The different types of Thunder God Vine root extracts
1. What is plant extraction
For example, brewing coffee or tea is to perform a plant extraction. As a result, on one side, we have an the extract : a tea or a coffee. And on the other side a residue of insoluble material : the wet tea leaves/the wet coffee ground. By removing the solvent (in that case water) from the extract we can obtain instant coffee / tea : a dry extract.
In a word, an extract is the material that the solvent takes from the original plant matter. Removing the solvent is often performed with a lyophilization process in the case of water and ethanol (=alcohol) solvents.
For the purpose of medicinal extraction, things are a little different. The reason is interesting components are most of the time not soluble in water or ethanol (=alcohol). Common solvents for plant medicinal extraction include methanol, various hexanes, ethyl-acetate, chloroform… sometimes combined. And there actually exist many techniques of extraction and they are rather complex. For each MO, the resulting extract contains different components.
It appears that the ideal method does not exist. Each extraction procedure is unique and the components specific. It’s a trial and error process until satisfactory result.
2. Simple Thunder God Vine root extracts
By simple I mean that they are easy to produce and use simple solvents. Basically, anybody can make them at home, in a kitchen. The powder product is the dry extract after the solvent is removed. These include :
- ground root powder (not an extract properly speaking),
- water extracts of the root (maceration, decoction…),
- ethanol (=alcohol) extracts of the root (tinctures…).
Simple Thunder God Vine root extracts are known in China since antiquity to have a positive effect on autoimmunity symptoms but have been utilized in medicine practice only externally (applied on skin) because of their toxicity.
3. Medicinal Thunder God Vine root extracts
In the 1970s, Chinese researchers develop new extracts (the T2 and the CEA extract) that match both efficacy and safety :
China conducts extensive studies with these extracts for a variety of autoimmune conditions during the 1980s. An important study includes 2000 Rheumatoid Arthritis patients, sadly there is no translation available at this time. I hope to bring it to you some day soon, it’s one of my challenges for 2018.
From these two preparations, only one (the T2) is in use extensively since. Physicians prescribe it as a first line natural DMARD to successfully relieve symptoms of a number of autoimmune conditions. Not as a supplement but as a monotherapy and they combine it with other Western style medication. It is commercially widely available in China. You will find more info on the indications and dosages here: Thunder God Vine Dosage and main indications.
The T2 dosage is very specific : 1 to 1,5mg/kg/day. A number of brands sell it (see below). The presentations are all the same: bottles of 50 to 100 tablets of 10mg extract.
The commercial presentations that I know and have used myself are detailed in the following page: Buy Thunder God Vine.
4. An American medicinal Thunder God Vine root extract
Later on in 1998, USA develops another extract similar to the CEA extract (short for Chinese Ethyl Acetate extract): the TEA extract (short for Texas Ethyl Acetate extract). This was at the Dallas University of Texas Southwestern Medical Branch (UTSMB).
The clinical study outcome with TEA was very positive. Also, In 2002, after the study release, Phytomedics Inc., a New Jersey bio-pharmaceutical company, started growing Thunder God Vine in order to produce the medicinal extract.
That’s when the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer “partnered” with Phytomedics to help manufacture the extract. Today, 15 years later, the extract is never heard of again. I will leave it to you to make your personal educated conclusion to the Western short story of medicinal Thunder God Vine.
You may find this page interesting to read on the subject. It’s the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine (2005) page about Thunder God Vine. It is published on this website page at http://www.encyclopedia.com
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