New Insights into Rheumatoid Arthritis

Inflammatory arthritis, which includes Rheumatoid arthritis, is the most serious of joint diseases. The disease is characterised by pain, swelling, and morning stiffness, lasting more than an hour. Moreover, the symptoms are predominant of a morning, with a tendency to fatigue through the day. This being so, individuals diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis often look above and beyond for any therapy that may prove beneficial in releiving the foregoing symptoms.

Last month, Rheumatologists and Orthopaedic Surgeons from Changezheng Hospital, Shanghai, discovered the therapeutic effects of the Chinese herb, Chinese Paeony, on symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis. During their pre-clinical research it was demonstrated that Chinese Paeony was able to diminish pain, joint swelling, synovial hypertrophy, the severity of bone erosion, and cartilidge degeneration in patients diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Pain is considered the most common symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis.  In several Rheumatoid arthritic patient models Chinese Paeony has been demonstrated to relieve pain effectively. At present, research suggests that the analgesic effect of Chinese Paeony is related to an anti-cholinergic action. Anti-cholinergic agents prevent the transmission of signals from motor nerves to neuromuscular structures of skeletal muscle. In this context, neurotransmitter receptors known as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are inhibited by the anti-cholinergic action of Chinese Paeony. The stimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors has been shown to induce inflammatory arthritis.

During the foregoing double blind study, 450 patients diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis were randomly prescribed either oral Chinese Paeony (1.8 grams daily) or Methotrexate (10 mg per week) for 12 weeks. A therapeutic response was achieved in 71.7 percent of patients receiving Chinese Paeony compared to 81.7 percent of methotrexate treated patients. The foregoing therapeutic response included inhibition of synovial hypertrophy, and protective effects on joint destruction.

If you wish to discuss this research or make an appointment please contact Mark Hinchey Naturopathy on 0432234822


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