AIDS IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE
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,
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
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,"
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
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.
AIDS SURVIVORS SPEAK OUT
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
"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
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
"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
"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
"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
"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 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."
THE COMMON GROUND
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
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
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
SOME SAFE ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES
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
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. *