Native plant gives hope in rheumatoid arthritis
13 July 2015
Extracts of the Australian plant known as mountain pepper have a high antibiotic activity against bacteria that may be a trigger for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Australian researchers have found.
Leaves and peppercorns of Tasmania lanceolata, also known as mountain pepper, are more effective at killing the bacterium Proteus mirabilis than conventional antibiotics such as ampicillin or chloramphenicol, the study authors from Griffith University say.
“My contention is that at the moment all we are doing for RA is really only treating the symptoms. No one is really looking at the causative agent”, says first author, Dr Ian Cock, a medicinal plants researcher.
“There have been a number of different bacteria that have been thought to be the causative agent for RA,” he adds. “The evidence is very strong that Proteus is the one”, he adds.
Urinary tract infections with P.mirabilis are the most likely trigger for RA, he says.
The researchers tested a range of plants used by traditional Indigenous people to see how effective they were at killing the bacterium.
“The leaves of T. lanceolata were the best“, says Dr Cock.
But the plant was probably not used by Indigenous Australians to treat RA.
“In the case of Tasmanian pepper – there really wasn’t any evidence that we could find that the first Australians used it as a medicinal plant. It was more used as a culinary plant, but it is high in antioxidants,” he adds.
Last Reviewed: 13/07/2015
Reproduced with kind permission from 6minutes.com.au.
Cock E, et al. The potential of selected Australian medicinal plants with anti-Proteus activity for the treatment and prevention of rheumatoid arthritis. Pharmacognosy Magazine 2015: 11: 190-208.
Faecal transplants may be future treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Faecal transplants may be an exciting new therapy for people with rhematoid arthritis (RA), especially those for whom biologic therapy isn't working.
What to eat if you have rheumatoid arthritis
While diet can't replace medicines in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), there are some dietary changes that may help people with their RA symptoms.
New Borrelia bacteria species found in echidna ticks
Australian researchers have identified a novel species of Borrelia, the group of bacteria responsible for Lyme disease, in ticks on echidnas. Its potential to cause disease in humans is unknown.
Lyme-like bacteria found in Australian paralysis tick
Bacteria from the same group as the organism that causes Lyme disease, (the Borrelia group), have been discovered in an Australian paralysis tick.
8 Alarming facts about antibiotic prescribing in Australia
A report on antimicrobial resistance shows an alarming picture of over-prescribing of antimicrobial agents, including antibiotics - a practice known to lead to antibiotic resistance.