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:
- Acne. Applying bovine cartilage to the skin seems to help reduce acne.
- Rectal tears. Bovine cartilage may help reduce symptoms of rectal tears when applied externally on the rectum.
- Anal itching. Bovine cartilage may help reduce symptoms of anal itching when applied externally on the rectum.
- Hemorrhoids. Bovine cartilage may help reduce symptoms of hemorrhoids when applied externally on the rectum.
- "Dry socket" after tooth extraction. When bovine cartilage is applied externally it seems to help with mandibular alveolitis or “dry socket” after tooth extraction.
- Osteoarthritis. When bovine cartilage is injected under the skin it may help decrease symptoms of osteoarthritis. However, bovine cartilage does not seem to be beneficial when injected into the muscle.
- Skin reaction caused by poison oak and poison ivy. Using bovine cartilage cream on the skin seems to help with symptoms of poison oak and poison ivy.
- Psoriasis. Applying bovine cartilage to the skin or injecting it under the skin for 6 weeks may improve symptoms of psoriasis.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). When bovine cartilage is injected under the skin it may help reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Wound healing. Research suggests that applying a specific ointment (Catrix 10) containing powdered bovine cartilage to the skin helps reduce skin redness, swelling, and erosion following a laser procedure on the face.
Possibly Ineffective for:
- Treating osteoarthritis when given in the muscle.
BOVINE CARTILAGE Side Effects & Safety
Bovine cartilage is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, applied to the skin, or administered as a shot into the muscle or below the skin for medicinal purposes. 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: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking bovine cartilage if you are pregnant or 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.