What Is The Evidence Of Using Bee Venom Injections For Arthritis Pain
Q) My 37-year-old-daughter has had juvenile idiopathic arthritis since she was two. We tried all avenues to help her, including some visits to a homeopath when she was 1718. The homeopath decided on a course of bee venom injections.
The results were absolutely amazing. Almost overnight she went from being unable to walk short distances without pain to being normal and walking quite a long way.
But the effects seemed short-lived. A combination of leaving for university and one very unpleasant injection, coupled with the miracle wearing off, meant that the injections were no longer pursued.
My daughter now regularly injects herself with an anti-TNF product, which concerns me. Recently she suffered a very nasty streptococcal infection. Id be very interested to hear of any further developments with bee venom trials.
Glynis, via email 2015
A) Bee venom therapy has been around for thousands of years. Reference to the treatment can be found in ancient Egypt and Greek medical writings. Also known as apitherapy, the technique is more widely used in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America.
A number of animal studies have shown that bee venom has significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. High-quality trials in humans are needed to define any future role of bee venom for arthritis but Im not aware of any that are being undertaken.
This answer was provided by Dr Tom Margham in 2015, and was correct at the time of publication.
What Are The Benefits
Natural health practices have used boswellia for centuries to treat various chronic inflammatory disorders. The scientific research on boswellia is less developed, but it is beginning to unveil potential uses for the resin and its extracts.
Boswellia and its active ingredients, such as boswellic acid, appear to have a good anti-inflammatory effect on the body, according to
The following sections discuss the evidence behind its potential benefits for inflammatory health conditions.
Boswellia Fights Pain At A Price
People with arthritis are caught between a rock and a hard place. If they find a medication that alleviates pain, they may discover that it has unacceptable side effects. Popular NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen, for example, raise blood pressure and increase the risk of cardiovascular complications. They also irritate the digestive tract and can cause ulcers. No wonder people can get excited when they learn that boswellia fights pain!
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Health Benefits Of Boswellia
Boswellia is thought to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. There is good, but not strong scientific evidence for the use of Boswellia to treat chronic asthma and cancer. There is unclear scientific evidence for its use to treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Overall, evidence to support its beneficial effects is scant.
Composition Of Boswellia Serrata Resin:
The resinous part of Boswellia serrata contains, monoterpenes diterpenes triterpenes pentacyclic triterpenic acids tetracyclic triterpenic acids . The structures of four major pentacyclic triterpenic acids as also some of their characteristic features are given in and , respectively.
Structures of four pentacyclic triterpenic acids
-Boswellic acid, R1=H, R2=H2 acetyl–boswellic acid, R1=Ac, R2=H2 11-keto–boswellic acid, R1=H, R2=O acetyl-11-keto–boswellic acid, R1=Ac, R2=O.
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Health Benefits Of Boswellia Serrata And Its Side Effects
Also known by the term Indian frankincense, Boswellia Serrata reduces inflammation and is useful for managing asthma and arthritis. Research reveals that this herb prevents the formation of leukotriene in the body. Studies on this herb have also reported that Boswellia Serrata can be helpful in preventing breast cancer and leukemia. You can use boswellia serrata in different forms such as tablets, essential oil and powder used to treat chronic health problems.
Breast Pain And Benign Breast Lumps
A combination of boswellic acid, betaine, and myoinositol relieved breast pain and reduced benign breast lumps in a study of 76 women. This treatment also reduced breast tissue density by 60% .
In another trial of 64 younger women, the same combination reduced the volume of benign breast lumps by 18% on average .
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Boswellia Serrata Dosages For Specific Medical Conditions
For best results, go for special Boswellia serrata formulations with 20-30% AKBA. Youll only need 100-300mg a day.
If youre taking regular standardized extracts with 60-65% boswellic acids, raise the dosage to 300-400mg three times daily.
For rheumatoid arthritis
AKBA-concentrated formulations are believed to be more effective than normal standardized extracts at just 100-300mg per day dosage.
On the other hand, standardized Boswellia serrata has been successfully taken at a total of 1,200-3,600mg a day for improved joint swelling in rheumatoid arthritis .
For bronchial asthma
German study has shown that taking 3 capsules of Boswellia resin daily eased the symptoms of bronchial asthma .
For ulcerative colitis
Two studies , examined the effects of Boswellia resin on ulcerative colitis. One used 350mg and the other 300mg of resin taken three times daily in both studies.
The results have shown that Boswellia is more successful than the drug sulfasalazine in treating ulcerative colitis and triggers remission of the disease in larger percentage of patients.
For Crohns disease
400mg of standardized Boswellia serrata extracts taken thrice daily is clinically proven effective and well-tolerated in Crohns disease patients .
One study shows that a total of 900mg Boswellia serrata gum resin taken daily for 6 weeks increased levels of blood HDL, lowered cholesterol, LDL, fructosamine, and other blood parameters in type 2 diabetes patients .
Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulfate
Many supplement products aiming to treat arthritis contain both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. These substances are found naturally in human cartilage. Research regarding glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements is mixed,1416 and doctors opinions of them vary. Positive clinical studies suggest they may provide modest pain relief by helping to rebuild worn-out cartilage in your arthritic joints.
In general, if you take any supplement for 2 to 6 months and dont notice any relief from arthritis symptoms, check with your doctor for other options.
Opinions about the recommended doses for supplements can vary. Before starting a new one, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to make sure the supplements contents and the dosage is right for your condition and wont interact with any other medications and supplements you take. Some supplements can cause serious health problems if they are taken at high doses or combined with other supplements and medications.17
Also, keep in mind that supplements are not a quick fix for your arthritis pain. They may take effect graduallyover weeks or monthsand provide only a modest decrease in pain. When you combine supplements with other treatments, such as an anti-inflammatory diet and exercise, there may be more significant pain relief.
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How Does Boswellia Help With Inflammation
So is Boswellia good for inflammation? The answer seems to be yes, and lab studies seem to have revealed the reason why taking Boswellia for pain and inflammation may be beneficial. Scientists believe that the observed Boswellia extract benefits for inflammation are due to substances in the Boswellia herb collectively called boswellic acid.
Although scientists disagree about which of the acids found in Boswellia serrata extract is primarily responsible for the action, they generally believe that boswellic acid addresses inflammation by interfering with the production of leukotrienes, molecules that the immune system releases. When this occurs, inflammation develops. A Boswellia supplement may lessen inflammation by interrupting this process.
Boswellia Is Used For:
Extracts of boswellia are most commonly used for chronic inflammatory ailments. In May of 2013, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database indicated that boswellia extracts can reduce pain and improve mobility in people with osteoarthritis in joints. Research shows that it might decrease joint pain by 32% to 65%. A comprehensive 2011 overview of in vitro and animal studies found that boswellic acids inhibit the synthesis of pro-inflammatory enzymes, illustrating its usefulness as an anti-inflammatory agent.
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Recommended Dosage Active Amounts Other Details
If using boswellia serrata resin itself, doses can increase up to 1,800 mg taken thrice a day , but are usually in the range of 800-1,200 mg taken thrice a day to total a daily dose of 2,400-3,600 mg. Within this range benefits appear to be dose-dependent.
Brand name products of boswellia serrata tend to have higher concentrations of AKBA, and are usually once daily doses of 100-250 mg taken with the first meal of the day.
For all forms of boswellia serrata, start at the lower end of the dosage range for 2-3 months and afterwards increase the dose. If greater benefits are not seen with the higher dose then continue supplementation with the lower dose.
Turmeric And Curcumin For Arthritis
Most people know turmeric as a powdered spice used to give foods flavor and colorit gives many curries their deep golden color. Derived from a plant in the ginger family, turmeric contains a natural chemical compound called curcumin. Scientists have found curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
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What Does Devil’s Claw Do For Your Body
Devil’s claw isof thedevil’s clawthe
. Considering this, what are the benefits of devil’s claw?
Many of the benefits of devil’s claw are attributed to a compound known as harpagoside that is believed to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The plant is commonly used to treat rheumatic conditions affecting the joints, ligaments, tendons, bones, and muscles.
Additionally, does Devil’s Claw really work? More high-quality studies are needed, but current research suggests that devil’s claw may be effective at reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis. Summary Research suggests that devil’s claw may help relieve joint pain associated with osteoarthritis and may be as effective as the pain reliever diacerein.
People also ask, how long does it take for devil’s claw to work?
Some evidence suggests that devil’s claw works about as well as diacerhein for improving osteoarthritis pain in the hip and knee after 16 weeks of treatment.
Is Devil’s Claw a blood thinner?
Blood–thinning medications : In theory, devil’s claw may increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you already take blood thinners such as aspirin, warfarin , or clopidogrel . Medications for diabetes: Devil’s claw may lower blood sugar.
Nutrition And Dietary Supplements
For anyone with a chronic illness, eating a healthy diet high in antioxidant-rich foods, fruits and vegetables, is essential. Eating a poor diet may increase inflammation in the body.
Also, people with RA are at higher risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. A healthy diet and regular exercise can lower that risk.
Although diet cannot cure RA, studies show that people with RA report less pain, stiffness, and fatigue when they switched from a typical Western diet to a Mediterranean diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, fish, and olive oil, and low in red meat. Other studies link a vegan diet, with lots of uncooked berries, fruits, vegetables, nuts, roots, seeds, and sprouts with reduced RA symptoms. Vegan diets contain no animal products and get protein from vegetable sources.
Some people think food allergies play a part in the inflammation common in RA, and say their symptoms get worse after they eat certain foods. Although researchers are not sure if food allergies are to blame, you may want to try an elimination diet, which removes certain foods from your diet and then adds them back, one by one. You will need to keep track of your symptoms in a food diary. Usually it’s best to try an elimination diet under the supervision of your doctor or a registered dietitian.
These general nutritional tips can help you eat a healthy diet:
These supplements may help relieve inflammation and pain:
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Who Should Not Take Boswellia
Before trying to use Boswellia, it is important that you speak to your healthcare provider. Gastritis orgastroesophageal reflux disease may also affect herb use if they occur. If you are taking a blood thinner or suffering from bleeding disorders that compromise blood clotting, you should consult with your healthcare provider.
Boswellia Serrata Uses In Cancer Treatment
Boswellic acid is considered to act in a number of ways to inhibit cancer growth. It prevents some enzymes from acting upon genetic material. Research indicates that boswellia may be able to combat advanced breast cancer cells, and may limit the spread of malignant leukemia. It is also considered to be effective against pancreatic cancer cells.
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Checking Your Vitamin D Level
Your doctor can check your vitamin D level with a simple blood test called 25 hydroxyvitamin D . This test measures vitamin D levels in blood as either nanograms per milliliter or in IUs , with 1 ng/mL equal to 2.496 nmol/L or IUs. While there is no formal definition for vitamin D deficiency, there are some values that are generally used as a guide for what normal and deficient mean. 1
- Normal: 250HD level higher than 30 ng/mL
- Insufficient: 250HD level between 20 and 30 ng/mL
- Deficiency: 250HD level less than 20 ng/mL
- Toxic: 250HD level greater than 150 ng/mL
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How To Use Boswellia Seratta
You can take boswellia as a supplement or use frankincense essential oil. Frankincense oil has many uses ranging from healing your skin to speeding up recovery when youre sick, making it one of the most popular essential oils used worldwide.
Use a few drops of pure frankincense essential oil placed under your tongue, on the roof of your mouth or mixed into tea to safely take it internally. You can also use frankincense essential oil by adding it to an oil burner or diffuser, which helps break up mucus, cleanse the nasal passages, and ease pain from respiratory or sinus conditions.
To use frankincense on your skin, mix it with a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil and do a patch test first to make sure you dont react negatively before using it on larger areas of your skin. If youre prone to sinus infections, allergies or asthma, then add a few drops to a cloth and inhale deeply several times per day.
If you rather take boswellia in supplement form, look for a high-quality powdered capsule thats convenient and just as effective. Check for the species name whether Boswellia Seratta, Boswellia Sacra or Boswellia Carteri and avoid brands that use artificial fillers and additives.
The following dosages of boswellia are often recommended, although it depends on your specific goals and current health condition:
Are There Any Boswellia Side Effects?
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Inflammation Fever And Symptoms
Inflammation plays a role in the immune system. When tissues are injured by pathogens, trauma, toxins, heat, or other threats, the damaged cells release chemicals, which include histamines and prostaglandins from the bodys white blood cells to protect the body from these threats.
These chemicals increase the blood flow to the injured or infected area, resulting in the tell-tale redness or heat, as well as leaking fluid into the tissues, causing swelling. Inflammation can also stimulate the nerves, which causes pain.
Prostaglandins are also carried to the brain, where they impact neurons in the thermoregulatory reflex center, causing fever.
Why It Is Important To Do The Review
Boswellia and its extract have theoretical benefits for cultured cells in vitro and experimental animals although several meta-analyses have widely analyzed the effect of herb or dietary supplements on OA , to our knowledge, there is no systematic review and meta-analysis focused on assessing the efficacy of Boswellia and its extract on OA. For example, Liu et al. conducted a systematic review about dietary supplements for patients with osteoarthritis Of the studies it included, only three RCTs were about Boswellia and its extract. Meanwhile, its conclusions about Boswellia and its extract on OA failed to provide valuable reference information for clinical decision making. Another systematic review only analyzed the RCTs before 2013. In 5 years, more RCTs about Boswellia and its extract on OA have been completed, which means that relevant conclusions need to be updated or confirmed. Therefore, this systematic review and meta-analysis focus on and summarizes available evidence from RCTs about the role of Boswellia and its extract in OA.
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How Much Boswellia Should I Give My Dog
Boswellia is commonly sold in capsules. For a large dog, two capsules are usually given twice a day. For medium dogs, one capsule can be given twice a day. For small dogs, use one capsule once a day.
While you may notice an improvement within a few days of beginning a boswellia supplement, sometimes it can take many weeks to see significant results. Unless the supplement seems to disagree with your dog, give it at least 2 months before deciding if it is worth continuing.
Fish Oils Benefit Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Many small studies have concluded that fish oil supplementation leads to a marked improvement in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. However, precisely because these studies have been small, their publication has not had a major impact on the medical treatment of arthritis. A team of researchers from the Harvard Medical School has now combined and analyzed the results of these smaller studies. Their meta-analysis covered 10 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies aimed at determining the effect of fish oil supplementation on 8 measures of arthritis severity including the number of tender joints, number of swollen joints, extent of morning stiffness, grip strength, erythrocyte sedimentation rates, and overall global assessment of disease severity. The studies involved a total of 368 participants who took fish oil supplements for at least three months. The meta-analysis revealed a highly significant decrease in the number of tender joints and a significant shortening in the duration of morning stiffness among patients supplementing with fish oils. No statistically significant changes were observed for the other measured indicators of disease severity.
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