DEVILS CLAW ROOT
Devil's Claw Root
Harpagophtyum procumbens, also known as devil's claw, is a shrub that is native to southern Africa and has lush foliage and red flowers. It gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, which has hooks that are meant to attach onto animals to spread the seeds. It is a member of the pedaliaceae family and has a bitter taste. The secondary storage roots of this plant are used in the treatment of a number of musculoskeletal problems. It is an anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory and an analgesic. It has been used to treat arthritis, back pain, nerve pain, headaches and bursitis.
The benefits of devil's claw
• Osteoarthritis medication – Taking devil's claw alone or along with NSAIDs helps decrease osteoarthritis related pain . There is evidence to show that devil's claw works as well as diacerhein (a well known, slow-acting osteoarthritis medication) for improving pain in the knee and the hip after sixteen weeks of treatment. Many people have reported lowering their dosage of NSAIDs after they began taking devil's claw.
• Back pain relief – Patients who suffered from slight to extreme muscular tension or muscular pain of the back, neck and shoulder were given devil's claw in a research study. The therapy was conducted for four weeks and the researchers concluded that the clinical efficacy of devil's claw for muscular pain in the back was considerably high .
• Cardiac effects – A number of studies have demonstrated the effect of H. procumbens extracts , which include a reduction in the blood pressure depending on the dose, decreased heart rate, and anti-arrhythmic activity, with chronotropic and inotropic effects for different iridoids .
• Central nervous system – The herb is also known for its anti-convulsant properties . In a recent study, it was administered through an intraperitoneal injection and the highest dose of devil's claw showed 70 percent protection against the convulsions. The onset was delayed and the duration of the convulsions reduced as well.
• Gout remedy – Gout is a metabolic disorder caused by the buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It crystallizes around the joints, causing severe pain and inflammation. Harpagoside, a glycoside derived from devil's claw, has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as a pain reliever. In fact, studies have shown that the natural remedy works in a manner similar to NSAIDs.
A strong decoction of devil's claw once a day will give you relief from joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis as well as osteoarthritis, muscle pain and sports injuries. It is also available in tincture and encapsulated forms. People who have a stomach ulcer should avoid it as claw root increases the production of stomach acids.