A New Arsenal in the War Against HIV: Geraniums May Fight HIV

It’s not a new notion that something we find growing in the backyard could be useful for other applications apart from its intended use. That is what researchers have recently discovered about the humble, yet beautiful geranium plant. Geraniums may fight HIV and could have an important role on the war against HIV and AIDS. While it is still early, the results are nearly completely positive and continue to show promise.

Certain areas in Europe are already using the extract taken from the root of the geranium plant as medicinal therapy for such ailments as bronchitis. A group of researchers decided to see what effect, if any, this plant would have on HIV. When it was tested, it acted as a strong deterrent against the virus. It prevented invasion of key cells, such as those found in the blood and immune system. The geranium extract acts as a doorkeeper or guard for the healthy cells. When HIV tries to invade by attaching itself to cell receptors, it finds itself unable to do so. With all entrances blocked, infection is greatly slowed. This could mean developing new medications that would severely limit HIV and its means of invasion.

Further investigation has revealed a certain compound within the root extract called polyphenols. These substances when separated from the plant extract still carry a strong antiviral property. Geranium extract is safe to use as is, but polyphenols have been proven to be even less toxic to the body. It also does not require refrigeration, which would make it ideal (not to mention affordable) in areas where HIV is rampant but patients are unable to afford or refrigerate medications.

A safe and accessible potential new component of a drug, it appears geraniums may fight HIV just as effectively as current antiretroviral medications available now. Also, new therapies that incorporate the geranium extract could be on the market in a relatively short amount of time due to its hardy nature.