BOVINE CARTILAGE Overview Information
Cartilage is a substance in the body that provides structural support. Bovine cartilage comes from cows (bovine). People sometimes use bovine cartilage as medicine.
Bovine cartilage is taken by mouth or injected under the skin (given subcutaneously) for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis, skin conditions such as scleroderma and psoriasis, herpes infection, brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme), and other cancers.
It is also taken by mouth for allergic reactions caused by chemical toxins.
Bovine cartilage is applied directly to the skin (used topically) for wounds that won’t heal; external hemorrhoids and rectal itching; and skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and dermatitis caused by poison oak or poison ivy. It is also used for “dry socket,” a painful complication of tooth extraction.
Bovine cartilage is sometimes applied to the anus for internal hemorrhoids and anal tears.
Health providers sometimes give bovine cartilage as a shot (injection into the muscle) for osteoarthritis.
How does it work?
Bovine cartilage might work by providing chemicals needed for rebuilding cartilage in people with osteoarthritis. It might also help reduce swelling and help wounds heal more effectively.
Possibly Effective for:
- Treating psoriasis, when used topically or given subcutaneously. It may take three to six weeks of treatment before improvement is seen.
- Treating hemorrhoids, rectal tears, and anal itching, when used topically.
- Treating osteoarthritis, when given subcutaneously.
- Treating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), when given subcutaneously.
- Treating "dry socket" after tooth extraction, when used topically.
- Treating poison oak and poison ivy, when used topically.
- Treating acne, when used topically.
Possibly Ineffective for:
- Treating osteoarthritis, when given in the muscle.
- Ulcerative colitis.
- Other conditions.
BOVINE CARTILAGE Side Effects & Safety
Bovine cartilage seems safe for use as a medicine. It can cause side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, swelling, local redness, and itching.
There is some concern about the possibility of catching "mad cow disease" (bovine spongiform encephalitis, BSE) or other diseases from products that come from animals. "Mad cow disease" does not appear to be transmitted through cartilage products, but it is probably wise to avoid animal products from countries where mad cow disease has been found.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of bovine cartilage during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
BOVINE CARTILAGE Dosing
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
APPLIED TO THE SKIN (USED TOPICALLY):
- For itchiness near the anus (anal pruritus): A 5% cream applied two or more times daily.
- For acne: A 5% cream applied at least twice daily after washing.
- For soreness in the gum after a tooth is pulled: Powdered bovine cartilage mixed with salt water to form a paste, packed into the dry socket following tooth extraction.
- As a stool softener for hemorrhoids and cracked skin around the anus: 2.2 grams of bovine cartilage in the form of a 2% suppository inserted at least three times daily along with 100 mg of dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DSS) taken by mouth twice daily.
- Healthcare providers give bovine cartilage by injection (shot) under the skin for osteoarthritis and psoriasis.
- Healthcare providers give bovine cartilage by injection (shot) into the muscle for osteoarthritis.