February 25, 2008

Sri Lanka Researchers Reportedly Find AIDS Medicine

Text of report by Sri Lankan newspaper Daily Mirror website on 23 February

Researchers at the Bandaranaike Memorial Ayurvedic Research Institute (BMARI) in Nawinna [west Sri Lanka] have developed an Ayurvedic [traditional medicine system] formula to further the life span of AIDS patients and lessen their sufferings, Indigenous Medicine Minister Tissa Karalliyadda claimed yesterday.

Senior BMARI Research Officer Dr Pushpa Wickramasingha said research conducted at the BMARI so far had proved that the sufferings of AIDS patients could be lessened by indigenous medicine. Experimental treatment carried out on five HIV-positive patients have brought positive results, she claimed.

The BMARI has also found a therapy to cure vitiligo (sudu kabara) using Ayurvedic medicine and a method of treatment, she said. There are 200,000 Vitiligo patients in the country and the Nawinna Ayurvedic Research Institute has developed an effective indigenous medicine to cure Vitiligo, minister Karalliyadda said, addressing journalists at the Government Information Department. He said experiments conducted by the BMARI since 1969 had established that Vitiligo could be cured using traditional prescriptions.

"There are hundreds of Vitiligo patients who have been fully cured through Ayurvedic treatment, which involves the use of medicinal oil and essence of leaves. There is a stigma attached to this skin disease. Hence, those who got fully cured are reluctant to say that they once had this disease. They even send a third party to the Ayurvedic hospitals to obtain their drugs," minister Karaliyadda said.

Dr Pushpa Wickramasingha explaining the method of treatment said oil "bakuchi" prepared by the BMARI is the main drug used in treatment of Vitiligo patients. This oil is applied on the white patches of the patient's body and exposed to sunlight for about one hour from 7 to 8 a.m. In addition, one teaspoonful of Manibadra powder is administered orally along with water boiled with Nelli and Rasakinda. When treated in this manner for a few weeks the white patches of the skin begin to disappear and after a few months of continuous treatment the disease would completely disappear.

"The main cause for Vitiligo is food contaminated with pesticide and fast foods. The use of excessive antibiotics, mouse and snake bites, the damage of skin by chemicals, cosmetics and hair die and paints could be the cause for Vitiligo. However, this skin disease is not life threatening. The research has also established that Vitiligo can be hereditary," she said.

Indigenous Medicine Ministry Adviser Dr Jayasiri Mendis also addressed the media.

Originally published by Daily Mirror website, Colombo, in English 23 Feb 08.

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