Devil’s Claw

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Biological Name: Harpogophytum procumbensDevil's Claw

Other Names: Devil’s Claw

Active Components: The tuberous root of devil’s claw includes three essential components which represent iridoid glycosides: procumbide, harpagide, and harpagoside.

The smaller tuberous roots are characterized by higher harpagoside content in comparison with the main ones. For this reason the secondary tubers are preferably applied in herbal medicine.

Iridoid glycosides, including harpagoside, are considered to take responsibility for the main plant’s pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory actions. Still, it is not yet known whether these active constituents are also capable of relieving symptoms of arthritis.

Homeopathists also treat devil’s claw as a quite active bitter substance. Bitter components, for instance, iridoid glycosides present in the herb, enhance stomach activity by elevating acid excretion, which in its turn helps enhance gastro-intestinal function.

History: South African residents applied devil’s claw for a range of diseases, from arthritic disorders to poor digestive functionality. In European countries the herb was applied as a potent remedy for arthritic conditions.

Used For: The range of cases in which devil’s claw is applied includes rheumatoid arthritis, heartburn and indigestion.

Additional Info: Devil’s Claw is indigenous to southern areas of Africa, particularly Madagascar, Namibia, and the Kalahari desert. It bears its name from the appearance of its fruits, which look as through they have multiple hooks on the surface. The secondary tuberous roots are applied in herbal medicine.

Preparation and Intake: As a remedy to improve gastro-intestinal activity, the herb is applied in a quantity of 1.5-2 grams a day. In form of tincture the plant is applied at a dose of 1-2 ml a day.

To relieve arthritis, the patients are recommended to take from 5 to 10 grams a day. However, recent researches have not found devil’s claw to be potent in treating arthritis.

Safety: Due to its capacity to improve stomach juice excretion, people suffering from duodenal or stomach ulcers are not recommended to take the herb.