• SLE
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

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.

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

REFA1 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.

REFA2 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.

REFA3 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.

REFA4 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.

REFA5 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.

REFA6 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.

REFA7 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.

REFA8 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

REFB1 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.


REFC1 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.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 05/2019
  • Update Date: 06/14/2019