After finding the partnership Nutrition Science Partners Ltd. (NSP) between Nestle Health Science (a division of Nestle SA) and a company owned by China’s richest man, Hutchison China Meditech Ltd. (Chi-Med), and reading about exactly what they were partnering on, I became very intrigued. They partnered to further research on HPML-004 (Hutchison MediPharma Limited) which they are using to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Crohn’s Disease.
HPML-004 is their name for a Traditional Chinese Medicinal (TCM) herb whose pinyin is Chuan Xin Lian (translated as “thread-the-heart lotus”). This TCM herbal remedy is, and has been, used as a broad-spectrum antibiotic to treat a variety of bacterial and viral conditions that include influenza, intestinal infections, hepatitis, pneumonia, and infected wounds and also topically for snakebites and eczema. Side-effects are seen when taking very large doses for extended periods of time and include gastric distress and loss of appetite. Interestingly, during my research into this subject I found that Chuan Xin Lian “may have the potential for interfering with the viability of the human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV)” (see page 373 here and also here). As exciting as this breakthrough treatment for HIV using Chuan Xin Lian is, that Traditional Chinese Medicines are now being researched for the efficacy of treating such debilitating diseases as IBD and Crohn’s and being placed next to side-effect laden Western medicines as alternative treatments is even more exciting.
Back to the chocolate maker and the Chinese billionaire who, through NSP, initiated Global Phase III’s with HPML-004, or Chuan Xin Lian, in April of 2013 and will have these trials completed fairly shortly after a 52 week period of testing. Together they seem like an unlikely partnership and to some they seem like an evil alliance. Ad hominems, red herrings and other false arguments aside, I try to see the positive of this and not the “global conglomerate as evil” that others see. Bringing a company with the international exposure of Nestle together with a company that has access to over “1,500 purified natural products and 50,000 extracts from medicinal plants” such as Chi-Med can only work to the benefit of the masses when and where their research is determined to find natural sources to cure conditions that have been given band-aids by Western doctors. TCM has been using mind, body and natural herbs to heal the body for millennia without FDA approval and will continue to do so. However, FDA approval opens the door for many persons who have had that door closed for reasons of MD ignorance and hubris all the while these MD’s provide medicines whose side-effects are worse than the disease as it seems to be the case when providing prescriptions for such drugs as 5-aminosalicylates, mesalamine or corticosteroids. All of which are used to treat IBD and Crohn’s disease even though they produce such incredible side-effect as “moon face”, “buffalo hump”, inflammation of the pancreas, osteoporosis, blood disorders, increased risk of infections and eventually surgery when those Western medications fail. (According to the CDC two thirds to seventy five percent of Crohn’s patients eventually need surgery.)
The positives are exactly as stated above—medications with very few side-effects replacing medications that have too many side-effects—and in providing for the foundational acceptance required in the USA where the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the only stamp of approval advocated upon by such prestigious institutions such as the Mayo Clinic for the usage of medications. (And yet the Mayo Clinic supports the off-label usage of many drugs for the treatment of many diseases to which FDA approval has not been granted.)
Is it really about “who” brings the information so much as it is about the information? That TCM practitioners the planet over are now finding their herbal remedies at the forefront of medicine is certainly some consolation and yet the greatest redemption is in the healing of all patients, naturally!
Chuan Xin Lian has been healing persons, effectively, for over 5,000 years and will continue to do so for the next. TCM’s manifold uses are just now becoming clear to the Western mind. Chuan Xin Lian is only one of thousands of herbs that have great benefit on the human condition. It is time for everyone to not only understand this, it is time for people to start the conversation with their family, with their friends, with their co-workers and with their Western medicine doctor.
*Additionally, I have identified the following bioactive properties (taken from the NIH) of the constituents of Chuan Xin Lian, namely of the andrographolide properties:
*Immunostimulatory of, relating to, or having the capacity to stimulate an immune response
*anti-infective Anti-infectives are drugs that can either kill an infectious agent or inhibit it from spreading. Anti-infectives include antibiotics and antibacterials, antifungals, antivirals and antiproatozoans.
*anti-hepatotoxic Hepatotoxicity (from hepatic toxicity) implies chemical-driven liver damage.
*immunomodulatory Capable of modifying or regulating one or more immune functions
*anti-atherosclerotic Atherosclerosis (also known as arteriosclerotic vascular disease or ASVD) is a specific form of arteriosclerosis in which an artery wall thickens as a result of the accumulation of calcium and fatty materials such as cholesterol and triglyceride. It reduces the elasticity of the artery walls and therefore allows less blood to travel through. This also increases blood pressure.