Hydrangea: The Medicinal Plant?

The elegant hydrangea plant has much more to offer than fragrant good looks. According to the article How the Humble Hydrangea Shrub Could Hold the Key to Curing MS, Diabetes and Arthritis, this lovely plant may be a complementary treatment for many diseases. The ingredients of interest are in the roots of the plant.

Getting to the root of the issue begins with a look at the history of the hydrangea as a medicinal plant. Though not commonly used in current western medicine, the shrub is a commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine as one of its most popular treatments. The Cherokee Indians in North America traditionally used the hydrangea for medicinal purposes.

hydrangea Hydrangea: The Medicinal Plant?

The plant continues to be a common supply for Chinese medicine, but it may be making a significant appearance as a medication across the globe. The roots of the plant appear to have anti-inflammatory properties. Some have used the herb to treat malaria. Scientists believe that the roots of the plant hold substances that can combat conditions that affect the body’s immune system.

Immune System Problems

Some health problems arise when the immune system attacks the body as it would a threatening entity. Serious conditions stem from immunity dysfunction including but not restricted to:

• Multiple sclerosis
• Arthritis
• Certain types of diabetes
• Psoriasis

Current Treatments

The article notes that current treatments for these conditions are troublesome. They tend to be costly and are difficult to take. Many patients have to inject the medicines used to treat the conditions. The article also points out that the drugs treat the symptoms, and not the underlying causes of the conditions.

Some medications suppress the body’s immune functions in order to keep the conditions under control. The problem with these medications is they are very strong and can have terribly problematic side effects. People who take these medicines are at a heightened risk of getting an infection as well.

The Hydrangea Alternative

The substances from the root of the hydrangea plant are a welcomed alternative to current treatments for immune-related medical conditions. There are many benefits to adopting this recipe in a treatment plan for these types of disorders.

Researchers have found that they can make a medication, halofuginone (derived from the roots of the plant) that serves to keep the body from producing harmful white blood cells that are commonly associated with immune system diseases. It can do this without interfering with health immune system functioning.

Current Uses of Halofuginone

The medicine has recently been given FDA Orphan Drug Status for treating a condition called scleroderma. Scleroderma is an autoimmune condition that affects the connective tissues in the body, causing an increase in the production of collagen type 1. The excess collagen leads to disfigurement, and it can be deadly.

The current uses of halofuginone are relatively limited considering the many promising uses for the medicine. More research may be necessary to determine how well the medication derived from the roots of they hydrangea plant, but for now the future looks quite promising.

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One Response to “Hydrangea: The Medicinal Plant?”

  1. 1
    marlene Says:

    does hydrangea have side effects? what are they.I started taking it for arthritis and it seemed to get worse. I know this sometimes happens when an herb is clearing the body of toxins when it starts to work, but am not sure since I can’t seem to find enough information about the side effects. thank you

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