Thundergod vine (Tripterygium wilfordii) has a long history of use. It has reportedly been used continuously in China for more than 2,000 years. Traditionally, thundergod vine has been used as an anticancer drug, male contraceptive, a drug used to suppress the immune system, and as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Various clinical trials have indicated the use of thundergod vine as a possible treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, a disease of the immune system). There is also evidence suggesting possible benefits of thundergod vine in organ transplantation, asthma, cancer, and kidney, skin, and eye disorders.
Alkaloids, canophyllal, celastrol, chloroform methanol extract, demethylzeylasteral (TZ-93), dihydroagarofuran sesquiterpenes, diterpene, diterpene-lactone compounds, diterpenoid triepoxides, ethyl acetate (EA) extract, euonine, Euonymus sieboldianus Blume, folium Tripterygium wilfordii (TWT), friedelin, glycosides, hydroxyfriedelane, hydroxytriptonide, leigong teng, multiglycosides of TWHF (GTW), neotripterifordin, Pestalotiopsis leucothes, PG490, polyglycosidium, radix Tripterygium wilfordii polycoside tablet, salaspermic acid, sesquiterpene, T. wilfordii, T2 (multiglycosides of T. wilfordii), T4, T7/19, terpenoidlactones, thunder of god vine, thundergod vine, triepoxide triptolide, tripchlorolide (TC), tripterifordin, tripterfrielanon A(1), tripterfrielanon B(2), Tripterygium polyglucoside, Tripterygium wilfordii, Tripterygium wilfordii Complex Ester Tablet Hook F (T II), Tripterygium wilfordii Hook spp., Tripterygium wilfordii multiglycoside, Tripterygium wilfordii Polycoside Tablet (TPT), Tripterygium wilfordii polyglucoside, Tripterygium wilfordii polyglycoside, Tripterygium wilfordii polysaccharide, Tripterygium wilfordii T7, triptobenzene, triptofordin C-2, triptofordin F-2, triptolide, triptolidenol, triptonide, triterpenes, TW, TWG, TWHF, T(whf), TW-SR (sustained-release tablets of Tripterygium wilfordii), wilfordconine, wilforlide A, wilforlide B, wilfornine A, wilfornine B, wilfornine C, wilfornine D, wilfornine E, wilfornine F, wilfornine G, wilfornine H, wilfornine I, wilfornine J.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Thundergod vine contains compounds that may affect the immune system or have anti-inflammatory properties. There is currently insufficient evidence to make conclusions about the use of thundergod vine for these uses.
There is interest in using thundergod vine to treat conditions such as asthma. More research is needed in this area.
Cancer (uterine leiomyoma)
The effect of thundergod vine in treating uterine leiomyoma (a tumor of the smooth muscle and tissue of the uterus) has been investigated. More research is needed in this area.
Eye disorders (Graves' ophthalmopathy)
There is interest in using thundergod vine in place of steroids, such as prednisone, in treating Graves' ophthalmopathy (GO, an eye disease related to an overactive thyroid gland). There is currently insufficient evidence to make a conclusion for against the use of thundergod vine in treating this disease.
Kidney disease (idiopathic nephrotic syndrome, purpuric nephritis)
Thundergod vine has been evaluated for treatment of various types of nephritis (kidney inflammation), including glomerulonephritis (a disease in which part of the kidney is damaged), lupus nephritis (a kidney disorder related to the autoimmune condition lupus), and childhood Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis (a disease affecting small blood vessels in the kidney). There is currently insufficient evidence to make conclusions about the use of thundergod vine in treating these disorders.
Thundergod vine contains compounds that may affect the immune system. There is currently insufficient evidence to make a conclusion about the use of thundergod vine in controlling transplant rejection and long-term survival.
Thundergod vine has been studied for its effects on symptoms and clinical signs of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Currently, there are insufficient available data to make a conclusion about the use of thundergod vine in treating RA.
Skin disorders (IgA deposition at the BMZ, pyoderma gangrenosum)
There is currently insufficient evidence to make a conclusion about the use of thundergod vine for treating skin disorders. Additional research is needed in this area.
Systemic lupus erythematosus
There is interest in using thundergod vine as an alternative to traditional treatments for autoimmune disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). At this time there is insufficient evidence to make a conclusion about the use of thundergod vine in the treatment of SLE.