Botanicals for Knee Osteoarthritis
Knee osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage in the knee joints breaks down, becoming worn and frayed, so that the protective space between the knee bones wears away. The resulting effect is the knee bones rub together causing discomfort. Symptoms include stiffness, chronic pain, loss of joint function, and instability.
While there is no cure for knee osteoarthritis, botanicals, such as turmeric (Cucuma longa, Zingiberaceae), may help relieve its symptoms.
A systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the effects of low- and high-dose curcuminoids from turmeric on knee osteoarthritis for pain relief and functional improvements and compare the adverse effects to non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).1 Eleven studies with a total of 1258 patients with knee osteoarthritis, published between 2009 and 2020, were included. Eight compared curcuminoids to placebo, and three compared curcuminoids to NSAIDs. Dosage of curcuminoids ranged from 180 mg to 1500 mg. The authors’ findings showed that both low- and high-dose curcuminoids had similar pain relief benefits. They also found that curcuminoids demonstrated better pain relief than NSAIDs. See HC 022255-699.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted in India between December 2019 and February 2020 evaluated knee pain, stiffness, and function scores in patients with knee osteoarthritis using one of two Ayurvedic botanical combinations.2 One was TamaFlex™ (Laila Nutraceuticals; Vijayawada, India), a botanical supplement containing tamarind (Tamarindus indica, Fabaceae) seed and turmeric rhizome extracts. The other, NXT19185, or TamaFlex Plus™ (Laila Nutraceuticals), is a proprietary supplement of NXT15906F2 and mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana, Clusiaceae) fruit rind extract. The trial lasted for 56 days and included 81 patients. Both TamaFlex and TamaFlex Plus demonstrated significant benefits (P < 0.05) in both Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index score and in inflammation, functional scores, and collagen breakdown in urine samples compared to placebo. See HC 032233-699.
HerbClip™ Managing Editor
1Hsiao AF, Lien YC, Tzeng IS, Liu CT, Chou SH, Horng YS. The efficacy of high- and low-dose curcumin in knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Complement Ther Med. December, 2021;63:102775. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2021.102775.
2Kare SK, Vinay V, Maresz K, Prisk V, Vik H. Tamarindus indica seed extract-based botanical compositions alleviate knee pain and improve joint function in mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. January 19, 2022;2022:2226139. doi: 10.1155/2022/2226139.