Herbal Medicines For AIDS

 By: Ricky Waugh
HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which damages the immune system to the extent that it can no longer fight off infection. Most experts believe that HIV is responsible for Aids, but there is some evidence that not all people who contract HIV go on to have full-blown Aids (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). Infection by the HIV is followed two to six weeks later by the development of antibodies to the virus. This process may be accompanied by one or more systemic illnesses. Symptoms include:

- heavy night sweats and fevers
- lethargy, fatigue, and exhaustion
- weight loss
- diarrhea, thrush, and herpes infections
- mouth ulcers and bleeding gums.

Complete recovery is the norm immediately after this illness, but thereafter the person will test positive for antibodies to HIV (they will be HIV positive) but otherwise appear healthy. Several years typically elapse between the acquisition of the virus and development of full-blown Aids.

Aids is generally believed to be caused by HIV. It is suggested that Aids may be an autoimmune disease (where the immune system turns against itself), but it is now clear that the immune system itself is attacked, especially the "helper" T-cells, so that the body cannot fight infection.

There is, at present, no known cure for the disease, which, once it develops, is usually fatal. However a wide range of "natural" therapies have been, be effective in treating symptoms of the disease, successfully slowing its progress in many case, and sometimes even reversing it.

Aids can appear in many forms, but around sufferers experience pneumonia (pneumocystis carinii) and a third Kaposi sarcoma, a form of skin cancer. Others suffer from a range of secondary infections as a result of their weakened immune system. Most suffer from fatigue and malaise, as well as stress and anxiety.

Treatment

The alternative treatment for Aids depends on individual symptoms, put is based on four main aims:

- to inhibit the virus
- to prevent and treat secondary infections
- to boost the immune system
- to treat the patient holistically.

Many patients benefit from a combination of several of the following approaches, with or without conventional medicine. Emotional support is essential since. Aids is a disease in which physical and mental integration is particularly necessary for good results in treatment.

Consult a qualified practitioner/therapist for:

Counseling And Hypnotherrapy These are valuable for helping to deal with stress and depression. The power of the mind over the body is particularly evident in Aids sufferers. Considerable research has shown that a positive state of mind toward the disease and survival has actually helped to raise the T-cell count in some patients and reduced their symptoms.

Visualization And Meditation These can be used to encourage the body to heal itself.

Traditional Chinese Medicine A variety of Chinese treatments has been found extremely effective, including chi kung and the use of Chinese herbs, particularly astragalus, which inhibits the spread of the virus. Chinese dietary therapy is based on the idea that foods are hot or cold, dry or lubricating (by nature, not literally). Those with skin problems are advised to avoid "hot" and spicy foods, while those with diarrhea, for example, should not eat cucumbers or dairy products, which are" cold."

Acupuncture This has been found to be beneficial.

Aromatherapy Oils to use for massage and in baths include tea tree (which is antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial), eucalyptus, lavender, juniper, myrrh, fennel, and sage. Oils can be taken by mouth, but only under the supervision of a therapist qualified in clinical or medical aromatherapy.

Herbal Medicine Remedies believed to be of value include golden seal and garlic. Golden seal contains berberine, another antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent. It is particularly effective against diarrhea. Garlic increases "killer" T-cells.

Homeopathy

Some patients may find homeopathy beneficial.

Massage and Reflexology - These can provide stress relief and relaxation. Lymphatic drainage massage •­which stimulates the flow of the lymph carrying waste products away from the blood - may also help.

Yoga, T'ai Chi, and Chi Kung These movement therapies are said to be beneficial.
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