One study found that artemisinin stopped Mycobacterium tuberculosis from being dormant. Robert Abramovitch, the lead researcher, explained that when the bacteria reach dormancy, the chance that they will become resistant to antibiotics is higher. Blocking the dormancy, he said, can make TB bacteria more sensitive to the drugs and might even shorten the treatment time.
Another potential herbal medicine for tuberculosis is turmeric.
In the laboratory investigation titled, Curcumin may help overcome drug-resistant tuberculosis, the researchers discovered that curcumin (which you can find in turmeric), modulated the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
The report explained that curcumin was able to remove TB bacteria from the purposely infected cells in culture. When the researchers looked closer, they found that curcumin stimulated the macrophages, a type of white blood cell that surrounds and kills microorganisms.
Many people are aware of garlic’s wonders when it comes to lowering blood pressure. But recent data suggest that this herb can also treat TB.
One study showed that a concentration of 80mg/ml of garlic oil almost completely stopped the growth of TB bacteria. The reduction in colony count was comparable with 0.03mg/ml of rifampicin, one of the common drugs for TB.
Licorice also shows promising effects as herbal medicine for tuberculosis. This herb is not common in our country, but some stores sell its commercial preparations (capsules and powder).
In one animal study, the researchers prepared liposomal dry powder for inhalation (LDPI) containing licorice extract. Results showed that after inhalation, 46% of the prepared drug reached the lungs while 16% remained in the lungs 24 hours after administration.