Search the whole site for articles and discussions

View a factfile for a specific condition or supplement

Keep up to date with Nutrition Expert

Devil's Claw

Devils Claw

Devil’s Claw is a herb root found in southern African countries. It first came to European attention during the 1904 Hottentot Rebellion in Namibia and imports to Europe began in 1953.

Claire Choudhury, medical herbalist for Healing Grove says: “Traditionally, Devil’s Claw was recommended to be taken as a bitter tonic to aid digestion and for fevers, allergies and pain relief. Its modern usage focuses on the treatment of arthritis (particularly osteoarthritis), lower back pain, muscle pain and inflamed tendons.”

  • How does it work?

    Devil’s Claw is believed to be effective in treating pain caused by arthritis, joint inflammation and muscle discomfort due to its highly-concentrated levels of harpagoside, a compound thought to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

    “Significant anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects of Devil’s Claw have been demonstrated in a number of scientific studies,” says Claire. A review of all literature on the root from 1966 to 2006 found “the data from the higher quality studies suggest Devil's Claw appeared effective in the reduction of the main clinical symptom of pain caused by osteoarthritis.”

    Another review concluded Devil’s Claw was “an effective anti-inflammatory preparation in the treatment of acute inflammation.”

  • Sources of Devil’s Claw

    Devil’s Claw can be taken as a supplement, and taking it alongside glucosamine could also be beneficial to osteoarthritis sufferers as this amino sugar is thought to slow cartilage degeneration while Devil’s Claw could ease pain and inflammation.

    “Any joint condition may improve with taking these two supplements,” says Claire. “Devil's Claw is more frequently taken for 'dry' arthritis, i.e. osteoarthritis, rather than rheumatoid.” Devil’s Claw should not be taken by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding without consulting a herbal practitioner or doctor.

  • Four extra benefits

    In addition to relieving muscle pain and joint inflammation, Claire says Devil’s Claw is used for a number of other conditions and complaints.

    • Devil’s Claw could help with issues related to digestion, including helping to stimulate the appetite as well as settling upset stomachs.
    • The anti-inflammatory properties of Devil’s Claw could help treat gout.
    • It may also reduce abnormally high levels of cholesterol.
    • Devil’s Claw could assist in alleviating the discomfort experienced by sufferers of neuralgia, or nerve pain.

You may also be interested in:

Glucosamine

The correct dosage of glucosamine

Find out how much glucosamine your body needs....

View article
Diet And Arthrits

Can diet help with the pain of arthritis?

Five top diet tips to help manage the pain of arthritis...

View article

Arthritis warning signs

Arthritis is an umbrella term that covers over 200...

View article

How you could help keep your joints healthy for life

Here are some useful tips to help you look after your...

View article

Community

comments powered by Disqus

No statement or article should be understood as providing treatment advice. If you have a health problem consult your GP and check compatibility of new supplements with your GP or Pharmacist if you are taking any prescription medication.

Nutrition Expert sources the latest information and advice from a range of qualified doctors, nutritionists and coaches. We always endeavour to have the most up to date information possible and publish new content weekly. However with the constant research in this field sometimes some of our older articles can become out of date. If you see anything that you believe needs to be updated please let us know via our Contact Us page