Thunder god vine is used for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a type of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn disease), kidney problems, psoriasis, mouth sores (lichen planus), and eye problems in people with an overactive thyroid. It is also used for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these other uses.
Thunder god vine has also been used non-medicinally as an insecticide against maggots or larvae, and as a rat and bird poison.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
- A type of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn disease). People with Crohn disease can sometimes go into 'remission'. However, symptoms usually come back. Most research shows that taking specific thunder god vine products made in China might be useful for people in remission. Thunder god vine might prevent symptoms of Crohn disease from recurring or slow down how quickly they come back. Thunder god vine seems to be at least as effective as medications normally used by people with Crohn disease.
- An eye disease caused by an overactive thyroid (Graves' ophthalmopathy). Some people with an overactive thyroid due to Graves' disease have eye problems. Some research shows that taking thunder god vine products made in China might improve these eye problems.
- A condition that slowly leads to kidney disease (IgA nephropathy). People with this kidney disease take steroids and other drugs to help them go in to 'remission'. Most research shows that taking thunder god vine can help people with IgA nephropathy go in to remission. It can also help more people taking steroids to go in to remission.
- An inflammatory condition that causes rash or sores on the skin or mouth (lichen planus). Some research shows that taking thunder god vine products made in China might reduce pain and heal mouth sores in people with this condition.
- A group of symptoms that indicate kidney damage (nephrotic syndrome). Most research shows that thunder god vine may be effective for nephrotic syndrome in adults and children. It seems to help people with this condition go in to 'remission'. Thunder god vine might be more effective than steroids and might make steroids work better when used together.
- Scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis). Research shows that taking thunder god vine is as effective as a medication called acitretin for reducing itchy, scaly skin in people with psoriasis.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Taking thunder god vine by mouth seems to relieve joint pain and swelling and improve physical function in people with RA. It seems to be at least as effective as common medications for RA symptoms. It also seems to improve the effectiveness of other medications. Applying a liquid preparation (tincture) of thunder god vine to the skin over affected joints seems to decrease joint tenderness, stiffness, and swelling.
Insufficient Evidence for
- A type of arthritis that mainly affects the spine (ankylosing spondylitis). Early research shows that taking thunder god vine improves pain and function in people with this type of arthritis.
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis). Early research shows that adding thunder god vine to other medicines or herbal products seems to improve symptoms of eczema more than using those other products alone.
- Birth control. Early research shows that taking thunder god vine by mouth might be useful as a male contraceptive. Fertility returns about 6 weeks after men stop taking thunder god vine.
- Kidney damage in people with diabetes (diabetic nephropathy). Early research shows that taking thunder god vine seems to help to heal damaged kidneys in people with diabetes. It might work as well as a drug called valsartan.
- Kidney transplant. Early research shows that taking thunder god vine along with cyclosporine and prednisone might improve the function and survival of the transplanted kidney compared to treatment with azathioprine, cyclosporine, and prednisone.
- An autoimmune disease that causes widespread swelling (systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE). Some early research shows that thunder god vine may be effective for kidney problems (nephritis) associated with SLE. However, taking thunder god vine along with prednisone does not appear to improve symptoms better than prednisone alone.
- Hives (urticaria). Early research shows that adding thunder god vine to medicine for hives seems to improve symptoms more than using those medicines alone.
- Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea).
- Multiple sclerosis (MS).
- Other conditions.
When applied to the skin: Thunder god vine is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin in appropriate amounts.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Not enough is known about the safety of using thunder god vine during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Weakened immune system: Large doses of thunder god vine might weaken the immune system. If you already have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS, or from taking certain medications, avoid using thunder god vine. It might decrease your body's ability to fight off infection.
Weakened bones (osteoporosis): Thunder god vine can reduce bone strength. If you have osteoporosis or are likely to develop it, don't use thunder god vine.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with THUNDER GOD VINE
Large doses of thunder god vine might decrease the immune system. Taking thunder god vine along with other medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the immune system too much. Avoid taking thunder god vine with medications that decrease the immune system.
Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
Be cautious with this combination
- For Crohn disease: 1-2 mg per kg of body weight of thunder god vine extract daily for 52 weeks.
- For an eye disease caused by an overactive thyroid (Graves' ophthalmopathy): 30-60 mg or 1 mg/kg of thunder god vine extract daily for 3-4 months.
- For a condition that slowly leads to kidney disease (IgA nephropathy): 1-2 mg per kg of body weight of thunder god vine extract daily for up to 6 months.
- For a group of symptoms that indicate kidney damage (nephrotic syndrome): 0.5-2 mg per kg of body weight of thunder god vine extract daily for up to 9 months.
- For scaly, itchy skin (psoriasis): 20 mg of thunder god vine extract three times daily for 8 weeks.
- For rheumatoid arthritis (RA): 30-570 mg of thunder god vine extract per day for up to 24 weeks.
- For rheumatoid arthritis (RA): A tincture of thunder god vine applied over affected joints five to six times daily.
- For a group of symptoms that indicate kidney damage (nephrotic syndrome): 1 mg per kg of body weight of thunder god vine daily for up to 20 weeks.
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