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Herb Safety

Apr 14, 2003

Hi.....I was diagonosed 9-'02 and have a viral load of 7,000 and CD4 530. I am not on meds. I was taking goldenseal and echinacea as part of my supplement program. However I have read conflicting points of view regarding both of these. Is it advisable for someone who is HIV+ to avoid both or one of these herbs? Your guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Response from Mr. Vergel

Herbal research in HIV is almost non-existent. However, there was a small study done at the VA Hospital in Long Beach presented in the INT AIDS Conf of 1998 that showed improved natural killer cell function in 11 out of 12 patients taking echinacea (1 grams three times a day)for 12 weeks. There is another report that shows that long term use of echinacea may be bad for the immune system. I would just be careful with this herb and keep a close eye on your viral load and T cells every 3 months. There are no data available on goldenseal and HIV, so I can not tell you anything about it.

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