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EXCLI J. 2016 Mar 2;15:203-10. doi: 10.17179/excli2015-639. eCollection 2016.

Efficacy of Elaeagnus Angustifolia extract in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial.

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Chemical Injuries Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Rheumatology, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Biotechnology Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran; Metabolic Research Centre, Royal Perth Hospital, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders all over the world. Available anti-arthritic medications have only partial efficacy and their long-term use is associated with adverse events. Elaeagnus Angustifolia (EA) is a medicinal plant with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. The present study evaluated the impact of two doses of EA extract compared with ibuprofen on the severity of disease in patients with knee OA. This study was designed as a randomized, double blind, active-controlled and parallel group trial. Patients with OA were randomized to receive 300 mg/day (n=33) or 600 mg/day (n=32) of EA aqueous extract, or 800 mg/day ibuprofen (n=32) for 7 weeks. EA extract contained 0.21 % (w/w) kaempferol according to HPLC. Efficacy of treatment was assessed using Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) of pain, Lequesne's Pain-Function Index (LPFI), and patient's global assessment (PGA) index. The amount of kaempferol in the extract was determined by HPLC method to be 0.21 % w/w. There were significant reductions in WOMAC, VAS, LPFI and PGA scores by the end of trial with all three interventions. Comparison of the changes in WOMAC, VAS and LPFI scores among the treatment groups did not reveal any significant difference between EA and ibuprofen, and between low and high doses of EA. EA was safe and well tolerated during the course of trial and no adverse event was reported. The present results suggest beneficial effects of aqueous EA extract in reducing the symptoms of OA with an efficacy comparable to that of ibuprofen.


Elaeagnus angustifolia; NSAID; clinical trial; osteoarthritis; pain

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