Devil’s Claw

Devil’s Claw

Proven Support for Joints, Ligaments, Arthritis and Pain

Devil’s Claw

Key Benefits

  • Healthy support for joints and ligaments
  • Proven help for osteoarthritis pain and inflammation
  • Shown to be as effective and safer than conventional drugs for pain relief
  • Extraordinary support for de-granulation of the lymphatic system
  • Antifungal support, especially for toe and fingernail fungus

Thousands of Years of Use

Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens), also known as “grapple plant” because of its claw-like dried seed pods, is an herb from the Kalahari desert region of southwestern Africa.

The tubers from the plant have been used in traditional African medicine for thousands of years for a wide variety of disorders. Modern research in Europe has shown it reduces inflammation and pain in rheumatic conditions, alleviating pain in joints, helps digestive disorders and can stimulate appetite.

An Approved Pain Killer. Devil’s claw is approved as a non-prescription medicine by the German Commission E, an expert panel of physicians and pharmacists who advise Germany’s counterpart of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Approved uses of devil’s claw include loss of appetite, digestive disorders, and degenerative disorders of the locomotor system (i.e., to treat pain and inflammation in the joints).

One clinical study (2000) showed that this traditional African medicinal herb, devil’s claw, may reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis as effectively as some conventional drugs. In a randomized, double-blind, parallel group study conducted in France, the patients who suffered from osteoarthritis of the knee and hip received either devil’s claw capsules or a pharmaceutical drug (diacerhein) for pain.

Pain relief parameters of all patients indicated that those who took devil’s claw or the drug experienced similar benefits for pain relief. However, the study also showed that patients taking devil’s claw experienced significantly fewer adverse side effects than those taking the drug. The clinical study was published in Phytomedicine, a leading European journal dealing with scientific research on herbs and phytomedicinal products.

According to Mark Blumenthal, director of the American Botanical Council, “At least two previous clinical trials on devil’s claw have supported its use as an aid in treating lower back pain and rheumatic conditions. This study is significant in that it is the first to show the potential benefits of devil’s claw for osteoarthritis.”

He added, “Although more research is warranted, this may be good news to people who suffer from osteoarthritis, as well as their physicians, whose therapeutic choices have been fairly limited.”

Research Summary

•  In a randomized, double-blind study, devil’s claw was shown to be as effective in eliminating pain from osteoporosis as a conventional medical drug for pain (with no adverse side effects).

•  Devil’s claw helped relieve arthritis-related symptoms in 630 people with degenerative joint disease. These people took devil’s claw daily (3 to 9 g) for 6 months. Depending on the location of the arthritis, from 42% to 85% of the people showed improvements in their symptoms. No side effects other than mild stomach upset were reported.1

• Researchers gave people with joint pain either devil’s claw (2.3 g) or an inactive placebo daily for 3 to 9 weeks. People taking the devil’s claw reported a significant decrease in pain and positive results compared to those taking the placebo.1

• Researchers gave devil’s claw or a placebo to 89 people with joint pain and inflammation. After 2 months, those who took devil’s claw each day (2 g) reported less pain and greater mobility than those who took the placebo.1

1. ESCOP, Harpagophyti radix monograph. Meppel, The Netherlands:
European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy; 1996.