Chinese Herbs show potential for treating Arthritis via control of autoimmune pathways
Chinese herbal formulas are used all over the world to relief symptoms of arthritis, but how they affect the body’s immune system is still an area of research. A recent study by Venkatesha et al, investigated how commonly used formulas, herbs and bioactive components affected the complex pathways of our immune system.
The laboratory results showed how herbs and active components directly inhibited the immune system mechanisms that promote inflammatory responses and contribute to the symptoms such as swelling and pain.
This study proved some Chinese herbs/formulas including green tea extract (EGCG), show great potential and it concluded these herbs and plants show promising resource for future medicine, but this is the biomedical model and until new medicines are developed we as practitioners can use our current knowledge of Traditional formulas to help people experience a better quality of life.
Conclusion from Study (This is open access so you can download the whole paper)
Plant-derived natural products offer a vital and promising resource for new therapeutic agents for RA and other autoimmune diseases. Practioners of the traditional systems of medicine prefer to use herbal extracts, either singly or in a formulation using multiple herbs. However, as part of its drug discovery process, the pharmaceutical industry frequently solicits purified herbal compounds which possess bioactivity that replicates, albeit exceeds, the bioactivity of the parental herbal extract. An unforeseen but not unexpected scenario in that case is that the purified compounds might be more potent, but at the same time they also might be more toxic, than the whole natural extract. Carefully planned dosing studies with suitable modifications in the product following an active collaboration between the academia and the industry would help further expand the applications of natural products in the treatment of autoimmune and other disorders. Similarly, there is a need for practioners of the mainstream (allopathic) medicine and those of CAM to work together on the use of these products for the treatment of various diseases. This is important to anticipate and manage unwanted interactions between conventional (allopathic) and CAM products being used concurrently by patients with autoimmunity and other diseases.
Shivaprasad H. Venkatesha, Brian Astry, Siddaraju M. Nanjundaiah, Hong R. Kim, Rajesh Rajaiah, Yinghua Yang, Li Tong, Hua Yu, Brian M. Berman, Kamal D. Moudgil, Control of autoimmune arthritis by herbal extracts and their bioactive components, Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Available online 15 February 2016, ISSN 1818-0876, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajps.2016.02.003. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S181808761600009X)