The idea of taking a supplement for rheumatoid arthritis has its appeal. Some supplements may help relieve joint pain and even allow you to take lower doses of prescription medications, according to rheumatologist Nathan Wei, MD, director of the Arthritis Treatment Center in Frederick, Maryland. But there are supplements that can do more harm than good.
Here are six supplements to avoid for RA, as well as alternatives that might be more beneficial.
Aconite. Aconite, which belongs to the buttercup family of flowers, is a plant that, though highly poisonous, has been used in homeopathy and Chinese medicine. It’s touted as able to improve circulation and, in turn, reduce inflammation; but it’s dangerous, especially when ingested as a tea. It can cause nausea, vomiting, and a potentially fatal, irregular heartbeat, according to a report in the Journal of Cardiology Cases in January 2013. Don’t consider it as part of your RA management.