The Chinese herbal medication guilu erxian jiao (GEJ) has been shown in studies to be safe. It is commonly used to slow aging and to ease knee pain from osteoarthritis.

Researchers in Taiwan recently randomized 42 elderly men with knee osteoarthritis to treatment with GEJ versus no treatment.

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Through 12 weeks of treatment, GEJ supplementation resulted in increased selected lower extremity muscle strength and diminishment of articular pain, the investigators reported in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2014;297458).

The authors, led by Der-Yuan Chen, MD, reported no adverse effects and no changes in liver or renal function tests, but cautioned that longer-term studies were needed.