started to feel a lot better on its own. No one had to tell me. I am also taking lecithin, homeopathic remedies, and an oxygen supplement made in New Zealand. You add drops of it to water and drink it.

"It has been a matter of trying therapies and seeing what works. My T-cells have gone from 150 to more than 600. The doctors are amazed by how much I have improved, even though they believe in the holistic method. My skin and body metabolism have improved, and I feel better all around. It helped that I was happy in my new environment, but the treatments also helped me to feel a lot better. I recently told a friend that I was fortysomething, and he didn't believe me. He thought I was in my twenties."


It's important to remember that these patients represent many others who have turned their health around with the use of adjunctive therapies. Such patients should be studied closely to identify what they all have in common - despite the fact that they might subscribe to different therapies.

First and foremost, it's clear that these four patients - and others like them - focus on rebuilding the beleaguered immune system with natural substances. They make positive and sometimes radical changes to their diets - eliminating meat, dairy products, sugar, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and the like. And they replace these poor quality products with healthy foods so often lacking in the American diet, including fresh fruits and vegetables.

Beyond that, the patients supplement their new diets with various vitamins, minerals, herbs, and homeopathic remedies to enhance immune system functioning. They also embark on body-cleansing programs that may include colonics, coffee enemas, saunas, and juices containing wheat grass, fruits, and vegetables. Finally, many begin exercising regularly to increase their strength and energy, and using positive affirmation techniques to develop a more constructive mental outlook.

Now that many AIDS patients have used these therapies, experience shows that those who do the most to enhance their health - and in the greatest number of combinations - get the best results. And their blood tests show that the more they do to rebuild the immune system, the better they can eliminate or control the cofactors that many scientists now consider to be at the root of the disease we call AIDS. These cofactors include hepatitis, syphilis, herpes, chronic fatigue syndrome, candida overgrowth, cytomegalovirus, mycoplasma, and multiple nutritional deficiencies.

Ultimately, it is these cofactors that weaken the body's defences and make it susceptible to the diseases that kill AIDS patients. Yet AZT, DDC, and ddI - the drugs now entrenched in our mainstream treatment of AIDS - not only fail to rid the body of the HIV virus, but also do nothing to control the cofactors. The opposite is true of natural substances that help to boost the immune system such as intravenous vitamin C, glutathione and N-acetylcysteine (a precursor to glutathione), licorice extract, Astragalus, citrus seed extracts, vitamins A and E, the B-complex vitamins, and the minerals zinc and selenium.

After using these substances for a relatively short period of time, patients find that their health returns, proving that the presence of HIV itself is meaningless. AIDS patients with a low T-cell count - say, 100 or so - can die quickly if they contract a normal infection. But those who take nutritional protocols have the ammunition to knock out that same infection. Their T-cell count may still be low, but they are otherwise completely healthy.


Dozens of nutrients and herbs have proven effective in enhancing immune function. Most are nontoxic or only minimally toxic, which makes them safe alternatives to standard AIDS drugs. Here are some brief summaries of how a few of these substances work. For more detailed information, call 1-900-772-2223.

Astragalus (Astragalus membraceus): This plant has been used by the Chinees for centuries for its potent immune-building properties. Astragalus can help correct a T-cell deficiency, promote antiviral activity, and normalize the immune function in AIDS and cancer patients.

At the Institute for Traditional Medicine in Portland, Oregon, 20 people participated in a treatment program that included Astragalus. Most of the symptoms of ARC (AIDS-related complex) disappeared in the patients, and they significantly reduced their use of antibiotics. One group of researchers concluded, "American scientists and doctors would do well to consider natural products like Astragalus - which has no known toxicity of its own - for reducing the toxicity of chemotherapy and other pharmaceutical agents."

Citrus-seed extracts: Seed extracts from oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits function as nontoxic antibiotics. Jacob Harrish, an immunologist and Nobel laureate, discovered that the seeds have tremendous antimicrobial properties. They can fight off many types of invaders due to their antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal qualities. So if the exact invader is not known, these extracts may be particularly useful.

Citrus seeds also combat giardiasis, trichomoniasis, and other bacterial and protozoal infections. This is an important property, since one AIDS theory holds that protozoal infections initiate HIV and other AIDS-related viruses. Indeed, Dr. Alan Sacks, a chiropractor in Woodstock, New York, reports that the high rate of AIDS symptoms among homosexuals may be related, in part, to a greater incidence of protozoal infections caused by certain sexual practices. He explains, "We find that the citrus-seed extract is extremely effective in countering fresh new cases of protozoal infections caused by certain sexual practices. He explains, "We find that the citrus-seed extract is extremely effective in countering fresh new cases of protozoal infestations."

Vitamin C (ascrobic acid): In a study of vitamin C at the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine, this nutrient inhibited the replication of HIV and other viruses often found in HIV patients. Dr. Robert Cathcart, an expert in the use of vitamin C, uses massive doses of buffered ascorbate (50 to 200 grams in 24 hours) with AIDS patients, along with other treatments for secondary infections. Patients should experience a prolonged clinical remission with continuing treatment, he says. In fact, dr. Cathcart reports that ascorbic acid can double the life expectancy of AIDS patients. A topical vitamin C paste can also be used for herpes simplex and Kaposi's sarcoma.

By stimulating the immune system, vitamin C not only defends against viral invaders, but also helps protect against the development of abnormal cells that may be caused by toxic or carcinogenic pollutants in our environment. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at 46 epidemiological studies on vitamin C and found that 33 showed a significant link between the rate of cancer and the level of vitamin C intake. Vitamin C was most protective against cancers of the esophagus, larynx, oral cavity, stomach, rectum, breast, and cervix.

Physicians often recommend a form of vitamin C called Ester-C Polyascorbate - which is easily absorbed - for people with chronic diseases. Combining vitamin C with bioflavonoids also helps absorption and builds the immunity. Also, remember that vitamin C and E taken together can form a powerful anti-oxidant partnership.

Glutathione: Many physicians now include intravenous doses of this enzyme in their HIV and AIDS protocols. Glutathione helps to combat free radicals and prevent the cellular damage and disease these molecules can cause. Dr. Joan Priestly has her patients take daily doses of N-acetyl-cysteine (N.A.C.), a precursor to glutathione that becomes the enzyme in the body. "Glutathione is a wonderful substance," she says. "It deserves all of the attention that our government and the [National Institutes of Health] are giving it right now."

People who are HIV-positive but symptom-free may have a glutathione deficiency, according to a study of in vitro cultures of HIV-infected cells by David H. Baker, PhD. Dr. Baker's work suggests that glutathione, vitamin C, and other anti-oxidants may be needed to control HIV activity. Nutrients that can help correct a glutathione deficit include N.A.C., selenium, and vitamin C. Selenium is the "cofactor" mineral of glutathione - without this trace mineral, the enzyme cannot function efficiently as an anti-oxidant. And according to Dr. Christopher Calpai, when glutathione is combined with vitamin C in an intravenous protocol, a patient's comfort, attitude, and well-being may improve significantly.

Compound Q (Trichosanthes kirilowii): This compound may reduce HIV activity, as reported in AIDS Treatment News and Time magazine. The formula consists of the purified extract of Chinese cucumber, a herb used in Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years. The extract was developed by Genelabs in Redwood City, California, with the help from the University of California at San Francisco and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. It appears that Compound Q's protein extracts kill HIV-infected T-cells but leave healthy cells unharmed. Studies show that the extracts stymie HIV replication in infected T-cells and kill HIV-infected macrophages in cell cultures. It should be noted, however that some side effects may occur with the purified protein that are not caused by the herb itself.

DASM (dehydroandrographolide succinic acid monoester): DASM has been shown to block HIV in vitro. The compound comes from another Chinese herb, Andrographis paniculata, which Chinese doctors use in the treatment for hepatitis, meningitis, and other acute inflammatory conditions, according to Dr. R. Chang and colleagues.

DASM also makes a big difference in the quality of life for AIDS sufferers, reports one AIDS patient, "it stops HIV related diarrhea and normalize absorption, you can increase energy and stabilize weight. We have men and women living who would have died by now [without DASM]."

Dioxychlor: This substance has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic properties. In test-tube studies, it impairs such viruses as HIV, cytomegalovirus, herpes, polio, and Epstein-Barr almost instantaneously. Dioxychlor attaches to any free-floating virus moving through serum, which means it cannot attack the HIV contained in cells, but it will come out of hiding to attack the virus as it moves from one cell to another.

Glandular polypeptide extracts: Highly purified extracts of animal thymus and spleen have demonstrated anti-HIV properties. In one study a thymus-gland was given to 130 people, 23 of whom were HIV-positive. Donald J. Brown, a naturopathic physician, reports that the treatment increased the CD-4 count in the HIV group while reducing their CD-8 count. The patients' weigh loss and diarrhea decreased, and they had a greater sense of wellbeing. Dr. Brown adds that a study of PCM-4, a related product, found that it increased the CD-4 counts in HIV-positive people by 95 percent in four to eight weeks. The patients in the study also had less diarrhea and more energy. The treatment is approved for use with HIV in Tanzania and Uganda.

Licorice root (glycyrrhizin): The plant has long been used in Oriental medicine for its antispasmodic, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergenic qualities. It is a strong detoxifier as well. Licorice has demonstrated HIV-inhibiting properties in test-tube experiments. The herb does not appear to be toxic to healthy cells. In-vitro studies also show that licorice may permanently inhibit herpes viruses, as well as block the growth of some unrelated DNA and RNA viruses. The treatment did not affect the cells' activity or ability to replicate.

Saint-John's-wort (Hypericum perforatum): This plant has two potent antiviral chemicals that prevent the spread of retroviruses in vitro and in vivo, according to studies by Daniel Meruelo and colleagues at the New York University Medical Center. In animal studies, one small, injected dose of Saint-John's-wort completely prevented disease and death by Friend leukemia virus. Meruelo concludes that the antiviral activity of the plant's active compounds is "remarkable both in its mechanism... and in the potency of one administration of a relatively small dose of the compounds." Saint John's-wort is available worldwide, and the extraction and purification of the compounds is a relatively simple and inexpensive process.

Shark cartilage: The cartilage (or skeleton) of sharks may be useful in treating degenerative disorders - including AIDS, cancer, and arthritis. In particular, shark cartilage has a high content of "angiogenesis-inhibiting factor," which, according to Dr. Morton Walker, may halt the spread of Kaposi's sarcoma by preventing the capillary network of blood supply from reaching tumor sites. In essence, angiogenesis is the local capillary network production for a tumor. If this production is stopped, there's no network to feed the tumor, so it stops growing and spreading. *