In the most recent edition of Science magazine, American specialists from the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the Immune Disease Institute at Children’s Hospital Boston presented their new development. A new herbal remedy based on the extract of hydrangea root was created to treat so called autoimmune disorders, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, bowel disorders, psoriasis, eczema and multiple sclerosis. The study was carried out in collaboration with the experts from the Harvard Medical School and Immune Disease Institute and directed on learning more about the role of Th 17, a white blood cell involved in autoimmune disease.

The diseases above are caused by certain problems connected with our immune system, and the existing medications which can strengthen the immunity are quite expensive and not always effective for the mentioned diseases. The extract derived from the hydrangea root contains halofuginone, a compound which can inhibit the growth of Th17 cells. ‘This is really the first description of a small molecule that interferes with auto-immune pathology but is not a general immune suppressant,’ Dr. Mark Sundrud, a leader of the British research group, comments. Therefore, the new remedy helps to block the development of Th17 cells without damaging the other important cells, like CD4+ T cells.

For the herbalists, the hydrangea is more just a pretty flower. For centuries it has been used in Chinese and native American medicines as an effective and safe natural anti-inflammator, an effective treatment for malaria, as well as a herb which can relieve pains in joints. In scientific circles, the discovery is called “a revolution”, not only due to the property of the herbal remedy to reduce the disease pathology, but also because of the current absence of any effective treatments for autoimmune diseases. The most common treatments include antibodies which can neutralize chemical processes in our immune system and can not stop the root causes of the disease. ‘Halofuginone may herald a revolution in the treatment of certain types of auto-immune and inflammatory diseases,’ the researchers say.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

3 Responses to “The Hydrangea Shrub, A Herbal Remedy for Diabates and Arthritis”

  1. arthritisreliefhelpNo Gravatar Says:

    It’s intresting and amazing. Is it available in the form of medicines ?

  2. Carla FiscinaNo Gravatar Says:

    Well, since it is a new development of modern medicine, I am certain that very soon it will be available for everyone who needs such a medication.

  3. joannNo Gravatar Says:

    Is halofuginone available? I need to find an herbal med. for RA.