La phytothérapie pour soulager l'arthrose

Herbal medicine to relieve osteoarthritis

Jul 01, 2022

What is osteoarthritis?

In this article, we will help you understand what osteoarthritis is and how natural methods such as herbal medicine can relieve osteoarthritis .

Osteoarthritis is a pathology that affects 10 million people in France. It is more likely to occur in older people. In fact, it concerns 65% of those over 65 years old . It is a joint disease that will lead to the destruction of cartilage . The frictionless sliding of bones is possible thanks to the set of joints that make up our body. The joint is a vector of movement. It is possible to feel severe pain when this joint is damaged. This pain restricts the mobility of the patient suffering from osteoarthritis.

What is cartilage made of?

Cartilage is a relatively flexible connective tissue. It is composed of collagen which gives it flexibility and helps it resist the tension that can be exerted on it.

But also elastin which allows collagen molecules to be linked together to ensure the coherence of the structure supported by proteoglycans to increase the adhesion of this tissue unit.

Proteoglycans are molecules rich in chondroitin. It is a substance that participates in the maintenance of healthy cartilage.

Glucosamine is also a substance that nourishes cartilage. Without chondroitin or glucosamine, cartilage could not regenerate.

What are the causes of osteoarthritis?

For a functional joint , you need rested, nourished and hydrated cartilage . Synovial fluid, which surrounds the cartilage, helps provide the nutrients necessary for its maintenance. It also makes movements more fluid.

During a nutrient deficiency, a dietary imbalance or in more serious cases of malnutrition, the cartilage will have difficulty being properly nourished. It will therefore lose functionality and renewal. This causes premature aging of the integrity of the cartilage structure.

People subjected to more intense or prolonged effort, with little rest, are also likely to develop osteoarthritis.

Indeed, during compression of the cartilage, a phenomenon of dispersion of the liquid which composes it takes place. The rest phases help the fluid return to the structure. The shorter the rest phases are or the more they are out of balance with the compression phases, the more the cartilage will weaken.

This is the case for high-level athletes, people with very physical and demanding jobs, and those lifting heavy loads. Being overweight also increases the strain placed on the joints. Age remains the most common cause of osteoarthritis.

Indeed, when the body ages, metabolic disorders occur, leading to tissue functional difficulties. Cartilage is difficult to renew and is destroyed little by little.

doctor holding a spinal reproduction

What is the most effective food supplement against osteoarthritis?

Several food supplements exist to help maintain a healthy joint . They are not intended to cure osteoarthritis, but they support joint integrity.

Collagen, chondroitin and glucosamine

As we have explained, these three substances are part of the composition of cartilage tissue. It is possible to find all three of them in the formulation of many food supplements on the market.

They exist as supplements in the form of powder to be diluted or capsules to be swallowed.

You will find collagen on the food supplement market under the name Peptan ®, Collagen type I, Collagen type 2 or Collagen peptide.

Concerning the other two substances, although it is possible to find them separated, they are very frequently combined (Chondroitin sulfate, chondroitin glucosamine MSM, etc.).


Glycine is an amino acid that makes up ⅓ of collagen. As a supplement, it is therefore beneficial to the synthesis of collagen in the body.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin that has strong antioxidant power. It is involved in the formation of collagen and therefore becomes interesting as a supplement in cases of osteoarthritis.

The copper

Copper-based food supplements can be useful in cases of osteoarthritis. Indeed, in cases of cartilage inflammation, copper allows the synthesis of superoxide dismutase (SOD). This molecule intervenes in the fight against free radicals and participates in the synthesis of inflammatory prostaglandins. It thus limits inflammation of the cartilage. Please note, taking food supplements should in no case replace a healthy, balanced and varied diet.

Food supplements in herbal medicine for osteoarthritis

Phytotherapy is developing more and more within the food supplement market. These natural solutions are a real asset in contributing to a healthy body. Particularly when it comes to using herbal medicine to relieve osteoarthritis.

Harpagophytum (Harpagophytum procumbens)

Harpagophytum can be interesting as a natural solution in cases of arthritis or osteoarthritis.

This plant, also called Devil's Claw, is used in herbal medicine for its roots which have anti-inflammatory properties. It is often consumed , in the case of chronic inflammation , to relieve osteoarthritis.

Harpagophytum root contains tannins, iridoids (harpagosides, harpagide and procumbide), phytosterols, triterpene esters, flavonoids, aromatic active ingredients and harpagoquinone. All of these active ingredients give it interesting properties to help limit cartilage inflammation.

In rheumatology , harpagophytum is used as a massage gel to reduce inflammation and orally (capsules) to accelerate the physiological process of healing osteoarthritis.

Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum)

In herbal medicine to relieve osteoarthritis, we favor the use of blackcurrant leaves. Indeed, the blackcurrant was called “the gouty tree” being widely used to treat gout. Blackcurrant leaves help with cartilage regeneration.

Being rich in anthocyanins, they help to significantly reduce inflammation . The blackcurrant berry also contains molecules with anti-inflammatory properties (flavonoids and anthocyanidins).

Find our food supplement based on Blackcurrant.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Generally, turmeric is used as a condiment to color and spice dishes. But that's not its only asset. Its root is widely used in herbal medicine and more particularly in Ayurvedic medicine. It is an unconventional medicine originating from Asia. Turmeric is also called “Indian Saffron”. Turmeric root is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory effect. This plant contains a major active ingredient, curcumin.

Stinging nettle ( Urtica dioica )

Nettle has many vitamins, minerals and trace elements. It also has an anti-inflammatory action and helps the cartilage to rebuild itself. We can consume Nettle leaves as an infusion.

Herbal medicine recipe idea for osteoarthritis:

Steep a handful of nettle leaves in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Consume up to three cups per day in case of osteoarthritis or arthritis.

These infusions could help relieve rheumatic pain. You can add ginger, turmeric and lemon to this preparation for more effectiveness and flavor.

Find our food supplement based on Stinging Nettle.

Meadowsweet ( Spirea ulmaria )

In herbal medicine against osteoarthritis, meadowsweet can be used to help better tolerate the symptoms of osteoarthritis. It indeed has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Salicylic acid is one of the active ingredients it contains. This active ingredient is the main compound in aspirin. It thus helps relieve pain due to osteoarthritis.

Find our food supplement based on Meadowsweet.

Phytotherapy through cosmetic oils

These plants can be consumed as food supplements, but they are also beneficial in cosmetic use through massage oils to relieve inflammation directly at the local level.

Essential oils have a much higher concentration of plant extract. However, they must be handled with great care, as they can be irritating due to their high concentration.

The presence of peppermint in an essential oil is useful in cases of inflammation. It provides a feeling of freshness on the skin and quickly soothes the heating caused by pain.

How to get rid of osteoarthritis for good?

Unfortunately, there is no completely effective treatment to permanently cure osteoarthritis. Preserve your joints as much as possible with appropriate movements. Do not neglect your diet or your rest to take care of your body. And finally, turn to herbal medicine to prevent inflammation or cartilage degradation.

Find our range of products for muscles and joints.

Phytotherapy and osteoarthritis: Bibliographic references

1 - Altindag O, Erel O, et al. Increased oxidative stress and its relationship with collagen metabolism in knee osteoarthritis. Rheumatol Int. February 2007, Vol. 27, 4, pp. 339-44.

2 - Wegener, T., & Lüpke, N.-P. Treatment of patients with arthrosis of hip or knee with an aqueous extract of Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbensDC.) . Phytotherapy Research, 2003, 17(10), 1165–1172.

3 - Chantre P, Cappelaere A, Leblan D, Guedon D, Vandermander J, Fournie B. Efficacy and tolerance of Harpagophytum procumbens versus diacerhein in treatment of osteoarthritis . Phytomedicine 2000; 7(3):177-83.

4 - Haroyan A, Mukuchyan V, Mkrtchyan N, et al. Efficacy and safety of curcumin and its combination with boswellic acid in osteoarthritis: a comparative, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study . BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018;18(1):7.

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