More than 350 million people across the world are infected with HIV, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Of those, the majority carries the immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), which escalates into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). AIDS is one of ten leading causes of death worldwide, and while progress has been made in the management of the disease, a cure has yet to be found. Research from Hemholtz Zentrum Munchen (Germany), an institute dedicated to discovering new therapies for diagnosing, preventing, and treating common diseases, has brought us one step closer to eradicating AIDS. The study shows that root extracts from the geranium plant inactivate HIV-1, stopping the infection of healthy cells and preventing the virus from spreading.
A Different Kind of Anti-HIV-1 Agent
Scientists discovered that geranium extract protects blood and immune cells from HIV-1 infection by preventing virus particles from attaching to host cells. Geranium extract foils the invading virus and inhibits virus replication! Packed with polyphenols, geranium extract seems to suppress HIV-1 in a different manner than the anti-HIV-1 agents currently in use. And its safety has already been validated; in Germany, it’s a popular herbal medicine used to treat acute bronchitis.
The study authors concluded: “Based on our data and its excellent safety profile, we propose that [geranium plant] extract represents a lead candidate for the development of a scientifically validated herbal medicine for anti-HIV-1 therapy with a mode-of-action different from and complementary to current single-molecule drugs.”
Testing in HIV-1-infected individuals is the next step in determining just how effectively geranium extract suppresses HIV-1.
Geranium Extract Benefits
Derived from the Pelargonium sidoides plant, geranium extract is packed with powerful proanthocyanidins, healing nutrients that are antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory in nature. Geranium extract benefits include:
- Strengthening the immune system
- Alleviating diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Regulating blood pressure
- Sharpening mental acuity and focus
- Accelerating weight loss
When applied topically, geranium extract heals acne and dermatitis. It can even diminish the appearance of scars by boosting blood flow in the layer of skin beneath the mark. Geranium extract also evens out skin tone by distributing melanin and reducing hyperpigmentaion.