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Ancient Fighter of Rheumatoid Arthritis!

January 19, 2010 by  

Ancient Fighter of Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Each year, more than 2 million Americans suffer excruciating pain from inflamed and swollen joints, crippled hands that can’t hold a glass and even complete loss of some of their joints. The cause: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). And within five years, 7 percent of these RA sufferers will be seriously disabled­­—and those are the ones who are currently on doctor-prescribed prescription drug therapy.

RA is a “systemic” disease. Simply put, it affects the whole body. Besides the tissues around the joints, RA also affects the glands of the eyes and mouth, the lining of the lungs and the pericardium (the protective area around the heart). It can reduce both red and white blood cell count, which lowers a person’s immune response to viruses and infections. Rheumatoid nodules (hard lumps) can appear around the elbows and fingers, frequently becoming infected. And the most serious complication is blood vessel inflammation, or vasculitis­­—impairment of the blood supply to the tissues, which leads to tissue death.

The traditional course of treatment has been a mixture of rest, exercise and a two-pronged drug therapy attack. While no one would dispute the benefits of relaxation and exercise, the drugs used to treat RA have serious side affects—possibly even death. And the sad fact is they do not even cure the disease! At best, the drugs can mask an RA victim’s pain or slow the disease’s progress. And even at that, they are not 100 percent effective.

Worldwide research toward finding the cause and cure for RA is very active. And at last the hard work appears to be paying off. Scientists at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) carried out two impressive studies. The first shows that a cup of tea—specifically green tea—not only reduces the severity of RA but also, in some cases, prevents it all together! The second study offers even more promising hope as to the healing power of green tea for RA sufferers.

RA is non-discriminating as to whom it affects. Yet research is finding ethnic background and race do play a part in progression and outcome. It is likely, however, that this is due to societal factors rather than biological ones. RA is more prevalent in women than in men. Approximately three times as many women will suffer from this life-robbing disease than men. Any age group can be affected, but onset is usually around 40 to 60 years of age. There is a form of RA called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis which usually affects children under the age of 16.

The truly sinister aspect of this disease is the extreme difficulty in diagnosing it. There isn’t one test that doctors can use to determine if someone has RA. Nor do all cases display the same set of symptoms. There are cases (approximately 10 percent) where the patient has an immediate initial flare up. Usually, though, the progress of RA is slow and insidious. So when the person is finally diagnosed, she can have already suffered irreparable damage.

With the findings now coming out of CWRU, this agony may soon be a thing of the past. What has already been proven to combat cancer is now showing it can do the same for RA. Next to water, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. And if that tea is green, it might possibly save your life, which is a far cry better than damaging your body with synthetic drugs.

Toxicity of Bio-Med Treatments

The usual prescription for a patient diagnosed with RA is bed rest and a regulated exercise program. But the mainstay of treatment is a two-tiered drug therapy. The first tier consists of what is known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These range from common over-the-counter analgesics—pain medications like aspirin and Bufferin®—to similar prescribed drugs which do nothing but lower the level of pain. Meanwhile, the person’s body is still slowly crumbling away.

Once the cornerstone of RA therapy, NSAID usage is declining because these drugs have been found to be more toxic than once believed. A recent study from the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center found that some of the new NSAIDs just recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) might increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other harmful cardiovascular problems! Additionally, almost all NSAIDs can cause serious gastrointestinal side effects—including ulceration, bleeding and perforation—at any time and without warning.

Second-line drugs are called disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These drugs actually address some of the causes of arthritic pain, such as inflammation and swelling. The belief is that their use may help prevent any further damage to the joints. But the price RA victims pay for this “cure” can be very high.

Among the least harmful side effects of the more commonly prescribed drug, Methodtrexate®, are headaches, upset stomach, loss of appetite and mouth sores. More dangerous is the drug’s potential to reduce the patient’s white and red blood cell counts and even to cause kidney damage! Cytoxan®, another commonly used DMARD, can increase the risk of developing leukemia and bladder cancer and can cause temporary or permanent sterility in both men and women!

From the work being conducted at CWRU and other laboratories, scientists are now learning that they don’t have to use a sledgehammer to knock out RA and that something as gentle and soothing as a cup of green tea can do the job nicely.

Nature’s Healing Bush

It’s old news that green tea has natural medicinal qualities. In 1211 A.D., the Buddhist monk Eisai wrote about the healing wonder of green tea in his book, Maintaining Health by Drinking Tea. Green tea, like all true tea, comes from the leaves of the camellia sinensis tree. And 90 percent of the world’s supply of tea is still produced in China.

What makes green tea so powerful is a chemical compound called polyphenol, which occurs naturally in plants and works as an antioxidant. Polyphenols work to protect the body from the oxidative stress that causes diseases. Specifically, the polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is an extremely powerful antioxidant. In fact, EGCG antioxidant activity is more powerful than the antioxidants found in vitamins C and E.

After 15 years of working with green tea in his cancer research, Dr. Hasan Mukhtar started looking at the possible benefits this drink could have for people with RA. Realizing that both disorders were inflammatory in nature, his team began testing to see if green tea would have the same healing affect on RA as it does on cancer and cardiovascular disease.

His first paper, Prevention of Collagen-Induced Arthritis in Mice by a Polyphenolic Fraction of Green Tea, was presented to the National Academy of Sciences in April 2005. The results were astounding. Out of the 18 mice that were given green tea extract, 10 never developed any arthritic symptoms and symptoms in the remaining eight were a much milder form of arthritis. The amount of green tea given was the equivalent of drinking four cups a day. Lead author of the paper, Dr. Tariq M. Haqqi said, “Taken together, our studies suggest that a polyphenolic fraction from green tea that is rich in antioxidants may be useful in the prevention and onset and severity of arthritis.”

Three independent and controlled experiments were conducted. Using a widely accepted animal model that is very similar to RA, the mice were injected with collagen to induce arthritis. Two groups were studied for 40 days, while a third was examined for 85 days to verify that the green tea did not simply delay the onset of the disease.

Green tea, unlike the more widely used black version, is not fermented. Instead of crushing the tea leaves, thereby removing the polyphenols, green tea is first dried, and then heated. One teaspoon steeped in hot (not boiling) water contains anywhere from 100 to 200mg of EGCG. Milk should not be added, as it negates the tea’s beneficial properties. According to this study and others that were done for other diseases, two to four cups a day is usually recommended.

In a second study, researchers found further evidence that green tea is a powerful tool in the fight against RA. They discovered that the polyphenol ECGC could protect human articular chondrocytes from being destroyed in what is known as apoptosis, or cell suicide. These chondrocytes are cells that are responsible for releasing cartilage, the very thing that RA attacks. Dr. Haqqi said this exciting discovery, coupled with their earlier study, offers RA patients new hope. Though the existing damage RA may have caused will not be repaired, it seems green tea will aid in halting any further progress. And by sipping several cups of green tea every day, those who are genetically predisposed to RA may never have to suffer from its disastrous effects.

Human trials are currently being developed. In the meantime, however, Mukhtar and Haqqi both strongly encourage people to start drinking green tea. Nobody has shown any form of toxicity associated with tea, and with the tremendous amount of data showing its many beneficial qualities, it is a wise and wholesome preventive measure.

Yours in self-directed wellness,

—Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley

is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. The Wiley Method provides a revolutionary way of providing recovery and prevention of chronic pain, illness and disease. Grab your FREE COPY of Dr. Mark Wiley's "The 3 Secrets to Optimal Health" HERE.

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  • Time

    Green Tea works, but you need to add honey and lemon this creates a H2 O2 effect.

    Also you can get 35% FOOD GRADE H2 O2 take as needed.
    “”PLEASE NOTE”” (do not use drug store H2 O2) 3.5% its not the same thing.
    Use only 35% Food grade, brought down to a 3.5% with distiled water.
    And do some looking into it prior to jumping in. Also if your on meds check with your Doc about any reactions before you start an H2 O2 program.

    I have issues from many events over my life where I have pains not just from Arthritis but from other body breaking hobbys.
    I play guitar and have done so for 48 years now so my fingers have Artritis and, yes it used to show.

    But let me just say this within five weeks of my starting an H2 O2 program, I not only lost some weight, about ten pounds, but also my hands have zero swelling in the joints so my twisted fingers are not quite as twisted. Let me add that 40 years of Karate is also partly responsible for my hands being twisted.

    The main point is I have “NO Pains” at all, I feel like I am in my twenties again.
    I attribute this mostly to drinking Green Tea with Honey and Lemon, as well over the last year I have added in the H2 O2 drinks three times per day.

    Thanks I enjoyed your Blog.




  • Terry

    Am sending this to our Aunt who has “A”

  • Sohail Ahmed

    The info. in this article is not only useful but also highly encouraging for future research in such herbal and items of common use. In sub-continent, green tea is quite commonly taken, especially after heavy meals. There are a number of variants and lemon and other ingredients are added. I think osteoporosis is one of the sources of these sort of pains in joints. If we are able to reverse the process, pains would slowly reduce, if not altogether gone. ANSAID is quite popular for pain-killing. This article points out the dangers and this info. should be known by as many people as possible.

  • Personal Liberty Support

    We always appreciate it when people link to our articles, thank you very much for your support!

  • Rusty

    the problem with getting people that have RA is getting them to try the green tea method, because they go off only what their doctors tell them, pills pills & more pills. main stream doc’s dont like the idea of straying off somewhere else they never have. this is very good info though thanks.

  • DaveH

    Dr. Wiley,
    What is your opinion of the Standardized Green Tea Extract capsules?

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      Standardized green tea extract is excellent, Dave. The essential oils are there.

      • DaveH

        Thank you.

        • Fed Up Gal in NM

          Dr Wiley / Dave H,

          I’m a bit confused. Did I miss something in the article? It’s been a long day, so anything’s possible. Just wondering what the difference between Standardized and (non)Standardized Green Tea or Green Tea Extract is.

          Also, while visiting with a friend recently, she served some green tea (mixed with orange tea) and it tasted even better than just straight green tea or straight orange tea. Any problem mixing the two…or does mixing the green tea with other teas diminish the positive effects of green tea?

          Dr Wiley: Great article; thank you for posting it. I’ll be sending to some friends and family (via your PL link…:-).

          Fed Up Gal

          • DaveH
          • Fed Up Gal in NM

            Thanks for the link you provided, Dave H (10:35pm). I’ll take a closer look at it tomorrow.

            Fed Up Gal

          • Fed Up Gal in NM

            Thank you for the website link, DavidH. I finally got to review the data you provided. I had never heard the term “standardized” green tea extract before, but now I understand what you were referencing. Thanks again.

            Fed Up Gal

  • David Chapman

    One problem is that after being diagnosed with a deap vein thrombosis I was told to stop green tea. I will start it as soon as I am allowed to.

  • Hal Griffin

    Can you provide me with Dr Mark Wiley’s educational and work background?
    Thank You

    • Bob Livingston

      Dear Hal,

      Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in 8 countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach.

      Dr. Wiley explained some of his background in his introductory columun More information is available on his website:

      I hope that answers your questions.

      Best wishes,

  • PAthena

    Tea, unfortunately, makes me sick. It is the tannin in the leaves, which green tea as well as black tea contains. I was a tea enthusiast, collecting many different kinds, until I discovered that it was giving me chronic headaches.

  • http://Don'thaveone Sally

    Time Thanks Again. I agree with you whole heartidly and have been an avid Green Tea drinker the last 5 or six years. I have an article on Honey and Cinnamon that cures almost anything put in your tea and have started on that also as I am a great beliver in natural cures. I am very very healthy (have to loose weight however since putting on 30 pounds after quitting smoking 25 weeks ago) but that will coe o didn’t want to start anything drastic until after the holidays which is now!,and am 72 years old and don’t take any drugs whatsoever, no will I ever!!. My husband who is older is also in good health however, he does take the drug Pendolol (a beta blocked) to control or eliminate ventrical fribulation and has taken it for years. I keep looking and looking for an alternative to that however.

  • GPAD


  • Fed Up Gal in NM


    I’m no expert; still relatively new at the green tea tasting…LoL; however I have tried both “Salada” and “Prince of Peace” Green Tea and enjoyed both. They are reasonably priced (IMO), but I still try to purchase when on sale…and I’ll generally buy even if not on sale.

    Salada is available at many grocery store markets (ex: Kroger/Smith’s, Albertson’s, etc…and I purchased the Prince of Peace brand at a local natural and/or organic foods store in my area (Sunflower Market). The next thing I’d like to try is: Prince of Peace ginger crystals (I think this may be a supposedly “better for us” sweetner than white refined sugar, if I’m not mistaken. Just my thoughts. Have a great evening.

    Fed Up Gal

  • Martha

    I have RA and have had it since I was in my early 20s. Doctors could not figure out what it was, and diagnosed me with all sorts of things, none of them correct. Then I was sent to a Dr. in Texarkana, Tx who is a RA specialist and who test my blood,which is the only and best way to see if a person has RA and at what percentage. So easy of a way to figure out the problem, I wished that other Doctors knew this so patients wouldn’t have to go through all the other painful test to figure out the problem. I hadn’t figured out what is best for RA, but had literally ate Tylenol for years and years for the pain. I cringe at the thought of winter, as that is when every joint in my body hurts very severely. I heard about Green Tea (not for the RA treatment but for general health benefits). But, after drinking Green Tea, I have felt better, and this winter for the first time, I have not ached and hurt as I have in the past. My joints in my fingers, and knees, feet, etc.. have not bothered me much this winter. There are times still when I have a problem, but it’s very slight compared to years previous. I have not been drinking the green tea for a few months, and I think this is why I have the few joint problems that I have now. So I am going back to the store for more green tea, and starting to drink it again. I have gotten the green tea from Wal-mart and I mix it with the regular tea. I also get the green tea drinks in the 20oz bottles that are mixed with an apple flavor. I see that they all work just the same. (answer to question above). THANK YOU FOR THE INFORMATION and RESEARCH!!

  • Martha

    One last comment / question. I wonder if we would be able to get the green tea and grow it here in the US for our own use? Is there any information on where to get the plant, and how to grow it, and how to prepare it?

  • Joyce

    OK, all of you who can identify pokeweed (poke sallet) listen up. Those of you who can’t go on line and put “pokeweed or poke sallet”
    in your search window and it will probably also give you a good picture to identify pokeweed. Poke sallet is now blooming and just forming pokeberries. These berries are going to be a dark purplish color when ripe and that is when you have to gather them before the birds eat all of them. They are not poisonous as I was raised to believe. I started taking them in my early 30′s and still taking them
    without unwanted side effects.

    To quote a physiology instructor’s words of wisdom during a lecture
    at a medical school: “From a little research project we have going on here, we can’t tell you why, but pokeberries throws the body into
    gear to fight”. I just grinned because I had been taking them for 15+
    years at the time. This information should come in handy for lots of different ailments since our immune system is really what fights off
    diseases for us.

    You will find that many of our so-called weeds are God’s medicine and he doesn’t play favorites, which means you don’t have to depend on plants imported from other countries. Learn to identify your local
    plants and what to use them for. It becomes fascinating to read about the chemicals contained in plants and what actions those chemicals have.

    A green smoothie composed of those weeds (dandelion, dock, sheep sorrel, land cress, water cress,broadleaf plaintain, etc) from your yard makes for good medicine too. Don’t gather it close to the road, or from your yard at all if you put toxins (pesticides, weed killers, etc) on your yard.


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