How effective are topical herbal therapies for treating osteoarthritis?
This review was compromised by some poorly designed clinical trials that were underpowered and inadequately blinded. The quality and/or quantity of current scientific evidence of effectiveness were insufficient for all the products. Generally, high tolerance of the herbal medicinal products was demonstrated; however, caution is warranted in interpreting safety due to the small sample size in some of the studies
Before extraction and synthetic chemistry were invented, musculoskeletal complaints were treated with preparations from medicinal plants. They were either administered orally or topically. In contrast to the oral medicinal plant products, topical agents act in part as counterirritants or are toxic when given orally.