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Herbal extract aids in rheumatoid arthritis

Relief from Arthirits through Chinese therapy is effective. An ancient Chinese herbal remedy helps relives the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. In China, an extract from a vine known as TWHF// (short for Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F) s long been used to treat arthritis and immune system problems. Now a study by researchers for the US National Institutes of Health provides scientific backing for the use of TWHF.

A group of 30 patients with rheumatoid arthritis was assigned to either high or dose TWHF or to placebo capsules. In rheumatoid arthritis, which most often affects women aged between 30 and 50, the immune system attacks the joints, making them swollen and painful.

Of those who completed the study, those on the high or low dose of TWHF reported at least a 25 per cent improvement in symptoms. None of the placebo group experienced benefits. Side effects, such as hair loss and diarrhoea, were seen in all three groups, so they may not arise from the use of the herbal extract. This was just a small study, but if the findings can be confirmed by a larger investigation, TWHF may prove to be a useful option for those with rheumatoid arthritis.


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