What are the Health benefits of Devil’s Claw?


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What are the Health benefits of Devil’s Claw?

Devil’s Claw, an extraordinary herb renowned for its unique properties and potential health benefits. Allow us to unveil the captivating qualities of Devil’s Claw and its potential contributions to your well-being…

Where is Devil’s Claw From? who traditionally used it? what did they use it for?

Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) is a plant native to the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. It is primarily found in countries such as Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa. The plant was discovered by the indigenous San and Khoi peoples of the region, who have a long history of using its roots for various medicinal purposes.

Traditionally, the San and Khoi peoples used the tuberous roots of the devil’s claw plant for its therapeutic properties. The roots were harvested and prepared for use in traditional remedies. The roots were typically dried and then ground into a powder or made into decoctions, tinctures, or extracts. The specific methods of preparation varied among different tribes and cultures within the region.

Devil’s claw was traditionally used to relieve pain and treat a variety of conditions, including arthritis, digestive disorders, and fever. It was also used as a general tonic to promote overall health and well-being. The San and Khoi peoples believed that the plant possessed powerful healing properties and used it as a part of their traditional healing practices.

In terms of special treatments or rituals associated with devil’s claw, there is limited information available. However, it is known that the plant was highly regarded and respected by the indigenous people, and its collection and usage were likely accompanied by cultural traditions and practices that honored the plant’s importance in their healing traditions.

Today, devil’s claw is widely recognized for its potential anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It is used in various forms, including capsules, extracts, and topical preparations, in both traditional and modern herbal medicine practices. devils claw Please give more information about what compounds are in the plant and how they are applied to human health. 

What are the active compounds in Devils claw?

Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) contains several bioactive compounds that contribute to its potential therapeutic effects. The primary active constituents in devil’s claw include iridoid glycosides, such as harpagoside, harpagide, and procumbide. These compounds are believed to be responsible for the plant’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

The iridoid glycosides found in devil’s claw have been shown to inhibit the production of inflammatory mediators, such as cytokines and prostaglandins, which play a role in the inflammatory response. By reducing inflammation, devil’s claw may help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with various conditions, particularly those involving joint and musculoskeletal issues.

In addition to iridoid glycosides, devil’s claw also contains other beneficial compounds, including flavonoids, phytosterols, and phenolic acids. These compounds possess antioxidant properties, which help protect cells from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals.

How is devils claw used?

  1. Joint Health and Mobility: Devil’s Claw has long been recognized for its potential benefits in supporting joint health and mobility. It contains bioactive compounds, such as harpagosides and other iridoid glycosides, which may help alleviate occasional joint discomfort, promote joint flexibility, and support overall joint function. It is often used to support joint comfort and mobility.
  1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Devil’s Claw is believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and swelling. These properties are attributed to its active compounds, which may inhibit certain enzymes involved in the inflammatory process. By modulating inflammation, Devil’s Claw may provide relief for conditions associated with inflammation, such as arthritis and muscle pain.
  1. Digestive Support: Devil’s Claw has a history of traditional use for digestive support. It may help soothe occasional digestive discomfort, support healthy digestion, and promote overall gastrointestinal well-being. Some individuals find it beneficial for maintaining a balanced digestive system.

Devil’s claw is typically used in the form of dietary supplements, herbal extracts, or topical preparations. The specific dosage and form may vary depending on the intended use and the recommendations of healthcare professionals or practitioners. Here are some common ways devil’s claw is used:

  1. Oral Supplements: Devil’s claw is commonly consumed orally in the form of capsules, tablets, or liquid extracts. These supplements are taken with water and usually recommended to be consumed with meals.
  2. Tea or Infusion: Devil’s claw can be prepared as a tea or infusion by steeping the dried root or powdered herb in hot water. This method is less common but may be used for its potential digestive benefits.
  3. Topical Preparations: Some creams, gels, or ointments containing devil’s claw extract are available for topical application. These preparations are typically used for joint and muscle pain relief and are applied directly to the affected area.

How do different medical systems use devils Claw?

Devil’s claw is used in various ways across different medical systems and alternative therapies. Here are some common applications and the associated systems:

Western Medicine:

Pain Management: Devil’s claw is used as a natural alternative for managing pain associated with conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lower back pain. It is often recommended as a complementary approach alongside conventional pain management strategies.

Traditional Medicine:

Traditional African Medicine: In Traditional African Medicine, devil’s claw is often used to treat various ailments, particularly those related to pain and inflammation. The root of the plant is the most commonly used part and is prepared in different ways depending on the specific tradition and condition being treated.

Traditionally, devil’s claw root is often dried, powdered, or made into decoctions, infusions, or extracts. It is then ingested orally as a tea, tonic, or taken in the form of capsules or tablets. It is believed to possess analgesic (pain-relieving), anti-inflammatory, and anti-rheumatic properties.

Devil’s claw is commonly used in TAM to address conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, back pain, joint inflammation, and digestive disorders. It is also sometimes used as a bitter tonic to stimulate digestion and improve appetite.

Traditional European Medicine: Devil’s claw has been used in European herbal medicine in a similar way.


In naturopathy, devil’s claw may be used as a natural remedy for various health conditions. Here are some ways devil’s claw is commonly used in naturopathy:

  1. Joint and Musculoskeletal Support: Devil’s claw is often used in naturopathy to support joint health and relieve symptoms of conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. It is believed to possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that may help reduce pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the joints.
  2. Digestive Aid: Devil’s claw is sometimes used in naturopathy to support digestive health. It is believed to stimulate digestion and relieve symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, and stomach discomfort. It may also be used to address conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastrointestinal inflammation.
  3. Pain Management: Due to its potential analgesic properties, devil’s claw is used in naturopathy as a natural pain reliever. It may be recommended for headaches, migraines, muscle aches, and general body pain.
  4. Anti-inflammatory Support: Devil’s claw is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and naturopaths may use it to address inflammation-related conditions such as tendonitis, bursitis, and general inflammation in the body.
  5. Devil’s claw can be used topically in certain cases. In naturopathy, topical preparations such as creams, gels, or ointments containing devil’s claw extract may be applied to the affected areas for localised pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects. This approach is commonly used for musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis, joint pain, and muscle soreness. The topical application allows the active compounds in devil’s claw to be absorbed through the skin and target the specific area of discomfort. 

Naturopaths may recommend devil’s claw in different forms, such as capsules, tinctures, or topical preparations, depending on the individual’s specific health needs and preferences. The dosage and duration of use will vary depending on the condition being addressed and the naturopath’s recommendations. It’s important to consult with a qualified naturopathic practitioner for personalised advice and guidance on using devil’s claw in naturopathy.


In homeopathy, devil’s claw is prepared as a homeopathic remedy. It is used to address symptoms such as joint pain, stiffness, and rheumatic conditions. Homeopathic treatments are individualised based on the specific symptoms experienced by the person.

It’s important to note that the use of devil’s claw and its applications may vary depending on the specific practices and beliefs within each system. As always, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or practitioner trained in the specific medical system or therapy before incorporating devil’s claw or any herbal remedy into your healthcare routine. They can provide personalised advice and guidance based on your individual needs and circumstances.

How can i include Devils claw in my life?

You can include Devil’s Claw in your life in various ways to potentially benefit from its properties. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Devil’s Claw Supplements: Devil’s Claw is available in the form of dietary supplements, such as capsules, tablets, or liquid extracts. Follow the recommended dosage instructions provided on the product label or consult with a healthcare professional for guidance.
  2. Herbal Tea: Devil’s Claw tea can be prepared by steeping Devil’s Claw root or powder in hot water for about 10-15 minutes. However, it’s important to note that Devil’s Claw has a bitter taste, so you may consider adding honey or lemon to improve the flavour.
  3. Topical Applications: Devil’s Claw creams or ointments can be applied directly to the affected area for temporary relief of joint or muscle discomfort. Look for topical products containing Devil’s Claw extract and follow the instructions provided.
  4. Combined Formulations: Devil’s Claw is sometimes combined with other herbs known for their anti-inflammatory properties, such as turmeric or ginger. These combined formulations may be available in the form of supplements or topical creams.

Remember that Devil’s Claw is generally considered safe when used appropriately, but it may interact with certain medications or have contraindications for certain individuals. Therefore, it’s important to seek professional advice to ensure safe and effective use.

In SummAry…

Devils Claw is an important plant frequently used in pain relief and digestive distress natively found in the southern continent of Africa where it has been long used in traditional African medicine.

Devil’s Claw may interact with certain medications or have contraindications for certain health conditions. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using Devil’s Claw, especially if you have underlying medical conditions, are taking medications, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

As Devil’s Claw is a wild-harvested plant, responsible sourcing and sustainable harvesting practices are important to protect its natural habitats. Choose products from reputable manufacturers or suppliers that prioritise sustainability and support fair trade initiatives.

Embrace the potential benefits of Devil’s Claw as you delve into the captivating realm of this remarkable herb. With its potential to support joint health and mobility, offer anti-inflammatory properties, provide digestive support, and its traditional uses for wellness, Devil’s Claw brings a touch of nature’s wisdom and potential well-being to your holistic journey of health and vitality.