Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum Procumbens) is a medicinal plant that has been used for centuries by the indigenous people of Africa, southern Africa, and some parts of Asia. It is an anti-inflammatory herb that can treat joint pain caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or fibromyalgia.
Devil’s Claw also helps reduce swelling and stiffness in muscles and improves mobility. It has many different medicinal benefits, including stomach ulcers, asthma attacks, cancer treatment side effects such as nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatments, or radiation therapy. If you would like more information, keep reading!
The common name of Devil’s Claw is Kalahari devil’s Claw, Grapple plant, Harpago, Wood Spider, Grapple vine, Radix Harpagophyti. The scientific name is Harpagophytum Procumbens.
Devil’s Claw is native to the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. It is found mostly on sandy or stony soils with little organic material. This medicinal plant grows along with lower altitude areas that are warm and dry most of the year.
Devil’s Claw thrives best when planted with other desert plants such as aloes and euphorbias because they have similar water needs.
Devil’s Claw is a plant that has a somewhat sharp and hooked stem. It can be seen in yellow, red, or brownish colors with the size of around 25-90cm long stem. There are some Devil’s Claws, which have smooth stems while others have spines on them.
The alternate or secondary leaves are divided into lobes and petiolate. The leaf blades are broadly ovate to triangular size, measuring 6.5 cm long and 5-15 cm wide.
The roots of this perennial plant are branched and reach lengths of about 1-1.5 m. It generates tuber roots from the lateral and main roots. The main roots have a fissured cork-like layer, 30 to 60 cm thick, and 10 to 20 cm long with upright collar-like sections.
The roots or the fruits of Devil’s Claw are used for medicinal purposes. The plant contains a number of bioactive chemical compounds, such as glycosides and alkylamides, that are believed to be responsible for their effects on human health. Apart from the fruits, other parts like leaves also contain these chemicals but in lesser quantities.
Traditional Uses and Benefits
As a weight loss aid, it may help reduce hunger feelings if overeating is a problem, and it is a potential treatment for “Binge Eating Disorder.” In fact, the usage of the plant as an anti-obesity medication is in the debate.
Researchers at the University College of Cork in Ireland found that Devil’s Claw can slow down or even stop the synthesis of ghrelin – the “hunger hormone.”
Devil’s Claw has anti-inflammatory properties which will help treat muscle stiffness and chronic joint inflammations caused by osteoarthritis. Those who have rheumatoid arthritis can benefit from it. Because it assists in reducing levels of uric acid in the body, a contributing factor to this type of condition.
Devil’s Claw has been showing to have antimutagenic activity in vitro. It improved the mutagenicity of seven different carcinogens and inhibited DNA-protein cross-links induced by mitomycin C or cisplatin, as well as malignant transformation and colony formation.
Devil’s Claw provides relief from the pain associated with arthritis, backache, and rheumatic conditions. It is also beneficial for other types of pain, such as muscular aches or pains brought on by overexertion during workouts at the gym.
Devil’s Claw has been shown to reduce arthritis pain. It is used as herbal medicine by many people who suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – diseases that cause inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint discomfort around the joints in your hands or feet.
Devil’s Claw has antioxidant properties that help protect cells against damage from free radicals. It also helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels within a normal range, supporting an active lifestyle.
This plant is traditionally used to support digestion and soothe stomach discomfort. It can be taken before or after meals, depending on your preference.
Devil’s Claw is also a natural remedy to treat skin conditions such as eczema and rashes. It contains anti-inflammatory compounds called iridoid glycosides, which account for its ability to reduce skin irritation and promote faster healing of bruises and wounds.
Devil Claw’s Tea Recipe
For the first step, add a teaspoon of powdered Devil’s Claw (1.5 grams) or a tablespoon (4.5 grams) to two cups of boiling water.
Place in a warm place for 6 to 8 hours.
Drink the tea in two or three doses throughout the day after straining out the root.
Devil Claw’s Tincture Recipe
Ingredients for making Devil’s Claw tincture at home: – 20 fresh Devil’s Claw roots.
– 100 proof vodka (40% alcohol content).
Directions to prepare tincture at home: – Clean the roots and cut them into small pieces. Place a handful of chopped root in a large jar with a tight-fitting lid.
– Pour 100 proof vodka over Devil’s Claw pieces until it completely covers them. Then, fill the jar with additional vodka to make sure that the roots are covered by at least ½ inch of liquid. Close tightly and keep in a cool dark place for two weeks, shaking daily. After two weeks, strain the tincture through cheesecloth or fine strainer into a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid.
– Use Devil’s Claw tincture immediately, preferably under the guidance of your health care provider. Store the tincture in dark glass bottles away from direct sunlight at room temperature for up to two years. The tincture can be mixed with water or fruit juice, but taking the tincture straight up on the spoon for maximum benefit is preferable.
Dosage and Precautions
Devil’s Claw comes in a few different forms, including powder and liquid. It can be taken orally or applied to the skin. The recommended dosage is 40-80 milligrams three times per day with meals for up to eight weeks. Drinking water should also be increased when taking because it acts as a diuretic (makes you urinate).
Do not take Devil’s Claw if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without first consulting your healthcare provider. Also, do not give it to children under 18 years old unless otherwise directed by your child’s pediatrician.
Some reported side effects include stomach pain and diarrhea, which should disappear after discontinuing the use of Devil’s Claw.
- Artiglio del Diavolo, LongLife. https://www.longlife.com/en/artiglio-del-diavolo-60cps
- NOW Devil’sClaw (100 Veggie Capsules). https://www.dolphinfitness.co.uk/en/now-foods-devils-claw-100-capsules/153404
- Harpagophytum – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpagophytum
- Devil’sClaw Facts and Health Benefits. https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/devils-claw/
- Devil’sClaw: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions. https://www.verywellhealth.com/devils-claw-what-should-i-know-about-it-89445
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