Evidence of Effectiveness of Herbal Medicinal Products in the Treatment of Arthritis Part 1: Osteoarthritis

Cameron, Melainie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5788-8790 and Gagnier, Joel J. and Little, Christine V. and Parsons, Tessa J. and Blumle, Anette and Chrubasik, Sigrun (2009) Evidence of Effectiveness of Herbal Medicinal Products in the Treatment of Arthritis Part 1: Osteoarthritis. Phytotherapy Research, 23 (11). pp. 1497-1515. ISSN 0951-418X


Herbal medicinal products (HMPs) are used in a variety of oral and topical forms for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The aim of this study was to update a previous systematic review published in 2000. We searched electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CISCOM, AMED, CINAHL, Cochrane registers) to June 2007, unrestricted by date or language, and included randomized controlled trials that compared HMPs with inert (placebo) or active controls in patients with osteoarthritis. Five reviewers contributed to data extraction. Disagreements were discussed and resolved by consensus with reference to Cochrane guidelines and advice from the Cochrane Collaboration.

Thirty‐five studies (30 studies identified for this review update, and 5 studies included in the original review) evaluating the effectiveness of 22 HMPs were included. However, due to differing HMPs, interventions, comparators, and outcome measures, meta‐analysis was restricted to data from studies of three HMPs: topical capsaicin, avocado‐soybean unsaponifiables, and the Chinese herbal mixture SKI306X showed benefit in the alleviation of osteoarthritic pain.

Several studies investigating products from devil's claw, and a powder from rose hip and seed, reported favorable effects on osteoarthritic pain, whereas two studies of a willow bark extract returned disparate results. Three studies of Phytodolor NR were of limited use because doses and measures were inconsistent among trials. The remaining single studies for each HMP provided moderate evidence of effectiveness. No serious side effects were reported with any herbal intervention.

Despite some evidence, the effectiveness of none of the HMPs is proven beyond doubt. The obvious potential benefits of HMPs in the treatment of osteoarthritis are reduced reliance on synthetic medications with the associated risks of harmful adverse events, but further clinical trials are necessary before HMPs can be adopted in osteoarthritis treatment guidelines.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 38792
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2021 03:09
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2021 03:09
Uncontrolled Keywords: Herbal medicine; Osteoarthritis; Clinical trials; effectiveness; Cochrane Review
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine > 110499 Complementary and Alternative Medicine not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110322 Rheumatology and Arthritis
Fields of Research (2020): 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320223 Rheumatology and arthritis
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4208 Traditional, complementary and integrative medicine > 420899 Traditional, complementary and integrative medicine not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920199 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200105 Treatment of human diseases and conditions
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.3007
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/38792

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only