Comparing analgesic effects of a topical herbal mixed medicine with salicylate in patients with knee osteoarthritis

Pak J Biol Sci. 2011 Jul 1;14(13):715-9. doi: 10.3923/pjbs.2011.715.719.


Knee osteoarthritis is the most common cause of disability among people and it is a common disease of joints that can lead to cartilage damage. In this study the analgesic effects of a herbal ointment containing cinnamon, ginger, mastic (Saghez) and sesame oil is compared with Salicylate ointment in patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis. It was a double-blind randomized controlled trail study. Patients with diagnosed arthritis were involved in the study and they were divided in two groups via block randomization method. For six weeks, twice a day, intervention group applied herbal ointment and control group used Salicylate ointment. The severity of pain, morning stiffness and limited motion were measured using Visual Analog Pain Scale. In order to analyze the trends of these three indexes, repeated measurement test was used. Ninety two participates with the mean age of 52.2 (+/- 12.4) years and with the mean disease period of 30.45 (+/- 30.3) months were involved in the study. There was no significant difference between two groups regarding the distribution of sex, weight, height, BMI and the duration of illness. No statistical difference was observed between two groups regarding pain relief, morning stiffness and limited motion; nevertheless in repeated measurements during second, forth and sixth weeks in both groups the decreasing trend of these three indexes had been statistically significant (p < 0.0001). It seems that using this herbal combination is clinically effective for patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis in order to decrease their pain, morning stiffness and limited motion; its effect is comparable with Salicylate ointment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Herbal Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ointments / chemistry
  • Ointments / therapeutic use*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / drug therapy
  • Salicylates / therapeutic use*


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ointments
  • Salicylates