Kakadu Plum: Hope For Herpes Virus?
The rare wild Kakadu Plum from the far north of Australia is showing promise as an exceptional anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Harvested by hand in the remote Arnhem land jungles of far Northern Territory Australia, it has been used for tens of thousands of years by the local indigenous people.
A surprising proportion of the human population is infected by the herpes virus, some being carriers and not aware that they have the disease. Herpes is stigmatized and associated with promiscuity but that is often not the case. It is possible to catch herpes simply by touching the skin of someone who has a herpes lesion or rash. There are a number of forms of the virus, the three most common being HSV-1 and HSV-2 (herpes simplex) and varicella zoster virus (VZV). HSV-1 usually affects the lips and mouth. HSV-2 affects the genitals. Zoster is a form of chicken pox in younger people and exhibits as shingles in older people.
Extract from the fruit of the Australian Kakadu plum (also known as Gubinge, BillyGoat Plum and Murunga) has many promising characteristics. Aside from being an anti-bacterial and anti-viral, it has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-fungal properties. Terminalia ferdinandiana (the botanical name for the plant) is probably the richest source of vitamin C of any known plant species. Wild Australian Kakadu Plum has an ORAC (anti-oxidant rating) which is 100 times higher than oranges.
It is believed that plant species in some remote and harsh areas of Australia have developed unique survival methods which include special plant chemicals called phytochemicals.
Kakadu Plum extract has been commercialised in capsule form and is intended to be taken orally but there are reports of people taking the extract from the capsules, mixing it into a paste and then applying it to the skin.
Aside from embarrassing rashes and blisters the symptoms of herpes may include lowered appetite, fever, felling sick, aching muscles and swollen glands. Drugs are available to treat herpes (acyclovir or valcyclovir) but they can be expensive and have varying benefits and side effects. The disease is generally manageable but is serious for people who have a compromised immune system.
Anyone with a herpes outbreak will tell you they are eager to get whatever relief they can. Unfortunately there is no cure for the disease and it stays for life, recurring again and again. The aim of treatment is to reduce the severity of an outbreak, speed up the healing time for the lesions (this is where an “on skin” product may be helpful), reduce the itching, pain and discomfort, shorten the duration of the outbreak, and increase the time until the next outbreak. People say they are reluctant to take a drug every day when they are not having the symptoms but this is the current strategy for delaying the next painful outbreak.
Gallic acid (a phytochemical) found in Kakadu Plum has been used in herbal tonics for shingles and herpes for some time. Kakadu plum contains a whole range of phytochemicals including Gallic acid.
The small Kakadu plum fruit is less than an inch in diameter and it is easily confused with other species. Hand harvesting of this wild organic product is hard work and the extract needs to be correctly and carefully processed to maintain potency. Presently there are experiments cultivating the plum in other parts of the world but the phytochemical profiles appear to be different to the wild Australian variety, probably because of the unique conditions in Arnhem Land. This extract of Kakadu plum can be recognised in supplement form by the ALGqS badge. Currently there is only one Arnhem Land wild Kakadu Plum Extract with ALGgS accreditation and in all likelihood it will soon be in short supply. It is distributed in the USA by LifeProLabs via Amazon.
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Keywords: Kakadu Extract, Kakadu Plum, Antiviral, Herpes, Gubinge, BillyGoat Plum
- The chemotherapeutic potential of Terminalia ferdinandiana: Phytochemistry and Bioactivity, Pharmacogn Rev. 2012 Jan-Jun; 6(11): 29–36. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.95855, PMCID: PMC3358965
- Terminalia ferdinandiana, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminalia_ferdinandiana
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