A new study by the Harvard School of Dental Medicine maintains that Chang shan, a root extract of a specific type of Himalayan hydrangea plant, also known as hortensia, is useful in treating autoimmune disorders. It’s traditionally been used as a malaria medicine in Chinese medicine. The team observed that one component in particular, halofuginone (HF), blocks the development of T helper 17 (Th17) cells. These cells are highly inflammatory cells that seem to play a significant role in the development of autoimmune disorders, including psoriasis. And even though the study does not specifically mention LS, it being an auto-immune disorder it could be expected to be included. HF specifically targets and blocks an enzyme known as tRNA synthetase EPRS, which is responsible for incorporating proline, an amino acid, into cells. This blockage essentially tells the AAR not to activate the inflammatory immune responses associated with autoimmune disorders.
Like most herbal remedies that have therapeutic properties, HF’s anti-inflammatory and immune-inhibiting properties only target autoimmune pathology rather than the entire immune system. So supplementing with HF can both fight autoimmune disorders and boost natural immunity at the same time. Chang shan, also known as dichroa febrifuga or dichroa root, can be found at some health food stores and online retailers in both liquid and powder extract forms. Or if you have a Chinese medicine practitioner nearby, consult them on the specific use for your skin disorder.