Compare Thunder God Vine to Methotrexate
What is your initial reaction when someone mentions “Chinese herbs” to you? Do you picture some little old wizened Chinese man sitting cross-legged on a rock? Maybe you think of them as fake or something your grandmother might have used. Or, maybe you think they are the real deal.
No matter what your current association is, Chinese herbs have actually been a staple of the American medicinal scene for hundreds of years. Originally, they were an exotic staple of the homeopathic scene, then later they moved into being the basis for modern chemical medicine.
Likely, though, you sure don’t think of Chinese medicinal herbs as a cure for some very serious diseases, like cancer or rheumatoid arthritis.
The truth is, if this is what you think, you could be missing out on actually healing your illness.
If you read Xuan Zhang’s publication in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases from July 25, 2014 on Thunder God Vine versus methotrexate for treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis, you may actually sit up and pay attention.
Here are the facts of his study. The objective here was to actually compare the use of the Chinese Herb Thunder God Vine to a commonly prescribed (chemotherapy) drug called Methotrexate. If you don’t take methotrexate or you don’t know what it is, read my other post here.
So, Dr Zhang and his colleagues took a randomized, placebo controlled trial of methotrexate and compared it to the results patients received when taking Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TwHF), also known in China as Thunder God Vine. The parts of the thunder god vine used are the peeled roots, as other portions of the plant are not for human consumption.
Dr Zhang and his team found that the Thunder God Vine actually worked, and that the “monotherapy” of Thunder God Vine (in other words, taking ONLY the Thundergod vine) was not inferior to taking Methotrexate alone.
So here we have methotrexate, which is a chemotherapy drug, designed to chemically BOMB your body and which causes horrendous side effects, and we have a natural herbs that study after study is showing works JUST AS WELL as methotrexate. The study also showed that a methotrexate and thunder god vine combination was even superior to mono-therapy of Thunder God Vine or methotrexate alone.
This the exact quote from the article abstract: “Conclusions TwHF monotherapy was not inferior to, and MTX+TwHF was better than, MTX monotherapy in controlling disease activity in patients with active RA.” You can view that here.
“Methotrexate interferes with the production and maintenance of DNA, the genetic material in the cells of your body. It is not known exactly how methotrexate works in rheumatoid arthritis, but it can reduce inflammation and slow the progression of the disease. Methotrexate is considered a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). DMARDs are also called immunosuppressive drugs or slow-acting antirheumatic drugs (SAARDs).”
Thunder god vine is composed of many different compounds. One of those compounds is called Celastrol. According to scientists, Celastrol works to suppress rheumatoid arthritis and reduce damage by moderating what they call “osteoimmune cross-talk”. Bone marrow is the foundation to the development of the immune system, and cells called “cytokines”, produced by immune cells, have an effect on the skeletal system. This is what causes bone damage in rheumatic disease. Celastrol helps to regulate this “communication” between cells which in turn, reduces the damage to cells caused by an out of control immune system (Nanjundaiah et. al).
Researchers from John Hopkins discovered that Triptolide, also found in TGV, stops cell growth in certain areas by interfering with their RNA replication, which helps to reduce inflammation and pain.
Tripdiolide, another diterpenoid compound found in thunder god vine, was also found to exert an immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory effect similar in potency to that of triptolide, both in vitro and in vivo). Our previous studies found that the sum of the content of the two diterpenoid components accounted for most of the in vitro and in vivo activities of the extracts of [Thunder God Vine Root Extract]” (Tao, et al.)
Nature, it seems, has intended a cure for every ill. Big pharmaceutical companies, of course, cannot profit nearly as much selling herbs as they can when they create chemical substitutes. The FDA, as well, seems to take a very biased view when it comes to allowing statements about what herbs can actually cure – probably because big pharma is lining their pockets by bribing them to pass “medicines” like Methotrexate, which can create holes in your intestines, cause fatal liver, lung and kidney issues, birth defects, etc.
But when it comes down to it, each one of us is empowered to take control of our health by making decisions based on facts, not just what the big drug companies want us to know.
Thank you for reading!
Goldbach-Mansky R, Wilson M, Fleischmann R, Olsen N, Silverfield J, Kempf P, et al. Comparison of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F Versus Sulfasalazine in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2009;151:229-240. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-151-4-200908180-00005
Qian-wen Lv, Tao Chen, Wen Zhang, et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2014 73: e63 originally published online July 25, 2014 doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-206156