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.

What is arthritis quackery?

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."

What are unproven arthritis remedies?

The following remedies and tests have no scientific proof of benefits related to arthritis:

Aloe veraMacrobiotic diet
Amino AcidsMa-huang
Ant venomMandell arthritis diet
ArnicaMegavitamin therapy
Ascorbic acidNatural and organic foods
Bark teasNightshade vegetables
Bee pollenOzone
BiotinP vitamins
Bowel cleansingPABA
Chinese herbs, such as Chuifong toukuwan (potentially dangerous)Panax
CinnamonPau d'arco
Clay enemasPowdered ant
ClemantisPropolis, royal jelly
ClovesRaw milk
Cod Liver oilRhus toxicodendron
Coenzyme Q-10Rose hips
Coffee enemasRutin
Coicis semenSassafras
Copper braceletsShark cartilage
Cytotoxic testingSnake venom
Devil's ClawSoapweed
Dismutase (superoxide dismutase)Spanish bayonet
Dong dietSpanish fly
Elimination dietsStephania
Fit for Life dietTeas (alfalfa, feverfew, ginseng, sassafras)
GarlicVegetarian diets
GermaniumVolcanic ash fast
GinsengWater enema
Green-lipped musselWood spider
Hair analysisYucca
HomeopathyZen macrobiotics
Hydrogen peroxideZinc

[Now you've heard it from Alfalfa to Zinc. Beware when you take care!]

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