Treatment for osteoarthritis (OA) includes symptom management with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids, and acetaminophen. However, these drugs pose health risks for long-term use, such as contraindications and gastrointestinal/cardiovascular issues. This systematic review of the literature was conducted to evaluate the impact of the herbal products, turmeric and ginger, in cartilage healing and reducing the progression of OA. It was found that turmeric and ginger can aid in symptom management for OA and promote cartilage regeneration, with turmeric extract yielding greater evidence-based results. Turmeric reduces the amount of pain and stiffness experienced from OA and can restore cartilage by subduing the master pro-inflammatory transcription factor, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), signaling tracts in chondrocytes. Ginger decreases the number of inflammatory cytokines caused by OA through similar mechanisms, and it also significantly lowers the production of the principal mediators of inflammation, nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), in cartilage tissue, stimulating cartilage recovery. The beneficial implications of these herbs, especially turmeric, could be confirmed for medical use upon the completion of more studies that assess their prime-dosage and long-term effects.



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