Hundreds of millions of people have, for years, used over the counter cough syrups like Robitussin for the treatment of colds, coughs, sinus and chest infections. Little has anyone dreamed that the active ingredient, "guaifenesin," in these "tussin" formulas would have a wider application beyond treating symptoms of the common cold. In life's journeys, new revelations sometimes stumble unto us when we least expect it.
In June 2003, I was talking with a local person who told me he was HIV+ and had been for several years, actually since 1999. I will call him Bill, not his real name. I asked him how he was doing and he said "fine." I inquired about his T cells and he added: "The T cells (CD4) are over 600 and the viral load is about 9000 as of the last test." I asked him what drug combination he was taking and he said "none." I said "none?" and he said, "yes, none. The doctor says I am not ready to start the drugs yet as I am a non- progressor."
I told him the usual viral load of someone not taking an effective anti-viral cocktail is a viral load over 100,000 along with a steady decline in the CD4s.
I began to wonder if he was infected with a weak strain of the HIV virus or has an unusual genetic makeup that stopped progression or the third possibility that some unknown factor in his life had stopped the progression, but what? I asked him to stop and think and tell me of any and all drugs, dietary supplements and OTC medications he has taken since 2000. At this time he said, let me start at the beginning.
"In 2000, before I knew I was HIV+, I had 5 strep (streptococcus) infections in the previous year. The strep infections had started in the fall of 1999 and were accompanied by sore and swollen lymph nodes. I took antibiotics for nearly a whole year. By mid-summer 2000, my doctor said I should have my tonsils taken out to prevent the reoccurrence of the infections. A second doctor whom I had been consulting with suggested that before the operation I try a prescribed daily dose of guaifenesin. I told him anything is worth a try. He prescribed 200 mg tablets and I took two daily (400 mg total each day) Within one month I was finally free of the Strep infections and swollen lymph nodes that had plagued me for a year. I was feeling good and back to normal. It was now October, 2000. Later that month, I happened to be at an event where they were giving HIV tests, so I decided to take one. A few weeks later I got a call and the news that I was HIV+."
"After discussing my life style with my physician, we both agreed that I had most likely become infected in 1999, prior to those 5 strep infections that I battled for a whole year. The doctor ordered blood tests and they came back indicating the viral load was around 6000 and the CD4 cell were over 700. I have had tests every 3 months since then with little change the numbers."
I asked Bill if he had any symptoms like night sweats, swollen lymph nodes, thrush, herpes, fatigue, pneumonia etc. He said he had none in the past 3 years and that he still takes his Guaifenesin daily. I asked him about other supplements and he said he took a one a day vitamin tablet and that was it as far as supplements go. I told him that the vitamin tablet would not explain these results. I then began to wonder aloud if the guaifenesin had stopped his HIV progression. Bill was surprised when I brought up this theory. I said:
"I am starting to think this is a possibility assuming that the facts as you reported them are correct. As you indicate, you engaged in very risky sexual behavior with persons who were HIV+ in August of 1999. Within a month you became ill with swollen lymph nodes and a strep infection. You were given antibiotics to get rid of the strep infection and as soon as you stopped the antibiotics, another strep infection would pop up. This went on for a full year until you started on guaifenesin in September of 2000. Then, the strep infection went away in a few weeks and has not returned in 3 years."
"You also tell me that after that risky behavior in August of 1999, that you did not engage in any behavior that would put you at risk of getting HIV until the antibody test in October of 2000. Last of all, you believe that during the year of the 5 strep infections (1999/2000) you were also HIV+. If these facts are true and I have no reason to doubt they are not, then the guaifenesin not only stopped new strep infections in the past 3 years, but may have also stopped HIV progression to AIDS at the same time."
Bill asked me if I knew of anyone else HIV+ who had used guaifenesin this long. I told him I did not. "You are the first, as far as I know." Certainly a single case does not establish this as a fact in reality, yet it is a hopeful starting point for further research.
Mark Konlee's experience: My personal experience with guaifenesin this past summer is that when I started taking 400 mg twice daily in June and also eliminated certain milk products and lactose (milk, cheese and ice cream), that I have become very intolerant of, I remained completely free of sinusitis, a condition that has plagued me for many years. A tendency I have had toward symptoms of rheumatism, associated with the use of milk products, also went away.
A search about Guaifenesin on the internet yielded some surprises. I read reports of some people with fibromyalgia (FM) recovering nearly completely by using 600 mg or more of guaifenesin 2 times daily. A lot of information about the use of guaifenesin for treating FM is available at a website called www.guaifenesin.com.
Dr Paul St. Amand recommends persons with fibromyalgia avoid products with salicylates when using guaifenesin to treat fibromyalgia. The need to avoid salicylates appears to affect persons with Fibromyalgia in varying degrees. Salicylates are found in Aspirin, similar products and many topical skin creams as well as some foods and herbs. Other conditions for which guaifenesin may be used might not be affected by the use of salicylates.
Over the counter cough syrups like Robitussin whose active ingredient is guaifenesin do not advise against using salicylates . The absence of the notice to avoid salicylates in cold remedies suggests that in treating health conditions that are not related to Fibromyalgia such as HIV/AIDS, sinusitis, respiratory infections, etc that the use of salicylates may not affect the treatment outcome in the same negative way as with Fibromyalgia.
Some people report that guaifenesin is the most effective treatment found for fibromyalgia to date and report complete recovery. However, some people obtain only partial relief and a few obtain no results at all. Very few treatments exist today for any condition that are 100% effective all of the time. This does not diminish the effectiveness of a treatment when it does work.
The substance originally came from the bark of a tree called "guaiacum." Immunesuport.com reports that the bark of this tree was used to treat rheumatism in the16th century. About 20 years ago, scientists learned how to synthesize the bitter substance from the guaiacum tree and it became known as guaifenesin. It has been widely used in cold medicines for the past two decades.
The standard dose in cold medicines is about 1200 mg daily of guaifenesin in a 24 hour period. While these OTC cold treatments recommend short-term use, if the condition does not clear up, see a doctor. This advice is usually standard for all OTC drugs. At 1200 mg daily, the best available information is that it could be taken for several years and no toxic effects have been reported even at doses up to 3600 mg daily. However there is no point in pushing this envelope. If 800 to 1200 mg daily solves a health problem, then stay at this level as long as you feel comfortable with it.
Note: At www.guaifenesin.comn, there are several links to sites where you can obtain guaifenesin in 300 or 400 mg tablets or capsules without a prescription.
Guaifenesin claim to fame is as an expectorant that loosens and thins mucus. That might suffice to help explain how guaifenesin helps overcome a sinus or respiratory infection as a treatment, but this alone does not adequately explain how quaifenesin can prevent strep and other infections of the sinus and lungs when taken as a preventative. What I have found lacking in the published literature are studies of the effects of guaifenesin on cytokines like IgA, IL-12, antigen presentation, DTH and other immune markers.
RH Buckley writes that "Selective absence of serum and secretory IgA is probably the most common form of human innumodeficiency. High frequencies of recurrent sinusitis, otitis media, pneumonia and atopy were noted among a group of 75 such patients all but 4 of whom were Caucasian." (1) Numerous studies have linked IgA deficiency with sinusitis, bronchitis, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, sore and swollen joints, anemia, low platelet count, food allergy and asthma. (2, 3)
Lizeng Q et all found that serum IgA suppressed the replication of HIV-2. Lizeng found 96% of all IgA samples reacted against whole HIV-2 antigen and 100% reacted with gp 36. (4)
Challacombe and Sweet state: "There is a paradox that profound HIV-induced immunodeficiency is present systemically, whereas the majority of infections associated with HIV disease are present or initiated at mucosal surfaces . Considerable attention has been given to the possibility of mucosal immunization against HIV and there is evidence that secretory IgA antibody is neutralizing to different HIV strains." (5)
1. Clinical and immunologic features of selective IgA deficiency, RH Buckley, birth Defects Orig Artic Ser. 1975;11(1):134-42
3. Immunologic defects in patients with chronic recurrent sinusitis, Sethi DS et al, Otolaryngol Head Neck surg. 1995 Feb;112(2):242-7
4. IgA mediated immunity in HIV-2 infection, Virology, 2003 apr 10;308(2):225-32
5. Oral Dis. 2002;8 Suppl 2:55-62
As guaifenesin reverses many of the conditions associated with chronic IgA deficiency, studies are need to determine if, in fact, guaifenesin actually increases mucosal IgA levels. At this juncture, there does not appear to be any other logical theory as to why guaifenesin would have these protective effects on the mucus membranes other than improving the status of mucosal IgA.
Vitamin A is also grossly under used in the battle against AIDS, candidiasis and CFIDS. A and D from fish oil in capsules of 10,000 i.u of A and 400 i.u of D should be taken daily. Initially, 2 capsules twice daily for the first month then reduce to 2 capsules daily.
Note: The herb "horsetail" is a good source of silica as is oat bran.
From: Abha Light Foundation (Kenya, Africa)
Dear Mark, About NEEM, I don't know if I could praise it enough. We recommend it to all patients at Abha Light. We've had incidents of bedridden patients getting up after two-four weeks of using only Neem tea and returning to energetic & productive life. I should add that I don't know of any actual cures at this time. . Some people may discontinue using Neem prematurely when they start feeling better. Perhaps they should pulse the treatment - one month on followed by one month off.
Neem (Azadirachta indica. Melia azadirachta indica. Nim or Neem. Margosa Bark) is a tree native to South Asia (India, Thailand) and has been used in India for thousands of years. It is extremely well researched & documented (mainly from India) see www.neemfoundation.org for more information.
It's been transplanted to Africa, where it grows plentifully. It's Swahili name is "muraurabaini" which means "cures 40 diseases" -- the "40" meaning "so many, all"
Its' traditional uses have been as anti-malaria and for skin. It is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral.
Traditionally, in India, it is usual for a housewife to serve with a meal a spoonful or two of the leaves fried in ghee to her family at least once a week.
The leaves, bark and seeds are used in medicine. All have similar properties and all can be used effectively for everything, but traditionally the leaves are primarily used for skin diseases, the bark as anti-malarial, and the seeds for everything & for birth control.
Neem is extremely bitter (like grapefruit seed extract). It is its bitterness that cleans the liver, spleen, kidneys & blood. The bitterness creates a negative environment for malaria & other parasites, killing them off or sterilizing them.
Neem will temporarily cause sterility in eggs and sperm. That is why it's also used as an agricultural insecticide & fertilizer. It doesn't kill the pests, it makes them sterile. Therefore after a generation ( a few weeks in an insect's life), one's garden/farm becomes pest free.
Long-term use - internally - of Neem will cause temporary sterility in men & women. One will harmlessly revert to fertility after stopping it. It's been used as a birth control for centuries in India.
Neem oil can be applied inside the vagina and it will work as a spermicide! That is, it will prevent birth. It will cure the vaginitis someone may be suffering from and it probably will prevent the transmission of STDs possibly including HIV. A real 3-in-1!
At Abha Light I make a tincture of the leaves and bark. I find this to be effective & economical for our patients. I would advise taking anything from 10 drops to 1 teaspoon a day. There is no known toxicity of Neem. (though don't be overeager and overdose yourself! It's not necessary & why go looking for toxicity levels!)
To make a herbal tincture you put the powdered leaves & bark with alcohol in a sterile glass jar for 2-4 weeks. Shake the jar daily. Then strain through a cheese cloth or coffee filter. Keep in a cool dark place. Vodka can be used in a pinch. Better would be pure alcohol- ethanol (NOT methanol!) but I don't know if that's available to the common folk. Use 300 grams of leaves (about 10 ounces) to 1 liter alcohol or vodka)
Alternatively, the Neem oil (nasty tasting & bitter!!!) could be put into capsules -- "1" "0" or "00" and 1-3 caps a day would be quite enough. You know, Mark, my clients live on the "lower" end of the economic scale, & we find 5-10 drops (a single "1" or "0" capsule) is plenty.
To make a home-made oil suitable for skin (but nasty smelling & tasting) you could put powdered leaves into ordinary oil (olive, coconut, sunflower, etc) and filter it out two weeks later. This homemade oil can be taken internally if you dare (yechh by taste). For external use, you can deodorize it by adding some tea tree oil to it. This will add to its healing properties. (Use 300 grams of leaves to 1 liter of olive oil)
You can dilute pure Neem-seed oil with cooking oil by 50-70% (1:2 or 1:3 parts) and it will still be effective on the skin. This would be economical. or add it into a base-cream of any kind.
Alternatively, 5 -10 leaves a day either boiled as a tea or powdered in capsules (I'd guess about 6 "0" capsules?) daily would be enough. One could also lightly roast the leaves and eat it at the beginning of a meal (Ayurvedic -Indian way
If you are boiling the leaves, then do so the Chinese way -- that is use 3 cups of water for 10 leaves (2 teaspoons powder) and gently boil it down to two cups. Drink one cup in the morning & one in the night.
Anybody with skin diseases should use Neem soap (surely available at health shops & Indian markets in USA). Tooth disease & gingivitis patients could use Neem toothpaste (also at health & Indian shops) or wash the mouth out with Neem tea.
Neem will purify the liver, spleen, kidneys, blood, skin. It's been used effectively to cure diabetes, high blood pressure, liver ailments. Pancreas, kidney, spleen ailments too. It used against psoriasis, eczema, HIV septic eruptions. I will take a guess and say it can be effective against Kaposi's. It will destroy parasites of all kinds (through pH factor or sterility) where ever they may be found. I think there is no end to the number of diseases that Neem cures.
HIV+ persons should consider using Neem as a general prophylatic. That is, one could take it daily - for a period --say 1 month - in order to purify the blood. Then take a one month break and resume the treatment for another month. (Note: unless taken daily don't count on it as birth control).
For other questions, ask the Neem foundation www.neemfoundation.org
Didi Ananda Rucira PO Box 6919 Nairobi, Kenya (Africa) firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor's Note: Scientific research has found Neem to be a powerful inducer of TH1 cytokines. This was reported in Positive Health News, Report No 18.
Didi gives a lot of recommendations on using Neem so as to almost be confusing. However, her email says that the Neem tea alone has revived bedridden AIDS patients as a monotherapy by drinking 2 cups of Neem tea daily. This is made by adding 10 Neem leaves or 2 teaspoons of Neem leaf powder and gently boil it down to two cups. Drink one cup in the morning & one in the night.
Didi also mentions using Neem bark or Neem seed oil. Neem leaf is widely available in capsules. Neemdirect lists over a dozen manufacturers of Neem capsules and markets several Neem products. One capsule three times daily is a standard dose on some bottles but is this enough or should this dose be about 6 capsules daily as Didi suggested?
For Neem powder or capsules, you can write to Neemdirect, 16776 Bernardo Center Dr, #209, San Diego, CA 92128 or check with your local health food store, supplement supplier or health care practitioner.
I have been unable to find any reports or information on adverse effects of using Neem. This herb long used in Indian medicine appears to be relatively safe. One article on Neem is found at the NLM by Talwar Gp et al Immunol Cell Biol. 1997 Apr 75(2):190-2. I part Talwar states:
"A transient increase in CD4 and more significantly in CD8 cells in noticed ..a rise in TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma in draining lymph nodes is observe. Another interesting property is their inhibitory action on a wide spectrum of micro-organisms, including Candida albicans, C. tropicalis, gonorrhoeae, drug-resistant Staphyloccoccus, e-coli, Herpes simplex and HIV-1."
Pregnant women should not use Neem, as it is known to induce abortions. It is a strong promoter of TH-1 cytokine responses (IL-12, IL-2 and IFN-gamma) and may help with many other TH-1 deficient conditions like cancer.
An alternative combo that needs to be studied for treating HIV and CFIDS: Naltrexone, Guaifenesin and Neem and possibly including other factors that support IgA and mucosal immunity (i.e. Thyroxin, Vitamin A, plant-based Selenium, Silica and the probiotic B-longum). Who will fund this study?
This formula has been imported from China and used to treat HIV and hepatitis. Posted by Rob on May 09, 2003 at 15:03:50 on our Keep Hope Alive Message Board. (from IP 126.96.36.199):
The major herbs of Revivo are listed below. REVIVO is a pulverized extract. It is sealed in portions of 10 grams per bag and can be dissolved in hot water for application.
1 Arcticum lappa
2 Hypericum japonicum
3 Baphiacanthis rhizoma
4 Prunella vulgaris
5 Alternanthera philoxeroides
6 Lithospermum rythrorhizon
7 Coix semen 8 Zizyphus jujuba
9 Semen armeniacae
10 Fructus lycii
11 Nelumbo nucifera
12 Porphyra tenera
After 2 months of use, one person self-treating with several supplements reported a decrease in viral load from 2000 to 1200 but no increase in the T cells.
Sutherlandia may have some value in treating HIV and cancer but I feel the dose recommendations of 300 mg twice daily are insufficient to produce desired results. 1200 to 2400 mg daily might yield better results. One person with HIV taking 600 mg daily of Sutherlandia reported no improvement in the CD4's or viral load after two months of use as a monotherapy.
In IMPI, 3 persons said they liked the formula but no one has provided any data on lab results. Also two other persons with HIV using IMPI report they developed neuropathy in their feet after using the African formula.
Sept., 2003. GOOT is a formula I came up with several years ago that continues to this day to have miraculous healing powers. The formula is described on page 273 of my book on Immune Restoration. It is made by blending raw garlic cloves with olive oil and coconut oil. It is blended in a coffee grinder or food processor until it turns into a paste. In my book, I recommend it for both external and internal problems involving infections as garlic kills almost anything in its path - bacteria, mycoplasma, fungus and viruses. It has not been tried on Lyme disease and I don't know why not. It knocks out athlete's foot, jock itch, anal itch, vaginitis, thrush, infections of the toe and fingernails, skin infections of any kind and chest colds and sinus infections. Just rub it in the skin near where the problem is. In the Immune Restoration Handbook, I had recommended making a new batch every 2 weeks, but no longer.
A surprise development has occurred within the past week. A batch of GOOT I made last summer, over a year ago, has been in my refrigerator all this time. A friend recently got a stomach flu. I gave him the bottle of GOOT. He rubbed some on his stomach before bedtime. In the morning he felt fine. Within the past two weeks, I came down with a flu and cold. I applied the one-year old GOOT on my chest and found the flu and cold on the wane the following day. I am truly amazed at its effectiveness after one year.
In my next quarterly report due in November, I will discuss a discovery about using raw rose hips to increase body temperature; also the use of Chinese herbal footpads to detoxify the body. (www.detoxi-pad.com) Stay tuned.
The Complementary Health Care Practitioner List published in the hard copy of this report appears on the home page under Quicklinks. This is the complete worldwide list of the names and addresses of health care professionals who have subscribed to our newsletter or purchased one of our current or past books on the immune system.
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