Devil’s claw, a plant with deep roots in both traditional medicine and cultural history, emerges as a powerful ally in the fight against various physical discomforts. Originating from Africa, this plant has been valued for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, offering natural relief to those suffering from ailments such as arthritis, back pain, and muscular discomforts. As modern science delves into the secrets of devil’s claw, more aspects of its therapeutic potential are revealed, including its ability to improve digestion and relieve stomach issues, reflecting its versatility as a natural remedy.

However, the allure of devil’s claw transcends its medicinal efficacy. Its evocative name and peculiar appearance have woven stories and myths around this plant, adding a layer of mystery and fascination to its well-known benefits. This article invites you to explore not only the therapeutic aspects of devil’s claw, but also to discover how a plant can simultaneously be a cultural symbol and a source of physical relief and well-being.

Scientific names of devils claw

Benefits of Devil’s Claw

Devil’s Claw serves as a treatment for various conditions where the most notable are related to physical pain; if you want to know in detail each of the benefits that this plant has, here they are:

Natural Pain Relief

Devil’s claw is widely recognized for its ability to relieve pain, especially in conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have shown that its use can significantly reduce pain and improve mobility in people affected by these joint diseases.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Thanks to its active compounds, such as harpagosides, devil’s claw acts as a potent natural anti-inflammatory. This property is particularly useful in the treatment of chronic and acute inflammations, including lower back pain and other muscular pains.

Digestion Improvement

In addition to its effects on pain and inflammation, devil’s claw has also been used to promote better digestion. It is believed to help stimulate appetite and relieve digestive issues such as dyspepsia, constipation, and indigestion.

Skin Health

Some research suggests that devil’s claw could have benefits for the skin, helping to treat inflammatory skin conditions due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Cardiovascular Support

Although more research is needed, preliminary studies indicate that devil’s claw may offer cardiovascular benefits, such as cholesterol reduction and improved blood circulation.

Side effects of devils claw

How to Use Devil’s Claw? Available Presentations

Harpagophytum procumbens, better known as devil’s claw herb, is recognized for its effective action in treating pain and inflammation to the point of being used to make gels and topical formulations.

Devil’s claw can be used in various ways, adapting to the needs and preferences of each person, thanks to its diverse presentations available on the market.

  • Infusions: Using its dried roots to prepare tea that helps relieve pain and inflammation. This form of use allows for the direct exploitation of the plant’s medicinal properties, being an accessible and easy option to prepare at home.
  • Creams and ointments containing devil’s claw, ideal for topical applications directly on the affected areas, providing localized relief for muscular and joint pains.
  • Tablets and capsules for internal use: The extracts used to create Harpago capsules and tablets are sought from the herb’s roots, so it is good to keep in mind that the doses to administer can vary depending on the concentration of defined extracts.

These presentations are especially useful for ensuring precise dosing, essential for treating specific conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or chronic back pain.

It is important to note that, regardless of the form in which devil’s claw is chosen to be consumed, attention should be paid to the recommended doses and consult with a health professional, especially in cases of pregnancy, breastfeeding, or if under treatment with specific medications, to avoid interactions or unwanted side effects.

Scientific Names of Devil’s Claw

This plant is native to South Africa, and the first to discover its potential medicinal functions were all those tribes spread throughout those areas. Over the years, the maximum potential and benefit of the plant have been extracted, and today it can be distinguished by different scientific names:

  • Racine de Griffe du Diable.
  • Harpagophytum zeyheri.
  • Grife del Diablo
  • La garra del diablo.
  • Planta de agarre.
  • Racine de Windhoek.
  • Raíz de garra del diablo.
  • Harpagophytum procumbens.
  • Teufelskrallenwurzel.
  • Harpagophyti Radix.

Properties of Devil’s Claw

The medicinal properties of devil’s claw were first discovered by a farmer located at that time in South Africa who observed how this plant could relieve body aches and fever of those belonging to the tribes distributed in those places.

The essential properties observed in Harpagophytum procumbens are antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic, which are sometimes a bit more effective than prescribed medications themselves.

Side Effects of Devil’s Claw

Capsules or pills made with extracts of this herb can cause different side effects; if you exceed the dose or your body completely rejects this type of substance, it’s important to know that, in either case, you might experience some of the following symptoms:

Advantages and disadvantages of devils claw
  • Dizziness and a constant feeling of nausea
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Total loss of taste
  • Lack of appetite
  • Stomach pains

In the case of devil’s claw ointments or gels, this can cause a slight temporary redness of the applied area; however, this is not a significant issue as most first-time users experience this, although if it reaches the point of becoming a skin reaction, it would be prudent to discontinue its use.

Disadvantages of Devil’s Claw

Just as we have seen the good side of Devil’s Claw, we must not forget its opposite side because if we are not careful, its consumption could be fatal:

  • This plant increases the production of stomach acids that can worsen the health of those with ulcers in this area.
  • Heart and blood pressure alterations, so it is recommended to prohibit its intake to those who have any incident related to their heart.
  • It acts on the sugar levels of those who use it, so it should be avoided by people with diabetes.
  • Increases bile production, which is very serious in those with gallstones.
  • Sodium may be altered, so people suffering from sodium alterations should not risk this treatment.