News: UZ Scientists Produce Herbal Cocktail
5 July 2007
Scientists at the University of Zimbabwe say they have made a
breakthrough in producing a herbal cocktail that reduces HIV
viral load in a patient's bloodstream by up to 90 percent within
two months of therapy.
The drug, called Gundamiti, has been developed from herbs after
14 years of research. UZ scientists claim that it is potent
enough to increase disease-fighting CD4 blood cells in the range
400-to-1500/ml in two months.
The herbal cocktail is currently being manufactured from the
University of Zimbabwe but moves are underway to establish a
factory to manufacture the drug on a large scale. Gundamiti is
already being distributed in the country in capsule form.
"Gundamiti is a herbal remedy specifically designed to fight the
effects of HIV in humans. It is made up of water extracts of
three plants. These plants are in use as medicinal remedies,"
said the lead researcher, Dr Peter Mashava of the Department of
Science and Mathematics Education.
The Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr Edwin Muguti,
yesterday said the drug had proven that it could reduce the
effects of HIV.
"We are aware of the claims that have been made regarding its
potential. It is a herbal combination that has showed some
promise in the treatment of some illnesses. It has
anti-retroviral properties and seems to improve the clinical
life of some people," said Dr Muguti.
He said the Government was not actively involved in the research
but supports organisations involved in the research.
"We have institutions and scientists that have been working on
research projects with our support. With Gundamiti, we have
researchers from the University of Zimbabwe and other
institutions that are involved in this project.
"We did our own preliminary investigation and were satisfied
with the results. We informed the researchers that we are
backing them. Research has been going on since the 1990s but we
only started getting tangible results in November 2005," said Dr
Dr Mashava said so far the drug cannot completely cure Aids but
is very effective against opportunistic infections associated
He claimed it has lowered the viral load in the range 50-90
percent in two months. Studies have proven that the drug has no
known side effects, with studies of both the liver and kidney
functions being shown to be safe, he added.
The distribution of the drug has caused a storm with the
Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe saying it was not
registered with them.
Online at: http://allafrica.com/stories/200707051367.html