Learn the Herbs: Devil’s Claw

“Devil’s Claw”, quite a peculiar name, isn’t it? Well, this plant owes its name to its fruit which is fully covered with hooks that latch onto animals passing by in order to disperse seeds. But that’s not the reason why this plant is so popular. 

Devil’s Claw, also known as Harpagophytum, wood spider or grapple plant, is an herb that is popular due to its traditional medicinal uses. Native to South Africa and Madagascar, Devil’s Claw has been anciently used for treating several medical conditions. 

Let’s see what makes this herb so beneficial for medicinal uses:

Chemical Constituents of Devil’s Claw

The following major compounds with healing properties are found in Devil’s Claw:

  • Iridoid glycosides: harpagide, harpagoside and procumbide, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Beta-sitosterol
  • Harpagoquinone

Devil’s Claw: Origin and History

Native to South and Southwest Africa, Devil’s Claw has been traditionally used by the natives to help with stomach problems, blood pressure, fevers, pain and used as a laxative. In 1906, a German soldier learned about this plant, and it was then introduced in Europe in 1953 as a medicinal herb.

Here are some of its traditional and medicinal benefits.

Devil’s Claw: Health Benefits and Uses

Devil’s Claw is used as an herbal medicine traditionally. It comes in the form of capsules and tinctures that you can use every day to help with a number of medical conditions.

Here are some of the said benefits of Devil’s Claw. Although these benefits have not yet been backed by science, the natives have been using this herb for treating these medical conditions since several decades:

Might Help with Osteoarthritis

According to some studies, Devil’s Claw can be as effective as painkiller drugs for alleviating the arthritis pain. However, it takes a long time to show results (approximately 16 weeks). When taken with NSAIDs, it has shown promising results, but people also take it alone to lower down their doses of NSAIDs.

Might Help Reduce Inflammation

Thanks to the plant compounds iridoid glycosides found in Devil’s Claw, the herb has shown positive results for helping with inflammatory conditions. More specifically, the harpagoside compound found in Devil’s Claw majorly reduced the activity of cytokines, which increase inflammation. However, there are not many studies that have tested the herb on humans.

Might Relieve Pains

Consuming Devil’s Claw through the mouth has also shown to reduce pains, more specifically, back pain. That is also due to the harpagoside compound found in Devil’s Claw that is as effective as an NSAID for relieving pain.

Is it Safe to Consume Devil’s Claw?

Our Devil’s Claw capsules and tincture has been carefully curated by a team of experience herbalists who make sure to only create the best quality products. Devil’s Claw has been traditionally used as a safe herbal medicine for various conditions. However, it is best to consult with your doctor before use if you have a certain condition and you take high doses of the herb.


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