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Julie  Stachowiak, Ph.D.

Hydrangea Root for Multiple Sclerosis?

By June 8, 2009

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For centuries, hydrangea root has been used in traditional medicine in China. Now it looks like western medicine is finding some potential in hydrangea root for treating autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis.

In an article published in Science magazine, researchers reported that halofuginone (a basic component of Chinese herbal medicine) inhibits the development of Th17 cells (the immune cells that are thought to "act up" in multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders). The very good thing is that halofuginone (which is derived from hydrangea root) seems to selectively inhibit Th17 without affecting the other immune cells. In other words, it might "block" the pathway active in multiple sclerosis without generally supressing the immune system (like steroids do).
June 10, 2009 at 11:48 am
(1) Marijke says:

Well, sounds like it’s better than e.g. Copaxone, which works in rodents but fails reducing disability progression in humans. The real question is, how to extract halofuginone, the active substance, from the hydrangea root.

June 12, 2009 at 10:57 am
(2) art grupe says:

Biogen-Idec poisoned me with Avonex. One injection sent me to the hospital ambulance a few hours after I received it. After a month there and several months recuperating at home I still cannot walk, my feet are swollen and purple froma Edema and I’m generally in worse shape than before I took the shot. The pharmaceutical company which made almost $2 billion last year selling the stuff will do nothing to compensate me for my medical expenses. Attorneys I talked to told me that although my condition was serious they were already booked up with clients suing biogen for much more serious damage they had suffered. Don’t take my word for it. Just do a website search on the words Avonex attorney and see how many hundreds of attorney websites that show up advertising their practice and success at winning judgments against the pharmaceutical company. If you have multiple sclerosis and are thinking about taking the drug remember my story. It might be worse for you and your next public appearance will be as the guest of honor at a funeral.

June 18, 2009 at 5:46 am
(3) Graeme says:

Marijke – Halofugine is actually a synthesised drug, analogous to the active ingredient in the root. You could take that active ingredient, available through Chinese medical practitioners, but it’s, I read, going to give pretty serious gastric side effects. That’s why the US army synthesised Halofuginone, to get the benefits of the natural extract, in this case as a (failed) anti-malarial agent, without the side effects.

The big problem is, for doctors to be able to prescribe Halofuginone it will have to undergo years of trials, that is if any drug company is interested in spending the millions that it takes to get a drug approved…

shame because low-tech solutions are always the most appealling. So it’s back to the super high strength 10.000IU bottle of vitamin D…

October 6, 2009 at 2:32 pm
(4) brad says:

would hydrangea root powder be effective and at what dosage for humans

October 7, 2009 at 10:40 pm
(5) ervin says:

Halofuginone is a synthetic analog made from Febrifugine, and Chang Shan (Dichroa Root – Latin botanical name) is the organic source for Febrifugine.

Some autoimmune sufferers are taking Hydrangea Root thinking it will treat their disease. But only Chang Shan contains febrifugine and, according to researchers, holds the potential to treat autoimmune diseases.

Hydrangea Root has traditionally been used to strengthen the urinary tract and help regulate its function. It is native to America.

Whereas Chang Shan (Dichroa Febrifuga) is one of 12 species of Dichroa flower plants in the family of Hydrangeaceae. It is native to eastern and southeastern Asia.

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October 8, 2009 at 11:45 am
(6) Rhonda says:

I’ve taken copaxone for three years now and am very satisfied with the way it has kept my MS in check. The last brain MRI showed no further lesions from the initial ones and except for some mildly annoying symptoms, people are amazed when they find out I have the condition. Hydrangea root? Bit skeptical but am just getting into alternative medicines. As an RN, I have been indoctrinated to stay away from anything but “real”, expensive, and sometimes dangerous drugs to keep the drug companies in the black.

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