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Devil's Claw Health Benefits, Properties, and Uses

Devil's Claw

Scientific Name: Harpagophytum procumbens

Common Names: Grapple Plant, Wood Spider

Properties: Immune system booster, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-arthritic, Antiglycemic (Antidiabetic), Sedative, Digestive stimulant, Tonic, Antirheumatic, Antipyretic, Analgesic, Stimulant

What is Devil's Claw?

Devil’s claw is an herb native to southern Africa. It gets its name from the tiny hooks on the plant’s fruit.  Devil’s claw is a perennial plant with no odor and a bitter taste. The roots, along with the secondary roots called tubers, are the parts of the plant used in medicine.1

Devil's Claw Uses and Health Benefits

Devil’s claw has long been used to treat conditions like fever, malaria, and kidney problems. The dried roots have been used in Europe to help relieve heartburn and restore appetite. The herb contains pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that it can be just as effective as some pain-relieving medications for patients suffering from lower back pain.1,2 It’s sometimes used together with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen.3 Other devil’s claw uses include for:

  • Osteoarthritis - Studies show that devil’s claw can be used with other pain-relieving drugs to reduce osteoarthritis pain.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis - Among devil’s claw benefits, it has been shown to reduce inflammation and treat pain associated with arthritis.
  • Sciatica - A devil’s claw oral remedy can also be used to treat symptoms of sciatica, which is a condition characterized by pain along the sciatic nerve.
  • Bursitis - Bursitis is a condition where the fluid-filled sacs between muscle, bone, and tendons swell. Devil’s claw may help ease symptoms when taken orally.
  • Gynecomastia - Gynecomastia refers to breast enlargement in males due to excess breast tissue growth. Devil’s claw may help in relieving gynecomastia symptoms.

Devil's Claw Side Effects and Precautions

Though there are many devil’s claw benefits, it’s important to heed caution as with any herb. Talk to your doctor about taking devil’s claw if you have heart disease, diabetes, a stomach ulcer, abnormal blood pressure, or a history of gallstones.3 Not enough is known about the effects of devil’s claw on pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, so it is best for these women to avoid it altogether. Devil’s claw side effects may include:

  • Allergic reaction, such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling around the face or mouth
  • High blood pressure
  • Skin rash or severe itching
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Changes in sense of taste

Devil’s claw side effects are rare, and the herb is generally considered safe to take in recommended doses for up to a year.3 Talk to your doctor before attempting to self-medicate with devil’s claw to ensure it’s a good herbal remedy for you.

 

References

  1. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/devils-claw
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/984.html
  3. http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/d04474a1
  4. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/06/29/nsaid-painkillers-irregular-heartbeat.aspx
  5. http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_devils_claw.htm
  6. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/bursitis
  7. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/gynecomastia

CuresDecoded worldwide community recommends Devil's Claw for:

Osteoarthritis Effective
Sciatica Effective
Tennis Elbow Effective
Gynecomastia Effective
Bursitis Effective

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