A Chinese herb called thunder god vine works better than a widely-prescribed pharmaceutical drug at easing rheumatoid arthritis, a new study has found.
The herb has long been used in China to treat this potentially crippling autoimmune disease, which typically strikes hand and foot joints. 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.
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have discovered that a natural constituent isolated from a traditional Chinese medicinal herb, Triptergium wilfordii Hook F. (雷公藤, Lei Gong Teng, Thunder God Vine), used for hundreds of years to treat many conditions, works well by blocking gene control machinery in the…
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