Lingzhi and San-Miao-San May Improve the Symptoms of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

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Last time, we reported the beneficial effect of a Chinese mushroom, Yunzhi, on cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.  This time, we would like to share with you the immunomodulatory effect of another Chinese mushroom, Lingzhi, on patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

RA is an autoimmune joint disease affecting millions of patients.  This disease is more prevalent in females than in males.  Current treatment for RA include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), prednisolone, and methotrexate, but all these drugs have side effects and can only partially alleviate RA associated symptoms.

Lingzhi belongs to the Ganoderma family of mushrooms and has been a valuable medicine for longevity in ancient China.

San-Miao-San is a TCM that contains Cangzhu (Rhizoma atractylodi-黃柏), Huangbai (Cortex phellodendri- 蒼朮) and Niuxi (Radix achyranthes bidentatae-牛膝).  San-Miao-San exhibits analgesic and anti-inflammtoary activities and ahs been used for RA treatment in China.

The study was reported in 28 issues of the Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, 2006.

In the study, sixty-five RA patients were recruited and were randomized to receive either Lingzhi and San-Miao-San or placebo for 24 weeks.  The TCM medicines were added on top of their current Western medications.

After 24 week of treatment, patients who took Lingzhi and San-Miao-San experienced significantly lower inflammatory responses as measured by inflammatory cytokine IL-18).  Most importantly, RA patients who took the TCM have significantly greater pain relief than patients in the placebo group (p<0.05).

The study suggested TCM such as Lingzhi and San-Miao-San have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects on patients with RA.

Source: Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, 28; 197-200, 2006

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