Skip to comments.How The Humble Hydrangea Shrub Could Hold The Key To Curing MS, Diabetes and Arthritis
Posted on 06/04/2009 10:36:17 PM PDT by Steelfish
How the humble hydrangea shrub could hold the key to curing MS, diabetes and arthritis
By FIONA MACRAE 05th June 2009
It's bright and beautiful flowers bring a splash of colour to gardens all over Britain.
But it seems the hydrangea is more than just a pretty bloom.
A drug made from its roots could be used to treat a raft of common diseases, researchers say.
The colourful shrub - a staple of Chinese medicine - has the power to 'revolutionise' the treatment of multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and some forms of diabetes and arthritis, scientists claimed yesterday.
Hydrangea: The common shrub could hold the key to combatting common autoimmune diseases
These diseases occur when the immune system attacks the body.
Existing treatments are expensive, have to be injected, and do not address the biological cause of the problem.
Powerful drugs which suppress the immune system can be used as a last resort but leave patients at risk of infections and other serious side-effects.
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.
I love mine. I got the Nikko Blue variety but the color is determined by the acidity of the soil. Mine faded and then turned the most gorgeous dark red/purple. It looked like a glass of merlot. Can’t wait to see how they bloom this year.
Fascinating news, and all the better to make me feel good about the five hydrangea plants I bought this past week. I already have six others that are just about ready to bloom any day now. They are utterly gorgeous (and grew phenomenally in the past three years).
I read they grow twice as fast if you don’t trim them back in the fall. Since learning that, mine have exploded in growth and blooms.
What’s the source for this article. I’d like to pass it along but hesitate to do so without a source.
What’s humble about a hydrangea?
The most gorgeous hydrangeas I've ever seen were in Normandy, France. They were all over the area. Some of them were literally the size of basketballs! Must be the perfect soil/sun/rain whatever combination there for hydrangeas...
They are beautiful. My mom used to grow them but I have no luck with them sadly.
Oh man. I LOVE both of those colors. One of my most favorite flowers.
There are many different varieties, so you have to read the label when you buy to know how to care for yours.
We have many of the “Endless Summer” variety. They get cut back to the ground each year. In neutral soil, the bloom are pink. If you use an acidic fertilizer, the bloom will turn blue. If you use different fertilizer on each side of the plant, you will have both colors. Pretty amazing and easy to grow plant. Great for patios where you sit and can enjoy the blossoms.
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