The theory and practice of TangHerb on improving the patients’ symptoms and the quality of life
Since 1981, the first case of AIDS was found in the world, Chinese medicine treatment of AIDS have grown up from the initial exploration of the Chinese medical team in Africa and domestic occasional voluntary research to current organized large-scale medical assistance and multi-component, multi-level scientific research under the leadership of the Government. It has been accumulated a certain amount of experience, and achieved certain results, showing good prospects in the past two decades. So far "cocktail" therapy , i.e. highly effective antiretroviral therapy (HAART), is considered to be the most effective treatment for AIDS , which can obtain remarkable clinical results. However, it has obvious side effects such as withdrawal rebound, drug resistance, etc. Thus, it is difficult to achieve long-term survival of HIV infecters and ultimate eradication of virus from the body solely relying on anti-retroviral therapy. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has its own theoretical system, as well as unique treatment with syndrome differentiation methods. We should fully play the advantages of TCM , and make plan to carry out AIDS treatment research.
TangHerb, manufactured by HAH, at present is the first and unique TCM for HIV/ AIDS approved by SFDA. With research and development for 17 years, it has been proved significantly effective in improving patients’ symptoms and quality of life. The main ingredients are Astragalus Radix, Glycyrrhizae Radix, Glutinous Rice Root, Herba Erodii, Moslae herba, Lonicera japonica, Chebulae Fructus, etc. With the treatment principle of recuperating and addressing root cause, Tang Herb aims to adapt and enhance immune function, improve quality of life of AIDS patients.
(A), The theoretical basis for TangHerb improving patient symptoms and quality of life
AIDS is in the scope of epidemic febrile disease in Chinese medicine, a root deficiency and branch excess syndrome whose etiology and pathogenesis is virus and evil rampant, blood intrusion, damage of yin, essence consumption and spirit consumption. “If you are hygiene, the evil can not attack; if the evil invades, you must be frail”. In the premise of HIV infection, if the regimen careless and indulgent; or sudden changes in weather, exogenous evils’ attack; or extreme fatigue, organs’s function damaged; or strong virulence of HIV virus and many other factors , all can be an incentive to the emergence of opportunistic infections. However, if the healthy qi is sufficient, the body is well adapted to HIV infection and co-exist with HIV, therefore the patient will become a long-term carriers of HIV and the onset of death may be delayed.
TCM emphasizes treating disease from the root, whose dialectical thinking is full of endless charming.
TCM Preparation "TangHerb" aims to restore overall balance, that is, "cut down redundance , make up for shortage", and eventually to achieve the objective of " eliminate pathogens but not damage healthy qi , strengthen healthy qi to eliminate pathogens ". In the preparation, Lonicera japonica, sweet, cold and fragrant. The cold can clear away heat and toxic material, the sweet can be nourishing and tonic, which is good at clearing toxic. Lonicera japonica can clear the heat of blood, but also resolves toxicity in blood, “Clear away heat but not hurt healthy qi, detoxificate but not damage yin" . Lonicera japonica has a role of refreshing and evacuating. Astragalus, Spatholobi Caulis and Glycyrrhizae Radix can benefit qi and nourish blood, invigorate splendid yang to dispel toxic, strengthen healthy qi to eliminate pathogens. Astragalus, sweet and warm, an excellent tonic. Written in "Sheen Hong’s Herbal Classic", it can "relieve pain and combat cellulitis, long-last sores, pediatric white disease". It is the first choice to enhance and repair the body immune function. The roots of AIDS is the "hide of virus”, thus Herba Erodii, Hedyotis diffusa, Gossampini flos, Portulacae Herba and Picrorhizae Rhizoma build up a team to clear away heat and toxic, in addition to Scorpion which combat poison with poison. Trapa bispinosa, Glutinosae Rice Root, Glycyrrhizae Radix nourish stomach and suppress sweating. Chebulae Fructus, Granati Pericarpium can enhance intestine and stop diarrhea. Trichosanthis Pericarpium moisten lung and eliminate phlegm. Carthami Flos and Ginkgo Folium activate blood and dissolve stasis. Bupleuri Radix and Moslae herba, whose smell is light and clear, aromatic and cathartic, can dispel pathogens and heat out.
Treatment of TangHerb on AIDS can clear away heat and toxic material, strengthen healthy qi to eliminate pathogens, balance yin and yang and treat according to syndrome differentiation, which make it able to adjust the patient's body dysfunction, metabolic disorders and pathological changes. Therefore the immune function of HIV-infected persons is enhanced, viral replication is inhibited. Disease progress to AIDS-related complex (ARC) and AIDS is delayed. The treatment can reduce the morbidity of HIV carriers, improve the patient's systemic symptoms, eliminate signs, ease their pains, and improve the quality of life and prolong life.
(B), The practice of TangHerb improving patients’ symptoms and quality of life
Because AIDS is not curable, currently treatment of AIDS should focus on improving the patient's symptoms, ameliorating patients’ quality of life and prolonging their life, rather than simply improving test results in laboratory.
1. 1. Phase III clinical trial for TangHerb
In 2002 , five hospitals, i.e., Beijing You’ an Hospital, Beijing Ditan Hospital, Beijing Union Medical College Hospital, the Third People's Hospital of Kunming, 302 Hospital of PLA ,selected 176 cases to carry out clinical research for TangHerb. With a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center research methods, this Phase III clinical trial showed TangHerb could significantly increase CD4+ T cell count, while at the same time the patients restored their weight. Significant improvement in diarrhea, appetite loss, fatigue, hair loss , functional classification and other clinical symptoms was also observed. Furthermore, there was no obvious side effect found.
Statistical analysis of total clinical symptoms score showed that after treatment for 6 months the TangHerb group was significantly superior to placebo group. The two groups was statistically significantly different in efficacy (PITT=0.000; PPP=0.000). ITT (Intent - to-treat) crowd and PP (Per-Protocol) crowd had the same conclusion.
2. 2. Clinical observation for TangHerb treatment of 37 HIV / AIDS cases
Since June 2006, Shanghai Public Health Center took intervention treatment of HIV / AIDS patients by TangHerb to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Tangherb.
The safety of TangHerb is confirmed through the clinical observation. Most patients had their symptoms improved, and the total effective rate was 81.82% except two cases saw increased frequency of bowel movements after medication.
(C), TangHerb combined with western medicine
Currently cocktail therapy is the main stream and an internationally accepted methods for AIDS treatment. Obviously it can inhibit HIV replication and improve clinical symptoms of AIDS, but at the same time it has many adverse effects, such as bone marrow suppression, gastrointestinal reactions, skin itching and so on. Compared with the western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine has the following unique advantages which has been well recognized so far: rich sources; low price; slighter toxic side effects; slow action, yet the effect is lasting and sustainable; good compliance; suitable for early intervention and long-term use; improve immune function and quality of life, the patient may become carriers of the virus and survive; in combination with cocktail therapy, it may improve the efficacy of western medicine and alleviate its toxic side effects. The clinical trials for TangHerb combination with western medicine therapy, taken in Public health centers in Shanghai , showed that total effective rate of CD4+ T lymphocytes in TangHerb group was 63.64% , in combination group, the total effective rate was 92.31%; in TangHerb group ,the total effective rate of symptom and sign improvement was 81.82%, and in combination group, the total effective rate was 96.15%.
The curative effect of TangHerb is definitely reliable, and suitable for both asymptomatic infecters and AIDS patients in various stage. Long time use can enhance their anti-virus capabilities. TangHerb is more widely usable and has its own unique advantages compared with western medicine. Clinical observation of TangHerb in combination with western medicines indicated that TangHerb can reduce the toxic side effects of the western medicines. We also observed Tangherb application for drug-using AIDS patients, and AIDS patients co-inffected with hepatitis C. The results were delighted. All the practices has shown that, by combining syndrome differentiation with TCMs, TangHerb can enhance or stabilize the immune function of AIDS patients, improve symptoms, alleviate the suffering of them and improve their quality of life.