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Posted by amber | Meds | Posted on August 31st, 2010

Sutherlandia is one of the ‘medicines’ that have been suggested I take. I am not sure if it helps but its worth looking into.

Chronic Fatigues Syndrome and Sutherlandia
by Dr. Nigel Gericke

This brief document is intended to answer the frequent questions that get asked about the use of Sutherlandia tablets in people living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as M.E. Syndrome or Yuppie Flu .

There is a well-established present and historical folk-use of Sutherlandia in the treatment of chronic fatigue states. Indeed in the great ‘flu pandemic of 1918, Sutherlandia was used throughout its range of distribution by indigenous people and settlers to mange the acute illness, as well as he post-‘flu debility that was widespread.

We have received positive anecdotal reports that appropriate doses of Sutherlandia tablets have improved the quality of people living with CFS. This is one indication that should definitely be the subject of a clinical study in view of the limited treatment options available.

Case History
This abstracted case history, submitted by Dr Alta Smit, was included as part of a presentation made by Dr Nigel Gericke at the 4th International Conference on Phyto therapeutics 23-25 February 2001, Kurrajong NSW Australia.

Ms. —— , a 43 year old business person contracted CFS after a ‘flu like illness in 1996. She consulted me initially in 1999, at the time fulfilling the CDC and Oxford criteria for CFS. She was functioning on a Karnofsky scale of 70% at the time, being unable to fulfill a full day’s work.

Complicating the syndrome was an almost monthly recurrence of Type II herpes infection for which she was taking Zelitrex (Valaciclovir) constantly. We embarked on a pyramidal treatment program including enterohepatic, mitochondrial , neuroendocrine and immune support. She did well on the program over eight months, but still had significant recurrence of the Herpes lesions. She was able to go back to work but could not exercise without relapsing.

We commenced treatment with Sutherlandia in September 2000 after I heard about it at the South African Complementary Medicine Association (SACMA) conference. She had one more outbreak of herpes in October 2000 and since then had no recurrences. Her clinical condition also improved even further, notably improvements in the fatigue and her exercise tolerance. An Exercise test performed in a physiology lab show her to be only mildly exercise intolerant on the 24.October 2000. We have kept her on Sutherlandia, and to date the patient remains well-functioning with a Karnofsky scale of 90%.

In this patient we see the typical obstacle encountered in many CFS patients. She recovered very well on all counts except for the immune system, where we still see evidence of a Th 2 state with viral and fungal reactivation. This is often very difficult to treat except for treatment with expensive and potentially dangerous compounds like the mismatched RNA compound Poly I Poly12 CU( Ampligen) or other invasive treatments like Ultra Violet blood irradiation. Sutherlandia is a safe alternative which is easy to administer. I have subsequently used it in other CFS patients with promising results.

Quality-of-life Tonic
Sutherlandia is a quality-of-life tonic par excellence

  • Mood
    Sutherlandia decreases anxiety and irritability and it elevates mood.
  • Appetite and Weight
    Sutherlandia dramatically improves appetite, and weight-gain can be expected in wasted patients. The first 5 kg gain is common after six weeks of treatment. In people living with CFS who are not wasted, weight-gain is not usual.
  • Energy Levels and Exercise Tolerance
    Sutherlandia typically improves the energy levels and exercise tolerance of patients, and gives an enhanced sense of overall well-being.


  • Qualified Healthcare Professional
    It is recommended that all CFS patients get assessed and managed by an appropriately qualified healthcare professional with recognized experience in investigating and managing this condition. The patient will need to make an informed decision about the treatment modalities to follow in his / her specific case. Sutherlandia and other natural approaches to managing CFS should be given a therapeutic trial.
  • Nutrition
    It is recommended that any CFS management programme should include meticulous attention to optimizing diet in consultation with a professional nutritionist with experience and interest in CFS.
  • Emotional, Cultural and Spiritual
    The participation of a psychologist, traditional healer and / or spiritual person should also be considered as part of the holistic team to provide support for the important but neglected emotional, cultural and spiritual aspects of the illness.

Dose of Sutherlandia
The recommended dose for enhanced quality-of-life is one tablet (300 mg) twice a day, after meals. This can be taken long-term.

It is not recommend that Sutherlandia be taken during pregnancy.

To date here have been minimal reported side-effects. Side-effects reported include occasional reports of dry mouth, occasional reports of mild diuretic effect; occasional reports of loose stool, occasional reports of constipation. Slight dizziness has been occasionally noted in very wasted and weak patients (e.g. in an ill adult weighing 35kg) who take Sutherlandia without meals. This is corrected by instructing wasted patients to take the product after meals.

Drug Interactions
As with most natural medicines on the world market, there are no scientific studies or reports on drug interactions with Sutherlandia ingestion.

Since common herbs such as garlic, ginkgo and ginseng have recently been thought to interfere with anesthesia and with blood clotting, it is recommended that patients should stop taking all herbal medication three weeks prior to elective surgery. It is likewise also advised not to take Sutherlandia with the anticoagulant drugs heparin and warfarin.

Patients taking Sutherlandia who are on anti-hypertensive or anti-diabetic medication may be able to reduce this medication under a doctors’ supervision.

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