Probiotics, which are beneficial live bacteria and yeasts, can protect against autoimmune diseases by improving gut bacteria and impacting various processes that modulate autoimmunity. Research suggests the accumulation of pathogens in the microbiome over time may play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases. Some studies suggest probiotic bacteria, especially Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains, can benefit inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and may be especially helpful in treating lupus. TRY: Dr Ohhira’s Probiotics Original Formula, $39 per 30 capsules, drohhiraprobiotics.com
Boswellia serrata, also called Indian frankincense, is an Ayurvedic herb that’s derived from the resin of the Boswellia serrata tree native to India. Research shows it can relieve chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma and osteoarthritis and can reduce swelling and inflammation in inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone naturally produced by the adrenal glands; supplements are usually made from soy or wild yam extracts. Levels of DHEA have been shown to be lower in people with inflammatory diseases, including lupus, and these levels seem to correlate inversely with severity of the disease. DHEA treatment has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve overall quality of life in some people with lupus, and it’s also a safe and effective treatment for people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Peony (Paeonia lactiflora), has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of conditions. The active constituent, paeoniflorin, is most concentrated in the roots of the plant, so supplements are sold as “peony root.” Research shows that paeoniflorin has immunomodulatory effects in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and can relieve inflammation, reduce joint pain and swelling, and delay bone erosion and destruction in rheumatoid arthritis.