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Nago City researcher creates flu medicine

Date Posted: 2008-10-24

A pair of tree species found in northern Okinawa are now making their way into new influenza antiseptic medicines effective for humans, and also bird influenza.
Senden, the Chinaberry tree, and Han-noki, the birch tree, are at the heart of Kuniaki Nerome’s research and development of the new medicines. Both grow in forests of northern Okinawa, easily available for pharmaceutical companies to harvest the trees for medicinal use. Nerome, president of the Nature Resource Research Institute, has spent years working with the plants and trees he now predicts will “protect people and animals so perfectly.”

He says the new medicines will be in production next year, “very helpful in stopping the bird influenza spreading all over the places in Asian countries.” Nerome says “It’s my dream to help the world’s people from right here in Okinawa. Okinawa’s northern forests are a mountain of treasures.”

The newly created medicines are in both liquid and powder forms. Nerome says the birth tree’s liquid extraction was developed by Tsutomu Gushiken, and he followed up, using that process to produce the new medicine. Taking bird influenza virus, he applied birch extraction liquid and one gram of Chinaberry powder, killing the millions of bird flu cells.

“This antiseptic medicine can be used in public places like schools, hospitals, stations and bus stops, and in movie theaters,” says Nerome. “It will protect against influenza.” A side benefit, he says, is that the birch extraction liquid is effective in reducing high blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels and losing weight.

The birch extraction liquid has already been developed and produced in drinking water form. The birch water product is available at Okinawa Market’s Camp Foster Concession.

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