The use of glucosamine, devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens), and acupuncture as complementary and alternative treatments for osteoarthritis

Altern Med Rev. 2011 Sep;16(3):228-38.


Osteoarthritis is one of the most common chronic inflammatory conditions seen in the general population. Current pharmacological treatments focus on reduction of pain and increased mobility to improve overall quality of life. However, the relief afforded by current standard care is often insufficient and can be associated with significant side effects. Many patients, therefore, seek the option of non-standard therapies, such as nutritional and herbal supplements, acupuncture, and exercise regimens. Glucosamine, Harpagophytum procumbens, and acupuncture are among the most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine approaches utilized by patients suffering from osteoarthritis. Their clinical relevance, safety, and potential mechanisms of action are discussed in this review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy* / standards
  • Complementary Therapies / methods
  • Glucosamine / pharmacology*
  • Glucosamine / standards
  • Harpagophytum*
  • Osteoarthritis / drug therapy*
  • Phytotherapy* / standards


  • Glucosamine