Thunder God Vine Shows Promise In Research For Treatment Of Numerous Conditions
Thunder God Vine, or Lei Gong Teng, is a unique plant with many remarkable health benefits that are now being studied by the medical community in both it’s native settings and in the US today. A few of the benefits of the vine being studied are its anti-inflammatory properties, contraceptive uses, weight loss assistance, cancer inhibitions and its role in reducing tumor sizes and causing apoptosis in cancer cells.
In its native setting, however, this plant has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and the rest of society is just starting to realize the benefits. Only the inner root of the plant may be ingested by humans, with the bark of the root peeled off. The aerial parts, such as leaves and stem, are poisonous, and should always be avoided.
Side effects known today may include amenorrhea (though some women use it for that specific purpose, to stop or lighten heavy and painful periods) which is temporary, and present during the usage of the plant. Menstruation appears to return to normal after usage is stopped. Men can suffer this same type of side effect, albeit with a lowered sperm count during use, which some have used traditionally as a male contraceptive. Those with osteoporosis should avoid it, as it may cause bone density issues with long term use in those prone to the disease. Some may also experience nausea or headaches as well.
Traditionally, the crushed inner root is made into a tea or sprinkled on food, and today it is available in capsules and topical ointments as well. Today, we are also beginning to understand the roles that various compounds within the root provide. Triptolide, one of the active compounds in Thunder God vine, is being studied for its role in apoptosis (meaning its ability to cause cancer cell death) of certain kinds of cancer cells. Another compound in it, Celastrol, is being studied for its role in helping to reduce Leptin sensitivity and support weight loss.
Some of the health benefits being discovered and studied are ….
Possible Anti-Cancer Benefits
Thunder God Vine is being studied now in institutes all over the world, because researchers believe that it may help to cause cell death in cancer cells, which is called apoptosis. Several studies have shown the promising effects of Celastrol and Triptolide in treating cancers like breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and colo-rectal cancers    .
Possible Anti-Inflammatory/Autoimmune Benefits
This is what drew me to this plant in the first place. Inflammation plays a key role in many diseases, including but not limited to Rheumatoid Arthritis, Arthritis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, gout and so on. Chronic inflammation can lead to many health problems that science is just now beginning to really understand. One of the diseases studied for inflammation is Rheumatoid Arthritis, and researchers and looking at exciting new information on the use of thunder god vine in conjunction with or in place of a commonly prescribed drug called methotrexate, which has some devastating side effects .
Possible Weight Loss Benefits
Weight loss is a serious issue in America today, with approximately 40% of American adults being obese according to https://www.stateofobesity.org/monitor/. Thunder god vine has shown surprising results for helping to combat leptin resistance, and appetite control in mice in laboratories, with mice being treated with thunder god vine eating an astounding 80% less than they were without the treatment, resulting in a weight loss percentage of 45% . Now, of course, humans often choose to eat when not hungry, for emotional reasons, boredom, sugar addiction and other reasons, but thunder god vine shows promise in helping us combat those urges and lower our leptin resistance, which is common in obese adults.
Possible Crohn’s Disease Benefits
Crohn’s disease is a devastating disease effecting the quality of life for many Americans. Crohn’s disease is on the rise in the US, according to the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation,
• Approximately 1.6 million Americans currently have IBD, a growth of about 200,000 since the last time CCFA reported this figure (in 2011).
• As many as 70,000 new cases of IBD are diagnosed in the United States each year.
• There may be as many as 80,000 children in the United States with IBD (https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/sites/default/files/2019-02/Updated%20IBD%20Factbook.pdf)
It is my opinion that this is possibly related to the now prevalent use of glyphosate as a pesticide in our crops in the US. Glyphosate usage has gone from being a 5 billion dollars a year to a predicted 10 billion in just 2 years (2021), as over 90% of the corn grown in the US is now genetically modified. (https://newfoodeconomy.org/glyphosate-roundup-bayer-monsanto-reliance-increase-midwest-pesticide-resistance/)
Crohn’s disease may be helped by treatment with thunder god vine root, as well, showing promising results by encouraging remission and preventing recurrence of the disease .
*Required disclaimer: This website is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or condition. We are not doctors. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government.
- Lu L1, Kanwar J, Schmitt S, Cui QC, Zhang C, Zhao C, Dou QP. Anticancer Res. 2011 Jan;31(1):1-10. “Inhibition of tumor cellular proteasome activity by triptolide extracted from the Chinese medicinal plant ‘thunder god vine’.” Department of Pathophysiology, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510082, China. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21273574 2019.08.29
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- Boston Children’s Hospital. “How celastrol sensitizes brains to leptin, curbing hunger and obesity: New research reveals a pro-inflammatory pathway.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2019. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190304134236.htm 20190829.
- Zhang, Jianying et al. “Efficacy and safety of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F preparations for the treatment of Crohn disease: A systemic review and meta-analysis protocol.” Medicine vol. 98,26 (2019): e16231. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000016231. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6617484/ 20190829.
- Ng, S. C., Lam, Y. T., Tsoi, K. K., Chan, F. K., Sung, J. J. and Wu, J. C. (2013), Systematic review: the efficacy of herbal therapy in inflammatory bowel disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 38: 854-863. doi:10.1111/apt.12464. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1111%2Fapt.12464 20190829.