Herbal medicines recommended for the treatment of RA

According to a study published in , the use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatments was associated with a reduced risk of recurrent exacerbations in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Heryon.1

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In Western medicine, RA is often treated with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biologics, corticosteroids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, these drugs are often associated with side effects, leading to intolerance and unsatisfactory results such as blood pressure changes, bleeding, and gastrointestinal reactions. In China, TCMs are commonly used to treat RA, including herbal medicines designed to combat symptoms of inflammation and arthritis.2

“Recently, a large-scale study has demonstrated the frequent use and mode of TCM in the treatment of RA,” wrote a team of Chinese researchers led by Fanfan Wang, First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. “However, little is known about the efficacy of TCM in delaying or preventing recurrent exacerbations in RA patients. and provide a theoretical basis for the application of TCM in the treatment of RA.”

A retrospective analysis included 1383 patients diagnosed with RA between January 2013 and June 2021, and included medical record information from the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui University of Chinese Medicine. rice field. Patients completed a questionnaire containing demographic data and drug information. Laboratory tests included liver function indices, inflammatory indices such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), immune indices, complement 3 (C3) and C4, and rheumatoid factor (RF). rice field. Patients were excluded if they had incomplete data, were pregnant or lactating, or had malignancies.

RA patients were advised to choose TCM as their primary treatment after at least 3 months of hospital discharge. They were informed about the risks and benefits of TCM treatment and self-assessed the benefits and drawbacks.TCM included Chinese patented drugs, topical drugs, and TCM decoctions.

Patients were categorized as either TCM users (n = 997) or non-TCM users (n = 386) and were categorized by TCM use, death, surgery, sex, age, recurrent exacerbation, herbal medicines, topical agents, and organ involvement. matched based on , NSAIDs to minimize selection bias and confounding. Cox regression models compared hazard ratios (HR) for the risk of recurrent exacerbations.

TCM use was statistically significantly associated with improvements in clinical measures. TCM treatment was preferred by a female and her patient younger than 58 years. Recurrent exacerbations were reported in her 61.461% (n = 850) of RA patients.

A Cox proportional hazards model showed that TCM was a protective factor against recurrent exacerbations in RA patients (HR = 50%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = .65 – .92, P. <.01). According to Kaplan Meier curves, TCM users had a higher survival rate compared to non-TCM users (log-rank P. <.01).

The researchers noted that adjusting for potential confounders reduced potential residual confounding effects, but that the reductions may not have been the same in both cohorts. Other factors, such as, could not be assessed during the follow-up period. There is also the potential for recall bias and data bias in collecting previous information, as the study included only local hospitals, rather than involving multiple centers and hospitals.

“Our study provided evidence to recommend TCM for the treatment of patients with RA to reduce the risk of recurrent exacerbations,” the researchers concluded.


  1. Wang F, Liu J, Fang Y, Li X, He M, Han Q. Traditional Chinese medicine may be associated with reduced risk of recurrent exacerbations in rheumatoid arthritis patients: 1383 individuals Based matched cohort study. 2023;9(4):e15054. Published 5 April 2023. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e15054
  2. Venkatesha SH, Rajaiah R, Berman BM, Moudgil KD. Immunomodulation in autoimmune arthritis by herbal CAM. clear. bus. complete. Alter. myself. 2011; (2011) 986797

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