Reduce Pain, Inflammation with Devil’s Claw

Reduce Pain, Inflammation with Devil's Claw

For the indigenous tribes of southern Africa, Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) has been used medicinally to alleviate migraines, gastrointestinal distress, and fevers. Salves made from Devil’s Claw were prepared to help reduce inflammation that accompanied wounds, rashes and other skin conditions. Today, Devil’s Claw is a scientifically validated remedy for pain and inflammation associated with chronic pain.

Devil’s Claw has been shown to be safe and effective for most people helping to reduce pain from degenerative joint conditions, chronic back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and headaches. The herb contains a key compound called harpagoside, which inhibits chemicals in the body that create inflammation.

In one study, eight weeks of treatment with Devil’s Claw has been shown to bring about a 35% improvement in knee and hip pain due to osteoarthritis. Other studies have shown that people who use a standardized extract of Devil’s Claw experience moderate relief for mild to moderate back, neck, or shoulder pain. In a study of chronic low back pain, men and women who took Devil’s Claw daily for one month reported less pain and needed fewer pain medicines compared to those who took a placebo (sugar pill).

Devil’s Claw is available in tea and capsule form, as well as tincture and extract. Different forms are more suitable to different health concerns and few side effects have been found. Devil’s Claw is not recommended during pregnancy as it may stimulate uterine contractions. Devil’s Claw can interact with other medications. Consult with your personal physician before taking this herb.


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Hoffmann, D. Medical Herbalism : The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, Vermont : Healing Arts Press, 2003.

“Devil’s Claw: MedlinePlus Supplements.”

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