Battle HIV – Flower Extract Linked to Fight against HIV

Erin Benjamin 

With over 1 million adults diagnosed with HIV in the USA alone, the race is on to find a cure. One of the latest promising pieces of research indicates that a substance extracted from a small Japanese flower known as the biyouyanagi flower could very possibly aid in battling HIV. Also known as Hypericum chinense, this small, delicate flower contains vital compounds that may be of use when crafting anti-HIV drugs. Ultraviolet light exposure could help awaken these compounds and make them more active in the fight against HIV.

Battle HIVOne of the studies into this particular flower extract was undertaken at the Scripps Research Institute’s International AIDS Vaccine Initiative Neutralizing Antibody Center. These results about how to battle HIV were then published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In this study, the scientists were able to isolate a group of compounds known as biyouyanagins from the flower, which appeared to have an array of medical benefits. These compounds were indicated to be able to fight obesity and osteoporosis, potentially.

Yet it was after exposing these forms of the compound to ultraviolet light that the scientists were able to create a new molecule, which showed greater promise in the fight against cancer and HIV. In clinical trials with this new molecule derived from the flower extract, it was shown to battle HIV infection with a high degree of effectiveness. When compared to therapy with the prescription drug azidothymidine, the new molecule proved to be over half as effective, which is a promising start according to the researchers. Because the floral extract is natural, it may also come with fewer side effects, and was shown to have anti-inflammatory powers as well.

Although these results were far from conclusive, the scientists at the Scripps Research Institute were able to recommend that more research be undertaken. These studies should involve not only the effects of biyouyanagins, but also an array of other natural plant extracts. It seems that the more research studies are carried out into the power of botanicals or natural plant extracts, the more effective many of them have been shown in the fight against HIV. Further studies are in the works for this particular plant, so that it can be synthesized into an effective pharmaceutical treatment for HIV.

HIV infection is a worldwide problem, although in the United States alone 56,000 people become infected each year, according to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention. While preventive care and education are some of the best ways to battle HIV, unfortunately this is not foolproof for everyone, which is why it’s necessary to continue the search for a cure. With the promise shown by the Hypericum chinense plant, there is now yet another natural avenue for scientists to explore in their search for a cure. This may be combined with other natural remedies, for a way to manage symptoms and eventually put a stop to the spread of HIV.