Detailed and exhaustive research of a tree bark used in Samoa to make medicinal tea could perhaps lead to a cure for Aids, as announced during an important scientific conference in the US.
The US National Cancer Institute conducted an analysis of the bark and narrowed down on the main ingredient which is prostratin. Nearly two decades of study and research has led to the latest breakthrough of synthesized prostratin.
Scientists have also devised novel and effective ways of making prostratin which can treat AIDS and also be of use in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and cancer.
"We now have made synthetic variants of prostratin, called analogues, that are 100 times more potent than the natural product.The mamala tree did not start making prostratin millions of years ago to treat a disease that appeared in the 20th century. The same is true for other substances that occur naturally in plants and animals."
The new versions of prostratin have already revealed its capability in laboratory tests in preventing HIV from infecting human cells and awakening dormant HIV viruses.