Once again science is finding healing powers in nature. I love that our world is actually coming full circle. Our once over medicated society is now looking towards nature to help cure and heal our sick. This common shrub holds the key to some of the most common autoimmune diseases.
Now it appears that a medicine derived from the hydrangea’s root could offer an alternative.
Experiments found that it blocked the formation of a type of white blood cell involved in autoimmune disease.
Crucially, the drug does not seem to affect other kinds of cell vital to the body’s defences– meaning it does not otherwise inhibit the immune system. Mice with a multiple sclerosis-like disease were far less severely affected when given low doses of the hydrangea-based drug, which is called halofuginone, the journal Science reported.
Halofuginone is already used to treat a rare autoimmune disease which affects the skin and internal organs.
Much more research would be needed for it to be given the green light to treat other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
However, scientists say it is a promising avenue of research.
Dr Anjana Rao, of the Children’s Hospital in Boston in the U.S., said: ‘Halofuginone may herald a revolution in the treatment of certain types of auto-immune and inflammatory diseases (source).”
It’s just a matter of time before science cracks the code to some of the world’s most influential diseases. However, maybe this time the cure could be living in your backyard.
(CES, PES, CPT, BS)