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Related Terms

Lupus is a problem with the immune system. It causes it to make antibodies that attack the body’s healthy cells and tissues. It can cause fatigue, swollen joints and muscles, skin rashes, and other mild to severe symptoms.

It cannot be cured. It is managed with medicine and changes to lifestyle habits. It is important to follow the plan made with your care team. Some people turn to natural therapies to further manage symptoms. They should not be used in place of standard treatment.

Natural Therapies

May Be Effective

These therapies may improve disease activity:

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.



Herbs and Supplements

A1. Shamekhi Z, Amani R, et al. A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial Examining the Effects of Green Tea Extract of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity and Quality of Life. Phytother Res. 2017;31(7):1063-1071.

A2. Sousa JR, Rosa ÉPC, et al. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: a systematic review. Rev Bras Reumatol Engl Ed. 2017 Sep - Oct;57(5):466-471.

A3. Arriens C, Hynan LS, et al. Placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial of fish oil's impact on fatigue, quality of life, and disease activity in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Nutr J. 2015 Aug 18;14:82.

A4. del Pino-Sedeño T, Trujillo-Martín MM, et al. Effectiveness of Nonpharmacologic Interventions for Decreasing Fatigue in Adults With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Systematic Review. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2016 Jan;68(1):141-148.

A5. Lima GL, Paupitz J, et al. Vitamin D Supplementation in Adolescents and Young Adults With Juvenile Systemic Lupus Erythematosus for Improvement in Disease Activity and Fatigue Scores: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2016 Jan;68(1):91-98.

A6. Bello KJ, Fang H, et al. Omega-3 in SLE: a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial of endothelial dysfunction and disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatol Int. 2013 Nov;33(11):2789-2796.

A7. Wright SA, O'Prey FM, et al. A randomised interventional trial of omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids on endothelial function and disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus. Ann Rheum Dis. 2008 Jun;67(6):841-848.

A8. Duffy EM, Meenagh GK, et al. The clinical effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fish oils and/or copper in systemic lupus erythematosus. J Rheumatol. 2004 Aug;31(8):1551-1556.

Other Therapies

B1. Greco CM, Rudy TE, et al. Effects of a stress-reduction program on psychological function, pain, and physical function of systemic lupus erythematosus patients: a randomized controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2004 Aug 15;51(4):625-634.


C1. Tench CM, McCarthy J, et al. Fatigue in systemic lupus erythematosus: a randomized controlled trial of exercise. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2003 Sep;42(9):1050-1054.

Last reviewed May 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC