Medical treatment of osteoarthritis: botanical pharmacologic aspect

J Rheum Dis. 2024 Apr 1;31(2):68-78. doi: 10.4078/jrd.2023.0084. Epub 2024 Feb 1.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, and its prevalence is expected to further increase as our society ages. Despite many approaches to cure OA, no drugs are currently proven to modulate the progression of OA. Nowadays, new OA treatment options are holistically developed and one of the approaches of treatment option is botanical drugs. Some botanical drugs for OA have shown both therapeutic effect comparable to refined drugs in small studies and fewer side effects. Hence, there are various health functional foods which are known to relieve symptoms of OA. However, since there are many botanical products, clinicians are not familiar to the efficacy of each botanical product, making it challenging to use them appropriately in clinical practice. Here, we summarize the botanical products available for treating OA, including prescription botanical drugs and health functional foods available in Korea. Further studies and the purification of effective molecules from botanical products will be necessary in future.

Keywords: Botanical drug; Ethnopharmacology; Osteoarthritis.

Publication types

  • Review