About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis is Better With Chinese Herb Than Drug: Study

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on April 15, 2014 at 2:35 PM
Font : A-A+

 Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis is Better With Chinese Herb Than Drug: Study

Thunder god vine, a Chinese herb, works better than a widely-prescribed pharmaceutical drug at easing rheumatoid arthritis, a study published on Monday said.

The herb has long been used in China to treat this potentially crippling autoimmune disease, which typically strikes hand and foot joints.

Advertisement

It is known in Mandarin as lei gong teng and to botanists as Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F.

Extracts of the herb have already fired the interest of drug laboratories as they contain hundreds of compounds, including intriguing molecules called diterpenoids which are believed to ease inflammation and immune response.
Advertisement

In a study published in the British journal BMJ Open, Chinese researchers recruited 207 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and gave them either the herb; the drug methotrexate (marketed as Rheumatrex or Trexall); or a combination of the two.

After six months, the patients were given a doctor's assessment and were also asked if they felt any change.

The benchmark for improvement is called the ACR 50 -- named after the American College of Rheumatology -- which indicates a 50-percent improvement in the tally of tender or swollen joints and other criteria such as pain and disability.

Of the 174 who completed the trial, 55 percent of those on the herb attained ACR 50, compared to 46 among those treated with methotrexate alone.

But the biggest gain was among the group which took the herb-methotrexate combination: nearly 77 percent of them achieved the ACR 50 measure of improvement.

Previous -- but small-scale -- trials involving thunder god vine have found it scored well against a harmless lookalike called a placebo and an anti-inflammatory called sulfasalazine.

But some of that research also flagged potential side effects from the herb.

The new study said that side effects this time were roughly similar among the herb and methodrexate users, being mainly gastrointestinal upsets. Among the herb group, some of the women experienced irregular menstruation.

The investigation, led by Xuan Zhang, a rheumatologist at the Peking Union Medical College Hospital in Beijing, acknowledged several limitations.

One was that the doctors who treated the patients, and the patients themselves, knew what medication was being taken, although outside assessors were brought in to verify the results.

Another was that the trial was too short to see if the herb arrested progression of the disease rather than eased the symptoms.

A third was that the dose of methotrexate was limited to 12.5 milligrams a week. "This is standard in Asia, although it is common in the West to use higher doses," the paper said.

Source: AFP
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Is COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy Safe?
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Blue Cohosh Osteoarthritis Rheumatoid Arthritis Oligoarthritis Spondylolisthesis Chemotherapy Saint Johns Wort Chemotherapy Drugs Knee Replacement Reactive Arthritis 

Recommended Reading
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and ......
Sleep Apnea Increases Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
According to a new Taiwanese study, people who are heavy snorers are at an increased risk of ......
Combination DMARDs Effective in Methotrexate-Resistant Rheumatoid Arthritis Cases
A combination of DMARDs is an effective alternative to the use of biological agents for the ......
Genetics can Explain Why Infections Trigger Rheumatoid Arthritis: Study
How genetics could explain why different environmental exposures can trigger the onset of different ...
Blue Cohosh
Blue cohosh is a herb used in herbal remedies that gives relief for chronic conditions like rheumat...
Chemotherapy
‘Chemo’ means medicine or ‘drug’; ‘therapy’ means ‘treatment’. Chemotherapy refers to the use of cy...
Chemotherapy Drugs
Chemotherapy drugs perform like ‘magic bullets’ to destroy cancer cells in the body....
Knee Replacement
Make sprinting a possibility! Relieve chronic arthritic pain by having a knee replacement done at ...
Oligoarthritis
Most parents when told that their child has arthritis find it hard to believe it, as arthritis is re...
Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is one of the commonest joint disorder and occurs as we age due to wear and tear of a...
Reactive Arthritis
Reactive arthritis is an autoimmune condition. Ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis are disor...
Saint Johns Wort
Saint John''s Wort is a medicinal herb. It has been used for centuries to treat depression....
Spondylolisthesis
Spondylolisthesis is a condition of the lower spine in which one of the bones of the vertebral colum...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use