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Herbal Supplements for Osteoarthritis

Know Your Options

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Updated April 29, 2009

Herbal supplements are gaining popularity among osteoarthritis patients, but there is a lot you should know about each of the herbal supplements before buying and trying them.

Herbal remedies are derived from the extracts of certain plants. Since herbal remedies have been used for thousands of years, you are likely to presume they are safe -- but think again. According to the American College of Rheumatology, herbal remedies are not subjected to the same quality assurance testing that is required for prescription drugs.

Herbal Supplements Used to Treat Osteoarthritis

Devil's Claw - What You Need to Know
Devil's claw is a shrub that is native to Southern Africa. It has lush foliage and red flowers. It is named Devil's claw because of tiny hooks that cover its fruit. As a modern, popular supplement, devil's claw is used to treat degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis.

Stinging Nettle - What You Need to Know
Stinging nettle is a stalk-like plant; its extract is used to treat aches and pains associated with osteoarthritis. Stinging nettle can interfere with certain prescription medications, so discuss it with your doctor before trying it (or any supplement, for that matter).

Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU) for Osteoarthritis
Avocado soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) have been shown in clinical studies to have beneficial effects on osteoarthritis. Avocado soybean unsaponifiables are a natural vegetable extract made from avocado and soybean oils.

Rose Hips (LitoZin) for Osteoarthritis
Rose hips are the seed pods of roses. In clinical studies, a powder, made from the rose hips of Rosa canina was found to be more effective than placebo for arthritis pain relief.

Pycnogenol - Natural Pain Relief for Osteoarthritis
Pycnogenol is an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. One randomized, placebo-controlled study (what's considered the highest quality type of study) showed that Pycnogenol has been shown to reduce osteoarthritis symptoms by 56%.

Frankincense Relieves Osteoarthritis Pain
Frankincense has been shown to reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis. In one randomized, placebo-controlled study, patients who took an enriched extract of the 'Indian Frankincense' herb Boswellia serrata experienced significant pain relief in as few as 7 days.

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