Extract from the roots of South African plants can incapacitate the commonest type of HIV and stop a deadly virus from attacking human cells which was found in the latest research. Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München in Germany have found that this extract my be efficient anti-HIV drug and agent for the treatment of AIDS. Research shows that the root ofmedicinal plant Pelargonium sidoides (PS) contains ingredients which attack the HIV-1 particles and prevent the proliferation of viruses. A team of scientists whith Dr. Markus Helfer and Professor Ruth Brack-Werner as the head of the project performed a detailed examination of the effect of PS extract on HIV infection in human cells that are artificially maintained active outside the human body. They have proven that extract protects the blood and immune cells from HIV-1 infection, the most widespread type of HIV virus. They also managed to detect that PS extract succeeds in blocking viral attachment to host cells and therefore successfully stops the spread of the illness.
Chemical analysis has shown that this antiviral effect was caused by the presence of polyphenols. Polyphenols that are extracted from PS extracts have high anti-HIV activity and they are also less toxic to the body than the crude extract.”We can certainly confirm the effectiveness of this new discovery in the field of medicine and its difference in operation compared to other previous anti-HIV drugs that are in clinical use” – said the leader of the research team Brack-Werner. ”This discovery as an alternative method in the future will become a valuable addition in any known anti-HIV treatment methods. Results of the research show that with certainty extract PS represents a major success in the fight against HIV and that the next step is testing for infected individuals.” – said Brack-Werner. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 35 million people in the world are infected with HIV, most with type HIV-1. Without adequate treatment HIV destroys the immune system and cause immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) which is fatal in most cases. HIV / AIDS is one of the 10 leading causes of death worldwide. This research and study are published in the journal PLOS ONE.