Arthritis Quackery (Unproven Remedies and Tests)

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Catherine Burt Driver, MD
    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Quick GuideRheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Pictures Slideshow

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Pictures Slideshow

Like many people with chronic ailments, sufferers of chronic arthritis are potentially vulnerable to proponents of heavily marketed "cure-all" treatments. These "quick fix" treatments are promoted as having great benefits, but in reality have no right to such claims.

Quackery (the business of promoting unproven remedies) is recognized as a billion dollar industry. We feel the buyer should beware!

Consumers should be especially cautious when products come with marketing claims such as "will cure," "ancient remedy," "has no side effects," "revolutionary new scientific breakthrough."

The following remedies and tests have no scientific proof of benefits related to arthritis: [Now you've heard it from Alfalfa to Zinc. Beware when you take care!]

Alfalfa Lapachol
Aloe vera Macrobiotic diet
Amino Acids Ma-huang
Ant venom Mandell arthritis diet
Arnica Megavitamin therapy
Ascorbic acid Natural and organic foods
Bark teas Nightshade vegetables
Bee pollen Ozone
Biotin P vitamins
Bowel cleansing PABA
Chinese herbs, such as Chuifong toukuwan (potentially dangerous) Panax
Cinnamon Pau d'arco
Clay enemas Powdered ant
Clemantis Propolis, royal jelly
Cloves Raw milk
Cod Liver oil Rhus toxicodendron
Coenzyme Q-10 Rose hips
Coffee enemas Rutin
Coicis semen Sassafras
Colonics Selenium
Copper bracelets Shark cartilage
Cytotoxic testing Snake venom
Devil's Claw Soapweed
Dismutase (superoxide dismutase) Spanish bayonet
Dong diet Spanish fly
Elimination diets Stephania
Feverfew Tang-kuei
Fit for Life diet Teas (alfalfa, feverfew, ginseng, sassafras)
Fo-ti Thiamine
Garlic Vegetarian diets
Germanium Volcanic ash fast
Ginseng Water enema
Green-lipped mussel Wood spider
Hair analysis Yucca
Homeopathy Zen macrobiotics
Hydrogen peroxide Zinc
Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery


Barrett, Stephen. Dec. 5, 2011. <>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/29/2015

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