What is Thunder God Vine Supplement?

Thunder god vine is a perennial grown in China and Taiwan. Thunder god vine has been used in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years for its immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical trials reveal that thunder god vine may be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Non-medicinally, thunder god vine is used as an insecticide as well as rat and bird poison.

Also known as:  Huang-T’eng Ken, Lei Gong Teng, Lei-Kung T’eng, Taso-Ho-Hua, Threewingnut, Tonnerre de la Vigne de Dieu, Tripterigium Wilfordii, Vigne du Tonnerre Divin, Yellow Vine

Diseases and Conditions

Thunder god vine is used orally as a dietary supplement for autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus.  Orally, thunder god vine is also used to treat excessive menstrual periods and a contraceptive for males. Thundergod vine is also used to treat boils, abscesses, inflammation, fever, HIV/AIDS, systemic lupus erythematosus, Behcet’s disease, and psoriasis. It is also used topically for rheumatoid arthritis.


Thunder god vine may have side effects, including decreased bone mineral content (with long-term use), infertility, menstrual cycle changes, rashes, diarrhea, headache, and hair loss. Because some of these side effects are serious, the risks of using thunder god vine may be greater than its benefits. Thunder god vine can be extremely poisonous if the extract is not prepared properly.

Medication Interactions

Large doses of thunder god vine should not be combined with immunosuppressants such as:

  • Azathioprine (Imuran)
  • Basiliximab (Simulect)
  • Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)
  • Daclizumab (Zenapax)
  • Muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3)
  • Mycophenolate (CellCept)
  • Tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf)
  • Sirolimus (Rapamune)
  • Prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone)
  • Corticosteroids (glucocorticoids)

Supplement and Food Interactions

None known.


Adult, Oral:

  • For asthma, 40mg or 60mg daily for 4 weeks.
  • For eye disorders, 30-60mg daily for 4 weeks.
  • For nephritis, 1mg/kg daily has been used.
  • For rheumatoid arthritis, 10-60mg daily for up to 12 weeks has been used.
  • Topical: For rheumatoid arthritis, tincture of thunder god vine has been applied to the affected area up to 6x daily.
  • For children, 1mg/kg has been used.


Thunder god vine is not in foods.


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