Herb Halts Spread of HIV in Blood

Adapted From Daily Nation By Gatonye Gathura

23 December 2010
Nairobi — A vine which grows wildly in western Kenya and found to have antiretroviral properties is among a handful of neglected inventions in Africa with the potential to change the continent’s health landscape.

Imbasa as it is called locally in Emuhaya, or Tylosema fassoglensis botanically, also grows in parts South Nyanza and Maseno Hills.

It has been the subject of intense study by researchers from Kenyatta University, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Maseno University and North Carolina University in the US.

Using an extract from the climber, researchers led by Dr Michael B. Odotte, have developed a food supplement called Sunguprot now under commercial incubation at the Kenya Industrial Research Institute.

“It is a protein based protease inhibitor, meaning that it stops the replication of HIV in the body, and has been certified by the Kenya Bureau of Standards as fit for human consumption,” said Dr Odotte.

Last week Sunguprot was part of a slew of papers published by Canada’s McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health identified as having the potential to offer Africa a home grown health solution.

Sunguprot, says the paper published in the UK-based BioMed Central, is a promising product but it is being held back by lack of advanced scientific equipment to isolate compounds and funding to carry out large clinical trials.

Writing a forward for the papers that included innovations by the Kenya Medical Research Institutes and the Nairobi based International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology, Kenyan scholar at Harvard University Dr Calestus Juma says this has come at an opportune time.

“The publication has come at a time when firms in industrialised countries are rethinking their global strategies, especially in relation to the location of new research and production facilities. These papers show that some African countries could be viable partners as they seek to become part of the global knowledge ecology.”

Sunguprot, which was featured in the Nation last year, and comes in the form of flour for porridge, is described as a herbal food supplement with both antiretroviral and nutritive properties, ideal for people suffering from HIV/Aids, the malnourished and the aged.

Talking to the Nation, Dr Odotte said safety and efficacy studies had been carried out in conjunction with the Kemri and it had been found to be safe in primates and significantly lowered the HIV in the blood.

“We were funded by the National Council for Science and Technology to carry out limited clinical trials but we would still need to carry out larger studies,” Dr Odotte said.

He said, they are working with Maseno University on how to domesticate the wild plant for both commercial and conservation. “Already some farmers in Nyatike and Rongo are growing the plant on experimental bases.”

The limited trials carried out under Prof John Mecham of the Department of Biology, Meredith College and Prof Michael Otieno, Department of Pre-Clinical Sciences, Kenyatta University,

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20 Responses to "Herb Halts Spread of HIV in Blood"

  1. Ess says:

    this is good progress,advise on where to get the flour?

  2. I embrace your efforts geared towards finding our own solution to epidemic.God bless ua efforts.pliz respond to
    -availability of sunguprot.,
    -baariz HIV products and credibility of their effectiveness,herb
    -imbasa has and still used as blood cleanser locally in western.pple hav gone to an extent of producing flour out of it.effectiveness advice.
    Remember u”l never move foward without friction(nature”s law)(o724881448/0736388701

  3. shati simon says:

    we apprecciate your efforts.what are the positive and negative implications of consuming it the traditional way

    if we combined with other herbs baariz what can we come up with blessed day

  4. Longomba says:

    I am vehemently in search of the herb, my search in the city supermarkets have not yielded any success as no one seems to have heard of the herb, i need it urgently please direct me where i can get it, Your urgent and confidential treatment of this matter will be appreciated.

  5. Longomba says:


  6. Marie says:

    I need this drug for someone in hospital very sick. How can I get this supplement as soon as possible. I trust Indigenous medicines and solutions for treatment and better results.

  7. Anne says:

    Kindly send me details on how to access this herbal medicine.

  8. Angela Chepkitee. Kamakil -Health Systems Researcher says:

    The economic survival of our communities is under threat from some greedy, opportunistic, money hungry trans-national corporations through intellectual property regimes. It is vital that the Kenya Industrial Property Institute will step in and ensure that communities growing the herb will have intellectual property rites. It is also significant that these communities are educated on the same. This just could be the “next big thing!”

  9. ANDREW says:

    i need your services urgently contact 0728-398572

  10. harish thapa says:

    plz how we get this mediciane in nepal

  11. Andrew says:

    Hi i have a girl friend and we realised that she is +ve. Her cd bound is abt 918. M afraid m also infected. Please help us on how to get this imbasa. We are ready to be used on you tests and research. Thanks.

  12. Ngunjiri N James says:

    In highly appreciate your work. Keep it up

  13. Angelina says:

    where in Nairobi can i buy this product?

  14. Maggie says:

    Kindly let me know how I can get this Imbasa. I really need to save a life of a +ve person who has bin on ARV treatment for six months now and also just finished the TB treatment.

  15. Dane says:

    How much does the combination cost.

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