Thunder God Vine

Thunder God Vine
Thunder God Vine


A small number of studies have evaluated oral thunder god vine for rheumatoid arthritis. Very little research has been done for other health conditions, or on topical use of this herb for rheumatoid arthritis.

There have been only a few high-quality studies of oral thunder god vine for rheumatoid arthritis in people. These studies indicate that it may improve some rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Results from a small 2009 study funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), which compared an extract of thunder god vine root with a conventional drug (sulfasalazine) for rheumatoid arthritis, found that participants’ symptoms (e.g., joint pain and swelling, inflammation) improved significantly more than with the drug.

A study from China, published in 2014, compared it to a conventional drug (methotrexate) and found that both were comparably helpful in relieving rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and that the combination of the herb and the drug was better than either one alone.

There is not enough evidence to show whether thunder god vine is helpful for any health conditions other than rheumatoid arthritis or whether its topical use in rheumatoid arthritis has any benefits.

Side Effects Of Thunder God Vine

There may be side effects, including decreased bone mineral content (with long-term use), infertility, menstrual cycle changes, rashes, diarrhea, headache, and hair loss. Because some of these side effects are serious, the risks of using it may be greater than the benefits.

The extract can be extremely poisonous if not prepared properly. 


Tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.