INDIAN HERBAL SCIENTISTS claim to have found an effective and cheap treatment for the Hepatitis B, the dreaded disease that has some two billion infected people (infected with HBV – Hepatitis B virus), out of which more than 350 million have chronic (lifelong) infections, across the globe.
Lucknow based International Institute of Herbal Medicine (IIHM), headed by Dr Narendra Singh has developed an extract of traditional Indian plants (liver-kidney cure), which catalyses the generation of interferon in the cells. The low generation of interferon in the cells reduces the liver’s capacity to fight with the viral infections. The liver-kidney cure for hepatitis is a combination of Bohrriva Deffusa (Punarva), Picorhiza Curova (Kutki) and Phylynathus Hirruri herbal extracts, which has been found highly useful in treating the deadly disease.
Singh says that scientists and clinicians from 12 Asian countries were a part of the intensive research and the drug was recently given recognition by Orthodox Union, an agency from USA and Israel. Companies from USA, France, Israel and Canada have already entered into an agreement with IIHM for the bulk production of the drug.
The Herbal formulation has the capacity of raising both the haemoglobin and interferon. “We are going ahead with more trials of the drug and discussions with other agencies were on,” says Dr. Singh.
“The herbs were raised in the botanical garden of Banaras Hindu University and Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), thus giving boost to the prospects of being recognised in a big way,” he pointed out.
Hepatitis B is preventable with safe and effective vaccines that have been available since 1982. It is 95 per cent effective in stopping chronic infections from developing. It is the first vaccine against a major human cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) called for all children to receive the hepatitis B vaccine, in 1991. 116 countries have added this vaccine to their routine immunisation programmes.
However, India, where the vaccine is needed most, has not been receiving it because the government cannot afford it.