Osteoarthritis Overview:

Osteoarthritis is a low grade inflammatory condition that leads to a loss of cartilage and synovial fluid in the joint.



Can be caused by repetitive shock or exercise such as with normal wear and tear of age, or from athletics. 



Aching pain in the joints

Loss of function

Onset is gradual (months to years)

Abnormal gait (if severe in hips or knees)

Typical distribution deformity




Therapeutic Aims:

1. Increase blood circulation into the affected area

Circulatory stimulants (Zingiber officinale)

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2. Alleviate symptoms of pain/inflammation management

Analgesics (Piscidia erythrina, Corydalis)

  • Sedatives (Piper methysticum, Valeriana officinalis, Zizyphus spinosa)
  • Antinflammatories (Salix alba, Guaiacum officinalis, Boswellia serrata, Harpagophytum procumbens, Dioscorea villosa)
  • Rubefacients

3. Maintain joint function, prevent further degeneration of joints, and enhance the repair process

Supplying carbohydrate molecules for proteoglycan synthesis and cartilage reconstruction (L-Glucosamine)

  • Remineralisation of calcified cartilage and bone junction (Urtica dioica)

4. Encourage detoxification and enhance efficiency of other organs of elimination

Alteratives (Urtica dioica)

  • Diuretics (Apium graveolens)
  • Bitters (Achillea millefolium, Gentiana lutea, Taraxicum officinale)
  • Hepatics (Silybum marianum, Cynara scolymus)

Diagnostic Considerations:

  • Nothing noteable on blood testing
  • Imaging
    • Xray
      • joint space narrowing
      • subchondral sclerosis
      • subchondral cysts

Differential Diagnosis:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Mechanical damage/trauma

Herbs For Osteoarthritis



Justin Cooke

The Sunlight Experiment

Updated: November 2017


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