When an infection becomes serious it can lead to septicemia and sepsis which if left untreated can cause death. It is commonly caused by bacteria but can also be due to viruses and fungi. Accompanying symptoms can include high fevers, flushed skin and swelling. In the US alone, there are 200,000 deaths per year as a result of sepsis. Western medical treatment uses antibiotics in the treatment of septicemia.
In addition steroids have been used, though the use of steroids is controversial and another medicine, Activated Protein C, was taken off the market in 2011.
Recently researchers at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in the US have discovered that the humble and simple mung bean used in traditional Chinese medicine can help with infection and sepsis. In technical terms it reduces the release of HMGB1 which in theory can increase survival rates.
One of the medical researchers commented
Many traditional medicinal herbs have been used successfully and developed into effective therapies for various inflammatory ailments. We have now validated the therapeutic potential of another medicinal product using mung bean extract.
There are many herbs in traditional Chinese medicine that can be used for fever, infection and contagious diseases. Chinese herbal medical texts have whole chapters devoted to what is called Herbs that Neutralize Toxins. Some examples of these types of herbs include honey suckle flower and dandelion.
In Chinese hospitals it is common practice to prescribe herbs along side with antibiotics and other medications in the treatment of dangerous conditions such as septicemia.
Sepsis costs the US approximately 17 billion dollars a year. A packet of mung beans costs about a dollar, so further research into Chinese herbs could prove to be financially viable.