A new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine has shown that an ancient Chinese herb, known by the name lei gong teng or “Thunder God Vine”, contains at least one unique compound that is capable of eradicating cancer tumors, within 40 days time.
The discovery was made by a research team based out of the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Cente. Triptolide is the active compound in thunder god vine (Tripterygium wilfordii) that has been directly shown to have anti-tumor effects in the body.
The research team isolated the compound and converted it into a water-soluble form, then injected it into mice that were suffering from pancreatic tumors. The team found that when given an injectable extract form of Tripterygium wilfordii, mice with pancreatic tumors were completely healed within five weeks.
Even after stopping the treatment, the healed mice indefinitely maintained their healthy, cancer-free state with no signs of tumor resurgence or relapse.
“This herb is just unbelievably potent in killing tumor cells,” said Ashok Saluja, vice chairman of research at the center, to Bloomberg about the findings. “You could see that every day you looked at those mice, the tumor was decreasing and decreasing, and then just gone.”
Back in 2007, researchers from Yale University and Columbia University found that triptolide triggers cancer cell apoptosis or programmed cell death. Also, many other studies over the years have also identified triptolide as a powerful tumor fighter in a general sense, including as a weapon against aggressive prostate cancers.
According to a 2006 study, researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that the diterpenoid compound Triptolide isolated from Tripterygium wilfordii has shown antitumor activities in a broad range of solid tumors.
While these effects have been tested widely in laboratory settings, rather than on human trials, the potential for the elimination of pancreatic, ovarian, and colorectal cancers is very promising.
Tripterygium wilfordii or Thunder God Vine has long been used in traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean medicine, as the vine is native to those regions. Only recently has Thunder God Vine been introduced to the western world.
The traditional use of Thunder God Vine consists of skinning the root of the vine and then reducing that extract into a powder. The powder can then be drunk with water. There are many active compounds found in the vine, and the most common medicinal application comes in the form of an extract, which provides those powerful active ingredients.
There are known anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, immuno-modulatory elements in Thunder God Vine that can have very strong effects on human health and Triptolide is one the most studied active ingredients.
Unfortunately, Thunder God Vine can also be very dangerous, and the side effects from its use are often severe, including skin rashes, nausea, headaches, hair loss, temporary infertility in men and amenorrhea (lack of menstruation) in women, and even a loss of bone density. For this reason, one should only ever take a medicinal-sized dose and only do so after proper consultation with a medical practitioner or trained herbalist.