CM NEWS – A famous TCM arthritis drug and expensive mushroom lingzhi have analgesic effects for rheumatoid arthritis, but the long-claimed anti-inflammatory and immunity boosting functions are yet to be substantiated, a new study says. Read more
CM NEWS – Triptolide, an extract of the famous toxic Chinese herb lei gong teng, has the ability to suppress inflammation and cartilage destruction in collagen-induced arthritis mice, a Beijing study reveals.
The study was completed at the Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing. Read more
Little scientific evidence supports the efficacy of herbal medicines in the treatment of degenerative arthritis of the knee. The purpose of this study is to evaluate both the efficacy and safety of a finished Chinese herbal preparation Duhuo Jisheng Tang in reducing symptoms of degenerative osteoarthritis of the knee.
A prospective follow-up study was carried out in two hospitals in Taipei between April and October 2005. 68 osteoarthritis patients, with symptoms diagnosed by radiologists, received DJT at a rate of 2.5 g, twice daily for four weeks. Baseline scores were measured on the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis (WOMAC) index, followed by further measures at the end of weeks 1, 2 and 4.
The World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL) assessment was undertaken as a secondary outcome, with pattern identification questionnaires being adopted. Regression models were constructed to explore the score differences between the baseline and at weeks 2 and 4 by various determinants including age, gender, body mass index (BMI), severity at baseline, use of rescue medication, aversion to cold and flaccidity of the lower back and knees.
Among the 68 participants, there were statistically significant reductions in the WOMAC index scores for pain, stiffness and physical functioning in the second and fourth weeks, with effects first appearing during week 2.
By week 4, the mean WOMAC index scores had fallen from 22.2 (+/-19.2) to 16.1 (+/-16.2) for pain, from 28.1 (+/-24.9) to 18.5 (+/-20.3) for stiffness, and from 22.6 (+/-18.0) to 18.2 (+/-17.8) for physical functioning, while the global score for pain under the visual analogue scale (VAS) was reduced from 38.7 (+/-21.5) to 27.8 (+/-19.8).The researchers conclude that in the treatment of degenerative osteoarthritis of the knee, a 4-week therapy with the Chinese herbal preparation DJT reduced pain and stiffness and improved physical functioning, but it was less effective in treating flaccidity and aversion to cold.
CM NEWS – A group of Chinese researchers find that a TCM herb radix linderae (wu yao, ??; aka ??????????) could be used in treating rheumatoid arthritis because radix linderae is found to be able to suppresses inflammation and protects joints from destruction.
The study was done by scientists at the Department of Pharmacology of Chinese Materia Medica, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, China.
Radix linderae, the dry roots of Lindera aggregata (Sims) Kosterm., is frequently used in traditional Chinese medicine. It contains alkaloids, volatile oils and sesquiterpene esters.
What are contained in radix linderae? A nets aporphinoid alkaloid, trivially named linderaline (1), along with eight known isoquinoline alkaloids as (-)-pallidine (2), protosinomenine (3), laudanosoline 3′,4′-dimethyl ether (4), boldine (5), norisoboldine (6), laurolitsine (7), pronuciferine (8) and reticulline (9) were isolated from ethanol extract of the dried root of Lindera aggregata (Sims) Kosterm. Their structures were established on the basis of the spectral analysis. Compounds 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 were found from the plant for the first time.
In the present study, researchers investigated the therapeutic potential and underlying mechanisms of the total alkaloids from Radix Linderae (TARL) on collagen II-induced arthritis in mice.
The results indicated that TARL (50, 100 and 200mg/kg), orally administered on the same day of an antigen challenge for 20 consecutive days, alleviated disease severity in a dose-dependent manner, while it did not significantly affect body weights.
Researchers also found that the TARL treatment reduced the serum level of anti-CII IgG (IgG is the most abundant form, or class, of antibody in the blood), and suppressed the delayed type hypersensitivity.
What is hypersensitivity? Hypersensitivity refers to undesirable (damaging, discomfort-producing and sometimes fatal) reactions produced by the normal immune system. Hypersensitivity reactions require a pre-sensitized (immune) state of the host.
What is delayed type hypersensitivity? This is the only class of hypersensitive reactions to be triggered by antigen-specific T cells, which are linked to inflammation. This type of hypersensitivity is often called “delayed type” as the reaction takes two to three days to develop. Unlike the other types, it is not antibody mediated but rather is a type of cell-mediated response. T cells belong to a group of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and play a central role in cell-mediated immunity. Antigen-specific T cells provides the immune system with “memory” against past infections.
TARL also protected joint destruction based on the evidence of reducing the histopathological scores (which are the total scores based on the sum of peribronchial, perivascular, interstitial, and alveolar inflammation).
The researchers thus conclude that TARL is a potential therapeutic agent for rheumatoid arthritis that suppresses inflammation and protects joints from destruction.
[J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Dec 13]