Bacteria May Trigger Rheumatoid Arthritis But Australian Bush Medicine May Treat The Bacteria Better Than Antibiotics

August 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Health Blog

‘Bush medicine shows healing potential’

Extracts of an Australian plant have a high antimicrobial activity against a bacterium that may be a trigger for rheumatoid arthritis, says a Queensland scientist.

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 authors from GriffithUniversity 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.



Yours in Great Health,

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons), MATMS, MHATO
Naturopathic Medicine practitioner, Lecturer, Researcher  

Sar has advanced qualifications in the health sciences and naturopathic medicine and is an accomplished lecturer, practitioner & counsellor with 21 years of clinical experience.

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