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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.

Devils Claw

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