Thunder God Vine and the Treatment of Psoriasis
Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis may not be as infamous as their cousins Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus, but these two diseases are rheumatic conditions, chronic diseases of the immune system. In psoriasis, the immune system is triggered, and it speeds up the growth of skin cells, which turn into what is then known as psoriatic lesions.
Psoriasis outbreaks cause patches of scaly red or white skin, commonly referred to as plague. Now, not all people who get psoriasis end up getting psoriatic arthritis, only about 30% or so. Psoriatic arthritis is usually diagnosed by symptoms such as joint swelling and pain, and these can lead to permanent damage. Both diseases are caused by immune systems that attacks the hosts own body instead of antibodies. In the self-attacking disease, certain cells of the immune system malfunction – for unknown reasons as of yet. Many doctors believe that it can be caused by genetic factors that affect lymphocyte production and/or function, or by genes that impact connective tissue type cells or cause a hormone imbalance.
Psoriasis, unlike Lupus or RA, is often diagnosed before the age of 25. Treatments for moderate and severe psoriasis are often close to or the same as treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, using medications such as immune-suppressants and DMARDS like methotrexate.
Those who suffer from less severe psoriasis may find topical treatments ease the incidence of the disease. These can be either over the counter lotions or creams, or prescribed creams, medicated shampoo, etc.
For those who have more severe cases of psoriasis, usually a combination of treatments is used, including the aforementioned lotions and creams, in addition to DMARDS and Biologics.
However, a more natural approach has also been heralded as being effective. Thunder God Vine root extract has shown to be an effective treatment for psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Some studies have been done on the thunder-god vine (its peeled root extract only, other portions of the plant are poisonous) in addition to methotrexate, but I will write more on that later. Tripterygium Wilfordii has been shown to decrease inflammation and pain, as well as suppress immune response in numerous studies. According to Web Md, oral doses ranging from 180mg-570mg daily for up to 20 weeks have been shown to be safe.
As with any medication or supplement, please consult your doctor before taking, and do not take thunder god vine extract if you are pregnant or nursing.