The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Chinese herbs Ganoderma lucidum and San Miao San to treat rheumatoid arthritis

    Researchers from several hospitals in Hong Kong and Chongqing China evaluated the combined use of 2 traditional Chinese medicines as complementary treatment in patients who were getting only partial relief taking western disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.

    First, the details.

    • 65 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis despite taking western medicines were randomly assigned to take G. lucidum (4 gm) plus San Miao San (2.4 gm) daily (TCM) or placebo.
    • They continued to take their disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.
    • Treatments lasted 24 weeks.

    And, the results.

    • 89% completed the study.
    • 15% in the TCM group compared with 9% in the placebo group achieved ACR20 ? a significant difference.
    • Pain score and patient’s global score improved significantly only in the TCM group.
    • There were no changes in lab values.
    • 13 patients reported 22 episodes (14 in placebo group and 8 in TCM group) of mild adverse effects.

    Components in the American College of Rheumatology (ACR20) definition of improvement.

    • 20% improvement in tender joint count, AND
    • 20% improvement in swollen joint count, AND
    • 20% improvement in 3/5 other core set items: based on physician, patient, and lab study results

    The bottom line?
    Accordingly, the authors concluded, “G. lucidum and San Miao San may have analgesic effects for patients with active rheumatoid arthritis, and were generally safe and well tolerated. However, no significant antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, or immunomodulating effects could be demonstrated.”

    12/2/07 14:51 JR

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