Devil's Claw, a native of South Africa, belongs to the sesame family. Harpagophytum procumbens, grapple plant, and wood spider are the other names used to refer to Devil’s Claw. The peculiar appearance of its hooked fruit earned it the name Devil’s Claw. Odorless, yet bitter in taste, it is a leafy perennial with branching roots and shoots, useful for medicinal purposes. Devil's Claw contains anti-inflammatory components like iridoid glycosides.
Since thousands of years, tribes of Madagascar and Kalahari Desert have effectively used Devil's Claw root to treat pain and complications in pregnancy. As an ointment, Devil’s Claw has given relief from sores, boils, and other skin problems. Since the early 1900s in Western countries, dried roots of Devil’s Claw has been useful in individuals to restore appetite, relieve heartburn, and reduce pain and inflammation, especially for people with arthritis.
Devil's claw when taken orally has proven to give relief from liver and gall bladder complaints. Diabetes, hardening of the arteries, gastrointestinal disturbances, menstrual difficulties, headache, heartburn and gout - Devil’s Claw has been effective in the treatment of all these ailments.
Individuals with stomach or intestinal ulcer, diabetes, high or low blood pressure or heart related problems must avoid Devil’s Claw
Pregnant or breast feeding women must avoid Devil’s Claw as side effects are unknown
Herbal or health supplements containing Devil’s Claw must be avoided for children
Patients on blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin (coumadin) must avoid Devil’s Claw as it causes bruising or bleeding disorders
Standard dose, thrice a day: 600 - 1,200 mg
Capsules made of dried root powder: 100 - 250 mg, thrice a day
Liquid extract ranging from 2 - 7 drops, daily thrice
Tea decoction prepared in 5 - 4 gm, can be taken 1 - 3 times daily