Thunder god vine is an herb that has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine. It has been used in China for health purposes for more than 400 years. The deciduous climbing vine sheds its leaves, has three wings and produces white flowers and red fruit. Its leaves and root are normally used to make medicine. Thunder god vine has also been used non-medicinally as an insecticide against maggots or larvae, and as a rat and bird poison. Currently, thunder god vine is used as a traditional or folk remedy for excessive menstrual periods and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus.
Thunder god vine can cause severe side effects and can be poisonous if it is not carefully extracted from the skinned root. Other parts of the plant – including the leaves, flowers are highly poisonous and can cause death. But, nevertheless, it has been used extensively for a number of ailments.
A 2006 review of randomized clinical trials shows that thunder god vine improved symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis but serious side effects occurred. The natural compound, triptolide, found in thunder god vine, has also been shown in numerous studies to induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancerous cells. In one study, the apoptosis induced by triptolide was mediated by up-regulating the expression of a gene associated with apoptosis called caspase-3 and bax, making triptolide a potential treatment for cancers of the pancreas.
Thunder god vine is known to contain chemicals that might decrease male fertility by changing sperm. To treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA): a tincture of thunder god vine applied externally over affected joints five to six times daily can relieve pain. Before ever trying Thunder God Vine Supplements, you should talk to your health care provider about any medication use as well as your own personal health.
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.