Viral Diseases and Complementary Medicine

Paul L. Reller L.Ac. / Last Updated: August 03, 2017


Information Resources / Additional Information and Links to Scientific Studies

  1. A general description of the science of classification of the innumerable viruses in our world, published in the text Medical Microbiology, by Hans R. Gelderblom, shows that viruses are inert outside of a host cell and can be viewed purely as a mobile genetic element characterized by co-evolution of viral and host genes. Propagation of viruses are dependent on a complex metabolic and biosynthetic array of mechanisms of the host, not the virus. The main function of viruses is to deliver this evolving DNA or RNA to the host, not to infect the host. The outer capsule of this viral DNA or RNA is actually composed of a modified host cell membrane studded with glycoproteins that are symbiotic to the host. Types and families of viruses are still determined by the size, shape and mode of replication (dependent on the host cell mechanisms) more than the structure of the viral DNA or RNA which determines the function of the virus. Infectious viruses, called virions, are protected by a simple protein coat, or capsid, than can be easily changed to adapt to host defenses and enzymes by mutations of the viral gene. Initially, all viruses were considered pathogenic and classified according to their pathogenic properties, but since the early 1950s we have found that most types are not pathogenic, and a number of virus types still remain unclassified because we still find it impossible to propagate them in standard laboratory host systems:
  2. Influenza type A is considered the type most likely to cause the next viral pandemic, simply because we had no other explanation for the 1918 pandemic than "it may have been spread by migratory birds". The U.S. CDC provides this short description and evidence of the type A Avian Flu viruses, showing that they are classified by just 2 proteins on the viral capsid, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), hence the names of the more worrisome avian Type A flu viruses (HPAI or highly pathogenic avian influenza), H5N1, H7N3, H7N7, and H7N9:
  3. A 2015 report on influenza and vaccination, by experts at the University of Oxford in the UK, and the University of Bergen, in Norway, reports that the disease continues to take a global toll of 500,000 deaths per year and 1 billion severe illnesses, and causes repeated occasion of a pandemic. Use of an inactivated set of viruses has been used since the 1940s with the only real improvements being in production of adjuvants (a chemical that enhances the immune response to the attenuated viruses). Use of a live attenuated virus as a vaccine has been in use in Russia since the 1960s, but only approved in the U.S. in 2003, for young children. This report outlines the problems with the live attenuated vaccine, but also notes that "natural infection with a virus is able to induce this multifaceted mucosal and systemic immune response to confer protection against subsequent influenza infection with similar strains." The key is to experience a mild respiratory viral infection, and enhanced mucosal immunity and use of acupuncture and herbal medicine at an early stage could provide a natural vaccination. These experts note that "the idea that one size fits all may not be appropriate" in use of flu vaccines, and that the immune status needs to be assessed in prescription:
  4. Current reports of the failure of pharmaceutical medicines that target viral illnesses can be seen in this NY Times article at: If you have trouble accessing this website by clicking on this address, the story can be easily found by a search on Google, using the keywords Flu Drug New York Times Health January 8, 2009.
  5. A 2005 article published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, written by Dr. Anne Moscona MD, professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York, outlines the fact that all synthetic drugs will likely create drug resistance in viruses, based on current study:
  6. A 2008 study in Norway also demonstrated the fast rate of acquired resistance to antiviral drugs, not only Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), but to other neuraminidase inhibitors. Nearly 68 percent of viruses tested had acquired resistance to oseltamivir, and this resistance was not associated with prior use of antiviral drugs. Such fast evolution of drug resistance both baffles and worries experts, who are trying to develop effective drugs to blunt the coming viral pandemic:
  7. A 2012 study examined the potential for oseltamivir (Tamflu) resistance occurring in the wild bird populations and spreading to humans in a pandemic, with a metabolite of oselatmivir difficult to break down accmulating in waterways. A pandemic that involved a virus that was cross-species and resistant to oslatamivir would prove devastating:
  8. An example of current research into novel anti-viral medicines and vaccines is this 2013 report on a promising broad spectrum viral RNA polymerase inhibitor, Favipiravir, by experts at Toyama University in Japan and Utah State University. Such chemical inhibition is approved for new Hepatitis C drugs, and presents a hope that effective treatment and prevention of endemic and pandemic viral diseases will be achieved that are safe. Whether inhibition of viral RNA, which is showing itself to be safe in the short term, will present long-term adverse consequences with inhibition of commensal viral DNA and RNA in the human genome will not be known for years or decades, though:
  9. A 2003 review of the subject of human endogenous retroviruses (ERVs, or HERVs)), a still poorly understood subject, despite abundant research and that evidence that about 5-8 percent of the human genome is made up of ERVs, by experts from the University of Wolverhamptom, the University of Birmingham, and the John Radcliffe Hospital, all in the United Kingdom, and the University of Western Australia, provide an overview of this human viral DNA and RNA. It is known that some of this human genetic data we call ERVs provide important health benefits, including antiviral resistance, and much of it is involved in a variety of disease processes, including cancers, autoimmune diseases, and Immunodeficiency syndromes. It is also known that ERVs are modulated and regulated by a broad system of epigenetic coding, mainly epigenetic DNA methylation, as well as hormones, and are affected by environmental chemicals as well. Endogenous retroviruses are part of the human genome derived from prior viral infections over millions of years, and represent an adaptive use of genetic data from the whole environment that our bodies use to evolve and interact with the holistic biosphere on this planet. Obviously, a too simplistic and allopathic view of viral illness could have grave repercussions:
  10. A 2005 review of the subject of Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs), by experts at the University of Heidelberg, in Germany, update the information and conclude that "our findings suggest that HERVs behave like normal cellular genes and are a permanent component of the transcription of a cell". There is still no proof that HERVs are causative of the diseases that they are associated with, and evidence points to a role in biological regulation of theses diseases. HERV transcripts were found in all human tissues, with more active roles expressed in hormonal tissues of the thyroid, uterus, cervix, testes, placenta, breasts and brain. These experts agreed that "one could postulate that HERV elements may have played a beneficial role in human development". Obviously, a holistic approach to viral disease, working with the complex immune controls built into the human genome and epigenome, is important:
  11. A 2009 study of Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs), but experts in France and Switzerland, show that these endogenous retroviruses make up about 8 percent of the active human genome, and represent a transposable element in our genetic coding that modulates immune mechanisms in a way that may be linked to the environmental causes of many difficult diseases, and the superantigen response. Such fluid genetic expression modulation is largely controlled by the epigenome. The fact that half of the human genome is composed of viral DNA shows that any allopathic treatment that attempts to silence or destroy viruses may lead to serious health consequences, and shows why this modern allopathic pharmaceutical approach has not achieved success:
  12. A 2015 study at Harvard University Medical School, MIT, the Yale School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, and Chulolongkorn University of Bangkok, Thailand, screened 569 human donors from many countries and measured the human virome by noting antibodies to the most common 100 infectious viruses in human blood. This method showed that an average of 10 viral species were detected per person and up to 84 in two individuals. This testing will be expanded to gather information on the human immune responses to viral disease, providing much information for the future:
  13. A 2016 report on the now famous Zika virus by experts a the Harvard University School of Medicine, unfortunately declared a pandemic despite the slow apparent spread of this zoonotic mosquito carried virus that has been studied since 1947, but now is linked to apparent neurological problems and fetal defects across the globe, is very complete. We see that this virus still is not directly linked to these health problems, and that at least 77 percent of individuals tested positive for Zika antibodies never were sick or had noticeable symptoms. This could just be one of many viruses that infect humans across the planet, and other environmental factors may be causing the fetal defects, Guillame-Barre syndrome etc. that we are seeing with great incidence now. If the Zika virus was not confined to an area of Brazil were these fetal defects occurred, and they are not seen in other areas where many humans test positive for the viral antibodies, this must be questioned:
  14. A 2012 article in the Vermont Digger, reports that cyclical incidence of endemic diseases such as Whooping Cough (not a viral illness) occur despite a high percentage of children receiving immunization, but experts continue to insist that vaccine deniers are completely to blame. In 2012, one of these cyclical spikes in the disease occurred in the U.S. and in Vermont 90 percent of the cases occurred in children properly vaccinated (only 9 of 160 of these cases involved children receiving less than 4 doses of the vaccine), according the U.S. CDC. Vaccination alone is not enough to decrease these endemic diseases, and improved immune health helps greatly to protect the population most vulnerable:
  15. A 2015 report on the efficacy of the flu vaccine by the U.S. CDC shows that when the vaccine is not well matched to the most virulent types of influenza there may be no benefit from the vaccine whatsoever. The CDC also states that characteristics of the individual play an important role in the efficacy of viral vaccines as well, and thus more attention needs to be paid to the immune health of persons most at risk. Failure to boost immune health and function with Complementary and Integrative Medicine (CIM) makes no sense, and depending completely on viral vaccines is a strategy that makes no sense. With the upcoming viral pandemic looming, individuals and the government health authorities would be wise to integrate preventive medicine and CIM into the equation, and not continue to live in a fairy-tale world:
  16. A 2011 study at China Medical University, in Taichung, Taiwan, found that 3 Chinese herbal chemicals produced de novo derivatives in the human body that could simultaneously target both the viral H1 and N1, and resist the development of drug resistance, making these herbal extracts advantageous over the drug oseltamavir to treat or prevent H1N1 influenza and the pandemic. The derivatives were produced from xylopine and rosmaricine, derived from Talauma gitingensis and Rosemary. These de novo compounds need pyridinium, a metabolite of pyridine, found in Althea officianalis (Yao shu kui), revealing how this research may produce enhanced antiviral formulas from modern resarch:
  17. A 2013 study at the Macau University of Science and Technology, in Macau, China, found that specific lignans in the Chinese herbs from the Isatis plants, especially Clemastinin B, a glucopyranoside, is effective against a number of pathogenic viral species, inhibiting replication as well as helping the immune system. The Isatis herbs such as Da qing ye and Ban lan gen (leaf and root of I. baphicanthi and indigo) are the most widely used antiviral and anticancer herbs in TCM practice. This study showed effectiveness against H1N1, H3N2, influenza B, and other strains. The mechanisms of activity, such as attacking endocytosis, show that the potential that resistance will develop is unlikely, as would be expected from evolved antiviral chemicals in nature, and the array of antiviral chemicals found in the plant also prevents developing a resistance. The broad spectrum effects also prove that Isatis-based formulas in Chinese herbal medicine could be useful for almost any type of viral infection:
  18. By 2014, we see that research in China was using advanced mass spectrometry to identify specific chemicals in such antiviral herbs as Isatis to prove activities such as neuraminidase inhibition:
  19. A 2013 study at the Wuhan University Institute of Medical Virology, in China, showed that an Isatis extract was strongly inhibitory against viral replication with both in vivo and in vitro studies in laboratory animals, and improved the health of lung tissues, showing effects for a number of viral lung diseases:
  20. A 2015 review of herbal medicines proven to treat a variety of viral diseases, by experts at the Taipei Medical University, in Taipei, Taiwan, shows that there are herbal guidelines for most viral illnesses that provide specific evidence-based treatments:
  21. A 2015 multicenter study of one mechanism by which the affects of acupuncture stimulation works, epigenetic modulation, by researchers at the University of South Florida and Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, show that specific modulation of genetic expression seen in studies of acupuncture relate to a cascade of biological effects linked to epigenetic controls. This is just one pathway of biological cause and effect in the study of how acupuncture works, but has broad implications supporting this simple integrative treatment:
  22. A 2006 study by the National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine in Taiwan showed that a number of commonly used herbs were effective inhibiting inflammatory RANTES chemicals stimulated in viral infections, especially the virulent H1N1 Influenza A strains, showing that Chinese herbal formulas may be very important as adjunct therapies for a viral pandemic, as well as relieving of symptoms of many viral illnesses, acute and chronic. The herbs studied included Jinyinhua, Lianqaio (Yin Qiao formula), Banlangen (Isatis), Huang qi (Astragalus), Chuan xinlian (Andrographis), and Baihuasheshecao (Heydotis):
  23. A 2009 study at the University of British Columbia School of Medicine, in Vancouver, Canada, notes that viral medicine provides proven medicines to integrate into standard care to prevent and treat the expected viral pandemic, for which standard drug therapies are inadequate. This published study of course stuck to the simplest and perhaps least effective herbal extracts commonly used, as is typical in standard medicine, citing pomegranate, Echinacia, Geranium, Green tea, and Cistus incanus. Many stronger herbs are proven to achieve this important goal:
  24. A 2015 study at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology found that the most common simple formula to prevent and treat viral illness, Yu Ping Feng San, not only can modulate inflammatory responses, but induces gene expression of proteins that react to interferon and neuraminidase, suppressing the neuraminidase activity of Influenza A, making this common formula a good adjunct treatment to prevent or treat the viral strains believed most likely to cause the next viral pandemic:
  25. A 2014 study at China Pharmaceutical University, in Nanjing, China, showed that the commonly used antiviral herb Scutellaria baicalensis, or Huang qin, contains potent neuraminidase inhibitors in both in vivo and in vitro studies, able to be used to treat Influenza A H1N1 and H3N2, and unlike present synthetic neuraminidase inhibitors is unlikely to stimulate resistance as these evolved chemicals have been performing this task for thousands of years without creating resistance in viruses:
  26. A 2015 study at the Sichuan University School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, in Chengdu, China, showed that the commonly used antiviral herb Androgaphis paniculata, or Chuan xin lian, contains an active chemical dehydroangdrographilide that was proven to upregulate the expression of of the intestinal membrane immune peptide beta-defensin-2 (hBD-2) as well as provide direct inhibition of both viral and bacterial replication:
  27. A 2015 study of herbal medicines to prevent and treat Influenza type A H1N1, by experts at the University of Basrah, in Iraq, showed that a wide variety of common Traditional Chinese Herbal extracts and formulas work well in this regard. The array of proven herbal extracts that inhibit influenza are seen in many of the common TCM formulas in standard practice that are taken for a wide variety of health problems, showing that even getting periodic CIM/TCM treatment will help prevent influenza. The benefits of TCM care are widely overlooked and discounted:
  28. A 2013 assessment of the efficacy of the herpes varicella zoster shingles vaccine program shows that the pre-vaccine era, where 95 percent of adults in the U.S. had experienced varicella infection (chickenpox) with few serious adverse effects afforded the population better protection against shingles in aging, and that the universal vaccine has not been proven cost-effective increased herpes zoster morbidity has offset cost savings associated with reductions in varicella disease:
  29. Current reports of the failure of interferon therapy with long term studies, the HALT-C Trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Dec. 8, 2008, can be seen in this Science Daily article at: If you have trouble accessing this website by clicking on this address, the story can be easily found by a search on Google, using the keywords HALT-C interferon New England Journal of Medicine 2008.
  30. Current reports of herbal colchicine versus standard interferon therapy in European clinical trials: Colchicine, from the Chinese herb Shan Ci Gu, or rhizome of the Iphigenia Indica, has been used for centuries in China and studied in relation to treatment of cancer. It has toxicity and is used with care professionally. Other herbal therapies for hepatitis C are clinically proven and also effective as a package of treatment.
  31. Current phase three clinical trials of a common classic Chinese herbal formula, Xiao Chai Hu Tang, called Sho-Saiko-to in Japan, for treatment of hepatitis C, are being undertaken in 2008 by the Natianal Institute of Health and the University of Virginia. This formula of seven herbs has been proven effective in Japan, and does not even contain the most effective single herbs shown to inhibit hepatitis C: of this clinical trial will demonstrate that even the most classic and widely used formulas in TCM are proven effective for a wide variety of health problems.
  32. A 2001 study of incidence of chronic subclinical hypthyroidism and autoimmune hypothyroidism as a result of interferon therapy: Support therapies with Complementary Medicine have proven effective in treating such long term side effects of therapy.
  33. A 2002 study of randomized controlled trials of Chinese herbal medicine combined with interferon therapy by the University of California showed that the herbal therapy research was extremely encouraging: Support therapies with Complementary Medicine have been proven effective in enhancing standard therapeutic protocol with viral illnesses as well as antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, and the holistic approach helps reduce the horrible side effects from harsh synthetic drugs.
  34. Research in 2009 reviewed the sparse number of randomized clinical human trials of herbal medicine to treat Hepatitis C, in meta-analysis by the esteemed Cochrane Systematic Review, and reported that of the 51 trials accepted as quality RCTs, the pooled results showed that Chinese herbal medicine used alone, or in combination with pharmaceutical treatments, produced better results than antiviral pharmaceutical treatment alone, with fewer adverse effects, and similar comprehensive benefits:
  35. A 2015 multicenter randomized controlled human clinical trial of a Chinese Herbal Formula used as an adjunct treatment for chronic Hepatitis C, by Cape Canaveral Hospital in Florida, U.S.A., the KEMET clinic in Cairo, Egypt, and the Green Clinic and Research Center, in Alexandria, Egypt, showed that Viron tablets (Curcumin/E zhu, Yu jin, Jiang huang, Glycrrhizin/Gan cao, Eclipta alba/Han lian cao, Tinospora cordifolia/Kuan jin teng, Elettaria cardamomum/Sha ren or Bai dou kou, and Rumex crispus/Yang ti gen) presented safe and effective treatment to add clinical benefits and increase quality of life for Hepatitis C patients, especially ones who wish to avoid the adverse side effects of interferon treatment. Here, with a 6 month course of the Chinese herbal formula, 2 of 20 patients receiving the highest dose of the formula achieved a complete elimination of viral load, and 2 more showed a partial elimination at the end of the first treatment course, a significant success considering the poor results of standard therapy:
  36. A 2001 study of antiviral and immunomodulatory effects of viscum album, or European Mistletoe, used to treat Hepatitis C, also called Iscador extract, and a review of subsequent clinical trials and research published on the NIH database PubMed:
  37. Research into the herb Homalanthus nutans (Mamala tree bark) by the University of California at Berkeley demonstrates the remarkable potential for herbal medicines in antiviral therapy, especially for HIV: As more research from China is opened to the universities in the United States, a flood of useful treatment data is expected for herbal physicians in the United States.
  38. 2014 research into new therapies to decrease herpes simplex virus 1 outbreaks and contagion at the University of Tokyo, Japan, showed that the herpes simplex virus utilizes complex protein enzymes and regulators to avoid the common immune complement systems in the human host. One of the key protein nucleases pUL 12 is dependent on a tyrosine residue called Tyr371 to replicate and spread, and these researchers noted that phenylalanine could be accepted in phosphorylation to negate this Tyr-371. Of course, phenylalanine is a simple addition to a holistic protocol that could help if the body utilized it, and other protocols, such as encouraging phosphorylation and using herbal chemicals with affects on the herpes infected cells, could be added to a simple treatment formula to reduce viral replication, cell-cell spread and even expression triggered by neural stress:
  39. Research in 2013 at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, in Isfahan, Iran, found that the Chinese herb Quercus persica (Xiang shi), in the Turmeric family, in a tincture extract with alcohol and glycerite, exerted a significant inhibition of viral replication of Herpes simplex virus type 1 :
  40. A 2015 study at the National Taiwan University College of Medicine, in Taipei, Taiwan, found that the Chinese herb Houttuynia cordata, or Yu xing cao, long proven to inhibit Herpes simplex virus replication, works blocking viral binding and replication in the beginning of the infection, as well as suppressing replication, attenuating NF-kB activation via quercetin and isoquercetin, which also inhibit viral entry. These mechanisms were found for the water extracts. Past research has also found the that the distilled extracts capturing essential oils from the herb significantly inhibits Herpes HSV-1, HIV, and influenza:
  41. A 2009 study at the Natiional Taiwan University College of Medicine identified 38 active chemicals in the Chinese herb Houttuynia cordata, or Yu xing cao, many exhibiting antiviral and antioxidant effects, via various biochemical pathways, showing that a whole herb extract would be very valuable in treatment. Use of both whole herb extracts and standardized extracts of just one chemical in an herb, as well as herbal formulas, all provide valuable tools in therapy, and it is unlikely that the more complex formulas and whole herb extracts will create resistance in the viruses and microbes:
  42. A 2013 study at The Shakerekord University School of Medicine and the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, in Iran, showed that the herbal extract from the fruit of Quercus persica, a medicinal oak, exhibited strong anti-HSV effects. This alcohol extract showed no toxicity for healthy cells, and is one of many herbal medicines now proven to be effective against Herpes expression or to prevent Herpes infection:
  43. Research in 2014 at the National AIDS Research Institute, in Pune, India, noted that comprehensive management of sexually transmitted diseases is essential to decreasing new HIV infections, and that a review of herbal medicine found 10 plant extracts that were very effective against sexually transmitted diseases and reproductive tract pathogens, such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Haemophilus ducreyi, and Candida albicans. Such herbs as Terminalia paniculata (analogous to the Chinese herb He zi) could effectively add to the goals of such protocols:
  44. A 2014 study of Terminalia paniculata (analogous to He zi), at Sri Venkateswara University in Andhra Pradesh, India, shows that this herbal extract, especially as an alcohol extract, exhibits strong antimicrobial and antioxidant effects, and has a very low toxicity, requiring a massive dose to achieve measurable toxicity. These researchers also noted that the same profile of active chemicals is seen in other Terminalia medicinal species, such as He zi, or Terminalia chebula:
  45. A 2013 review of published scientific studies of herbal medicines shown to be effective in treating Dengue Fever, a viral disease in the Flaviviridae or Flavivirus family, which includes Zika virus, Yellow fever, West Nile fever and some forms of Hepattis C, as well as a number of types of viral encephalitis, by experts aht the University of Technology Malaysia Department of Biological Sciences, showed that a number of herbal chemicals are proven effective, including Andrographis paniculatae, or Chuan xin lian, the chief antiviral herb in Chinese Herbal Medicine, Euphorbia species (Gan sui, Qian jin zi, Da ji), Houttuyna cordata, or Yu xing cao, Momordica charantis (bitter melon), Ocimum sanctum (Holy basil), Uncaria tomentosa (Gou teng), and various herbs indigenous to Southeast Asia and Indonesia:
  46. A 2013 report from the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases, in Singapore, reveals that the pharmaceutical research for treatment of Dengue viral infection, in the same family as the Zika virus, shows that neither an antiviral drug or vaccine had been successfully developed:
  47. A 2013 study by experts at the University of Malaya School of Medicine, kin Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, also noted that the Chinese herb Scutellaria baicalensis, or Huang qin, a chief antiviral herbal medication in TCM use, was effective to inhibit Dengue virus replication in vitro, affecting all 4 serotypes. Such study demonstrates that potential for Chinese Herbal Medicine to be used as an adjunct treatment in prevention of treatment of Flaviviridae family viruses such as Zika, Dengue, Yellow fever, West Nile and various types of viral encephalitis:
  48. A 2015 study at the Kyungpook National University College of Pharmacy, in Daegu, South Korea, showed that the Chinese herbal chemical Quercetin, now standardized as well as a component of various Chinese herbs, such as Sangye, Chaihu, Luobuma, Sangjisheng, Fanshiliu, Diercao, and Manshanhong, and found in minute portions in some common foods, such as parsley, berries, green tea, citrus and onions, is an effective preventive adjunct against Epstein-Barr viral infection:
  49. A 2014 study at the Kyungpook National University College of Pharmacy, in Daegu, South Korea, found that the Chinese herbal chemical Cordycepin, from Cordyceps, or Dong Chong Xia Cao, is an effective chemical suppressor of the Epstein-Barr viral replication, and could be used as part of a preventive or treatment protocol:
  50. A 2011 report by the Chinese Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, in Beijing, China, noted that at that time, pharmaceutical anti-retroviral therapy (HARRT) was considered the only effective therapy by most experts in China to treat HIV/AIDS, but that unresolvable problems with the widespread use of HARRT (adverse health effects with long-term use, as well as cost), made the integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which has shown good efficacy for intervention in HIV/AIDS in studies, and effective Complementary treatment option: As more research from China is opened to the universities in the United States, a flood of useful treatment data is expected for herbal physicians in the United States.
  51. A report by Peking University, Beijing, China, notes that, while anti-retroviral multidrug therapy (HARRT) is the current approach in 2011, that most people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries still do not have access to to this treatment because of the high cost of therapy, and are discouraged by both long-term toxic effects and drug resistance, creating a renewed focus on herbal medicine as an integrative tool in the treatment protocol. The report notes that many herbal extracts now demonstrate inhibitory activity against HIV, with proven abilities as reverse transcriptase, protease, and integrase inhibitors, and other HIV-inhibiting activities, with a number of Chinese herbs currently in human clinical trials to verify the efficacy of these herbal medicines to contribute a variety of beneficial effects as an integrative Complementary Medicine, to help reduce viral plasma load, enhance immune function, relieve symptoms, improve the quality of life, and alleviate the adverse effects of pharmaceutical treatment:
  52. A 2015 study at the Federal University of the State in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, showed that chronic use of antiretroviral medications in the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS is associated with a high risk of acquiring subclinical hypothyroidism, and recommends therapies to restore immune function with Complementary and Integrative Medicine:
  53. A 2010 study by experts at the HIV Drug Resistance Program of the National Cancer Institute, in Frederick, Maryland, U.S.A. found that HIV type 1 is genetically diverse both within and between infected individuals, and that mutations that arise during retroviral replication often allows HIV-1 to evade the host immune responses and develop resistance to antiretroviral drugs:
  54. A 2009 study to 96 women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS at th the Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health, in Brazil, found on follow-up on a 2.5 year average during treatment, found that resistance to anti-retroviral therapy (ARV) was seen in 75 percent of the viral DNA isolates, and 13 were resistant to reverse transcriptase inhibitors (RTIN) and 5.7 percent to protease inhibitors used in therapy:
  55. A 2011 study at the University of Chile at Santiago School of Medicine, in Santiago, Chile noted that resistance to anti-retroviral therapy is increasing in incidence, although with the rapid introduction of new drugs genotyping was difficult:
  56. A 2004 study by Royal Free and University College Medical School in London, United Kingdom, outlines the pros and cons of early HAART intervention:
  57. A 2015 paper from the director of HIV Clinical Research at Royal Free Center for HIV Medicine, in London, UK, contradicts the current U.S. CDC recommendations for early HAART intervention with HIV infection but no signs of immune dysfunction:
  58. An article from 2000 in the online San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, SFGATE, outlines the confusing controversies concerning AIDS treatment and prevention protocols, with the ACTUP/SF group, originally the strongest advocates for widespread free access to anti-HIV medications then warning of the health problems from the 'cocktail' and the failure to adequately address AIDS directly, or to adopt effective public education outside of the narrow view that condoms and harsh anti-retroviral drugs were the complete and only answer to the Human Immunodeficiency Disease Syndrome. These controversies resulted in a very strict binary judgmental view of all suggestions to integrate any treatment and prevention outside of the lucrative pharmaceutical solutions:
  59. Research into the herb Lithospermum erythrorhizon (Zi cao) in 2003, revealed that a chemical in this herb effectively inhibits HIV replication, including drug-resistant and pediatric variations in the HIV family; Zi cao was shown to be an inhibitor for a variety of chemokine receptors, making it potentially effective in modulation of a variety of viral and inflammatory diseases:
  60. Research into the herb Taraxaci Mongoloci cum Radice, a type of wild dandelion called Pu Gong Ying in Chinese herbal medicine, by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, in 2011, found that this root extract, commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, showed strong activity against HIV-1 replication and reverse transcriptase activity:
  61. Research in 2005 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. found that 5-10% of individuals apparently do not adequately respond to Hepatitis B vaccine. The importance of a more thorough treatment protocol stimulating a better immune function with Complementary Medicine is highlighted by such research:
  62. Research in 2005 at the National Center for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control, of the United States government, found that the duration of protection against infection from the Hepatitis B vaccine was strong for 15 years, but that children and infants immunized at birth to age 4 showed antibody levels decreasing the most within this window of immunity:
  63. A 2014 study at Kyungpook National University, Sungkyunkwan University, The Catholic University of Korea, Duksung Women's University, the Catholic Kwandoong University, and the National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science, in South Korea, concluded that the Chinese herb Cordycepts (Dong chong xia cao), and the active ingredient cordycepin, signifcantly suppressed Epstein-Barr Virus replication:
  64. Research in 2010 has discovered that a number of Chinese herbs are proven effective at inhibiting common viral pathogens. A study at confirmed that even Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) effectively inhibited the DNA viruses human rhinovirus (HRV) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), two common viruses that perpetuate sinusitis and rhinitis:
  65. A 2010 study at Ajou University School of medicine, in Suwon, South Korea, noted that Sophorae root (Ku shen), Acanthopanacis cortex (Ci wu jia, or Siberian Ginseng), Sanquisorbae root (Zi yu), and Torillis fruit may be considered as promising new medicines to treat coronavirus, one of the family associated with the common cold:
  66. A 2006 study at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada, showed that the common herbal extract from Echinacea species, while not directly antiviral against the Common Cold Rhinovirus, did modulate and reverse the expression of key inflammatory cytokines and chemokines from infected cells:
  67. Research in 2009 at the Institute for Medical Virology in Giessen, Germany, has discovered that a standard Echinacea preparation, at the usual dosage prescribed, was effective for inactivation of a variety of pathologic viral strains, including influenza, avian influenza, and swine flu. In addition, a prophylactic use of echinacea, or direct contact with the herbal chemicals before the mechanism of infection occurred, was of greatest effect:
  68. A 2008 study at Jinan University, in Guanghzhou, China, found that the herbal chemical resveratrol was effective at inhibiting the AD virus type 7 respiratory virus, but not influenza type A FM1, Rhinovirus R14, or RS virus. Such study shows how we may soon be able to use specific herbs to treat specific viral infections, but also that formulas of herbs are often needed to provide inhibition of a variety of potential viruses when infected:
  69. Research in 2011 at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences in Delhi, India, found that Complementary Medicine offers an array of proven medical treatments to both prevent and treat serious viral pandemics, and recommended that these treatments, including herbal medicine and acupuncture, be integrated in strategies to prevent and treat influenza:
  70. Research in 2014 screened 34 herbal extracts and 2 pharmaceuticals to determine if any of these could inhibit the binding domain of the H5N1 avian influenza virus, one of the feared flue strains for pandemic influenza, which cross-infected humans in Asia in 2003-05, resulting in a 50 percent mortality. This research found 5 herbal extracts able to inhibit binding of the H5N1, from Terminalia belirica (He zi), Salacia chinensis, Zingiber montanum (ginger species, Sheng jiang), and Peltopharum pterocarpum, which showed a reduction of infectivity greater than 50 percent. Veratridine and estradiol did not inhibit the H5N1 binding:
  71. Research in 2007, at the Zhejiang University College of Animal Sciences, showed that concurrent prescription of a Chinese herbal extract from Cochinchina momordica (Mu bei zi, an anticancer herbal seed) with the influenza vaccine targeting H5N1 significantly improved immune responses in study animals. Such research reveals the potential for human interventions as well:
  72. A 2012 study at Guangzhou Medical College, in Guangzhou, China, found that a common decoction extract of Isatis indogotica (Da qing ye) significantly inhibited a number of avian influenza viruses, including H1N1 strains and H3N2, and exhibited inhibitory activity of influenza virus hemagglutination, and showed activity at the early stages of infection, making herbal resistance development much less likely with use:
  73. A 2015 study at Chungham National University and the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, in South Korea, found that the herb Epimedium koreanum Nakai (analogous to the Chinese herb Yin yang huo) exhibited significant protective or preventive effects against influenza A subtypes HiN1, H5N2, H7N3, and H9N2, which are highly pathogenic strains of crossover avian influenza suspected of potentially causing the next flu pandemic:
  74. A 2015 study at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology showed that the common Chinese herbal formula long used to prevent viral disease, Yu Ping Feng San (Astragalus-based) both stimulated the interferon responses and suppressed the neuraminidase activity of influenza type A in cultured human epithelial cells, indirectly preventing the viral release and spread of the infection. While not specifically a direct antiviral, we see the potential of this formula as an adjunct preventive medicine. This research also revealed the dose-dependent nature of the formula, with the effects increased up to 30-fold with higher dosage:
  75. The first large nationwide study of the effectiveness and safety of the Herpes Zoster, or shingles, vaccine, revealed that the vaccine was perhaps between 38 and 45 percent effective in the targeted population over age 65. Other studies cited by the U.S. CDC reveal that is reduces the risk of shingles by 51 percent in patients over the age of 60. Integration of Complementary Medicine and evidence-based herbal treatments could increase the protection:
  76. In late 2013, the New England Journal of Medicine printed skepticism of the overall efficacy and safety of the Herpes Zoster vaccine, especially as marketed to patients with a prior history of an episode of shingles, who are unlikely to benefit, at least for a few years:
  77. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012, presented the current preliminary study data on the Herpes Zoster vaccine, which has been shown to be effective for 3 years:
  78. The 2015 U.S. CDC data on the Herpes Zoster Shingles vaccine reveals that over a third of patients reported pain, swelling and redness from the vaccine, and no long-term study of adverse effects is available. The CDC also notes that standard anti-viral pharmaceuticals are not effective in treating zoster shingles. While the vaccine is recommended for people over the age of 50, more could be accomplished with integration of Complementary Medicine, as reseach reveals:
  79. A 2012 randomized controlled human clinical study of integration of Complementary Medicine into standard treatment protocol for chronic herpes zoster pain, by the University of Toronto, showed that integration of a simple CIM protocol of acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping and bleeding with standard procaine injection for patients over age 60 significantly increased treatment effect after 3 weeks of treatment, with daily acupuncture:
  80. An example of a Chinese herbal formula to treat herpes zoster shingles pain is presented in this pilot human clinical trial in Osaka, Japan, showing great success with a formula of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi or Ling zhi mushroom), Trapa natans (Ling jiao), Myristica agrans (Rou dou cou), Coix lachryma-jobi (pearl barley), Elfuinga applanata, Punica granatum (Shi liu pi), and ginseng:
  81. A 2012 review of scientific research by Professor WJ Lukiw of the Louisiana State University Neuroscience Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. found that a chemical in the Chinese herb Polygonum cuspidatum (Hu zhang), in the trans-isomer form developed by the Chinese, trans-resveratrol, a polyphenolic, has an inhibitory effect on the retrovirus Herpes simplex, and inhibits the pro-inflammatory cytokine NF-kB, making trans-resveratrol a valuable therapeutic part of the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders:
  82. A 2009 study of trans-resveratrol, a polyphenolic chemical in the Chinese herb Polygonum cuspidatum (Hu zhang), by the University Sapienza in Rome, Italy, found that this herbal chemical significantly inhibited polyomavirus, and that other studies showed that the herbal chemical inhibited Herpes simplex, Varicella and Influenza type A:
  83. A 2006 study of trans-resveratrol, a polyphenolic chemical in the Chinese herb Polygonum cuspidatum (Hu zhang), by Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry, showed that this herbal medicine significantly inhibited Herpes simplex virus, reducing mRNA synthesis of the virus, as well as NF-kappaB activation and inflammation induced by the Herpes virus:
  84. A 2012 study at the University of Minnesota, Institute for Molecular Virology, found that the Chinese herbal chemical resveratrol, from Polygonum cuspidatum (Hu zhang), significantly inhibited HIV with mechanisms different from current anti-HIV drugs, making this herbal extract a potential boon to the treatment of HIV, increasing effectiveness of treatment when integrated, and perhaps allowing reduction of drug dosages or multiple drugs when side effects become problematic or the drugs ineffective:
  85. A 2002 human clinical study by the French Agency of Research for SIDA, in Paris, France, concluded that for the many HIV patients who acquire a viral resistance to AZT (zidovudine), that switching to d4T within a cocktail of drugs including 3TC and IDV produced no benefits. The lack of proven efficacy with single antiviral drugs in HIV/AID treatment has led to the practice of using varying combinations of drugs to achieve lowered viral counts. The integration of antiviral herbal medicine could greatly enhance outcomes, but this has been highly discouraged, despite past success and a lack of actual clinical harm or proven contraindication:
  86. A 2011 update on guidelines and adverse effects with the use of AZT (zidovudine) by the Electronic Medicines Compendium of the UK:
  87. Research meta-review of all sound published human randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine for the treatment of HIV/AIDS published in Western medical journals, in 2012, confirmed that despite a small number of such published research trials, that this herbal medicine demonstrated the ability to increase CD4 counts, decrease symptoms, improve quality of life, and reverse some of the harmful effects of antiretroviral drug therapy. Such research has been widely conducted in the last decade in China, Japan, a number of African nations, and elsewhere, though, producing positive evidence of benefits:
  88. Research in 2011 at the University of Iowa Department of Microbiology, Iowa City, Iowa, found that the Chinese herb Prunella vulgaris (Xia ku cao) significantly inhibited HIV-1 infectivity by early, post-virion binding events, making this a promising antiviral microbicidal against HIV:
  89. Research in 2012 at the Henan University of TCM, in Zhengzhou, China, evaluated 16 herbal medicines used to treat HIV/AIDS and found that Spica prunellis (Xia ku cao) and Andrographitis (Chuan xin lian) could suppress cell fusion and decrease p24 antigen, inhibiting CXCR4 and CCR5 promoters and HIV cell replication with a safe dose-dependant profile:
  90. Research in 2011 at the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Beijing, China, found that the Chinese herb Taraxacum officinale (Pu gong ying) , a common medicinal in the dandelion family, showed strong activity against HIV-1 retrovirus, inhibiting the replication of both the virus and the hybrid variant, reducing reverse transcriptase, in a dose-dependent manner:
  91. Research in 2014, at the University of Southern California (USC), in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. found that an active chemical in the Chinese herbs, Myrica rubra (Gou mei), Cotinus coggygria cineria (Huang lu), and Rhododendron dahuricum (Man shan hong), called myricetin, a flavonoid, exerted a dose-dependent anti-HIV activity of greater than 80 percent, and inhibited HIV reverse transcriptase by 49 percent, and showed promising activity against a variety of HIV-1 strains, without significant cytotoxic effects against normal cells. Such study should end the discussion of lack of proof of Chinese herbal medicine in treating HIV as an adjunct therapy to reduce medication side effects and improve quality of life. The Chinese herbal chemicals quercetin and pinocembrin were found to have modest anti-HIV activity:
  92. Research in 2013, at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Kunming, Yunnan, China, found that a number of plant lignans and marphenols in the Chinese herb Schisandra wilsonia (Wu wei zi) showed modest anti-HIV activities at the right dosage concentration (EC-50), and a safety profile of 5.33-29.13 on the therapeutic index scale (toxicity of effective dose) comparable to acetaminophen. A low dose of Schisandra extract is just part of a formula used in adjunct treatment for HIV/AIDS:
  93. Research in 2012, at the University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana, Africa, found that 2 common Chinese medicinal herbs, widely used in African herbal medicine, Cassia siberiana (Jue ming zi) and Cassia abbreviata Oliv., were found to possess significant anti-HIVc activity:
  94. Preliminary human clinical trials of a simple herbal formula called IMOD-TM in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, in Iran, showed that this simple immunomodulating formula could be a valuable adjunct in treatment of HIV/AIDS, especially as chronic adverse effects of HAART drug cocktails often become severe. IMOD consists of Utrica doica (nettle), Rosa caninus, Tanacetum vulgare (tansy), and selenium, and no herb-drug negative interactions were seen. Such study could advance the use of HAART in the future, as reduced dosage and complexity of the drug cocktails could increase compliance:
  95. Research in 2014, at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi, Ghana, found that decoctions of the herbs Betula alba and Sutherlandia frutescens have immunostimulating and antimicrobial properties that could be useful in a more comprehensive and integrative model of therapy to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS:
  96. A multicenter research study in 2014, at Asia University and the China Medical University School of Medicine, in Taiwan, found that various chemicals in Chinese herbs could stimulate an interferon-induced expression of myxovirus resistance 2 (MX2), a protein enzyme that had the potential to destroy HIV. Saussurea lappa root (Yun Mu Xiang, or Kushta) produced the most potent inducer of MX2, while Crotalaburnine (Pu to kan seed, or Rattlepod seed) and Precatorine (Xiang si zi) also showed significant affinity for the protein ligand interaction. Such research shows the potential for herbal-derived adjunct therapy in the treatment of HIV and AIDS:
  97. A 2014 study at the University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg, Capetown, South Africa, explored the evidence of negative herb-drug interactions with HIV/AIDS care. These researchers chose the herbal medicines most highly ranked by the FDA for potential effects on the liver catabolism by CYPs of pharmaceutical drugs, which may alter the circulating dosage. The 3 highest ranking herbs were studied, affecting CYPs 1A2 and 3A4, and the potential for these 3 herbs, all unnamed in the study (L. fructescens may refer to Lycium fruit; H. hemerocallidea refers to the African potato Hypoxis; and E. purpureus apparently refers to Echinacea) showed that there was a potential for affecting the function of these CYP enzyme pathways if maximum in vivo concentration were achieved. Since these 3 herbs are not significant herbs in standard anti-viral therapy, a berry, a potato and echinacea, all commonly found in grocery and health food stores, and the potential with standard herbal medicine and use of formula to achieve maximum concentration in the body is slim to none, and even this study did not verify the actual negative effect on the CYP pathway with maximum in vivo concentration, we see the pattern of poor evidence of negative drug-herb interaction once again touted as a deterrent to adjunct care with herbal medicine in the treatment of the HIV/AIDS patient. On the other hand, strong inhibitors of the P450 CYP 1A2 pathway include the SSRI antidepressant Fluvoxamine (Luvox), the hypertension drug Verapamil, many antibiotic flurooquinolones and the antibiotic ciprofloxacin, and moderate inhibitors include caffeine and marijuana, as well as peppermint tea and St. John's Wort. Inducers of the CYP 1A2 pathway include tobacco, Prilosec (omeprazole), and insulin, as well as chargrilled meats. The CYP 3A4 pathway, used to break down many HIV drugs, is strongly inhibited by common antibiotics, such as Clarithromycin and Telithromycin, common antifungal medications, the antidepressant SSRI Nefazodone (Serzone), and moderately inhibited by grapefruit juice. This CYP 3A4 pathway is strongly induced by glucocorticoids, such as cortisone and prednisone, and by commonly prescribed anti-convulsants and diabetic drugs. Testosterone, commonly prescribed with the HIV therapy, competes for the main CYP pathway, CYP 3A4. While the potential for negative herb-drug interaction receives strong widespread warnings in this field of medicine, there appears to be little concern for the array of drugs prescribed concurrently that affect the pathway and circulating dosage of the antiviral drugs prescribed, or the common foods and stimulants. There appears to be no effort to actually define the actual specific potential of herbs used in HIV therapy to significantly affect this catabolic pathway in order to facilitate herbal use and safety in a protocol, only these vague warnings, while the use of concurrently prescribed drugs and common foods and stimulants that affect these pathways receive no attention, and the levels of the active drug metabolites in circulation are not monitored:
  98. Research in 2005, by Dr. Frederick M. Hecht of the University of California San Francisco AIDS Program, following up on the research of Dr. Eric S. Rosenberg of Massachusetts General Hospital (affiliated with Harvard Medical School), showed in a small study that patients that a majority of patients receiving an early drug intervention for HIV infection of 18 months of treatment, maintained a low viral load after discontinuing therapy for at least 18 months, and another group of 58 patients that started a 12 week drug course early in the course of infection maintained a low viral load and normal CD4 count for at least 18 months after stopping therapy. Such research hold promise that individual patients may present an array of markers that distinguish which patients may be able to avoid continuous harsh drug therapy in the future, decreasing the long-term adverse health effects. Integration of Complementary Medicine could further advance this goal, and provide increased chance of success:
  99. Research in 2010 at the most prestigious centers for AIDS/HIV intervention, Harvard Medical School and UCSD, with the renowned Dr. Eric S. Rosenberg, led to an article concerning the pros and cons of early drug treatment for acute HIV infection. While these experts are hopeful that an early intervention strategy, starting newly infected patients with antiretroviral drug cocktail, or HAART, could yield more benefits than risks, they concluded that the optimal clinical treatment management protocol still remained unclear:
  100. An overlooked aspect of the innate and adaptive immune complement system is the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), which presents a system to defeat viral infections when all else fails: