A Chinese drug called thunder god vine (known in Mandarin as lei gong teng, or Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F for botanists in the house) has been proven to work better than the usually-prescribed pharmaceutical drug at easing rheumatoid arthritis.
The herb, which as long been used in China to cure the autoimmune disease, contains molecules called diterpenoids, which are believed to help with inflammation and immune response, according to AFP.
In a trial study published in the British journal BJM Open, 207 patients with rheumatoid arthritis were given either the herb, the drug methotrexate, or a combination of the two.
After six months, 55 percent of those on the herb attained ACR 50 (indicating a 50 percent improvement in the amount of swollen joints, pain etc.) compared to the 46 percent treated with the drug. Even better, nearly 77 percent of patients among the group who took the herb-methotrexate combination achieved the ACR 50 improvement.
Experts, however, did acknowledge limitations in the study. One was that the trial was too short to see if the herb halted the progression of disease rather than just ease pain and symptoms.
Another was that the dose of methotrexate in the study was 12.5mg, while it’s common in the West to give out higher doses.
When are we going to get going on test studies for that Himalayan Viagra? Not that we want to be a subject.