How Does Devil’s Claw Extract Benefit Your Health?

Updated on February 19th, 2020
devil's claw

The Devil’s claw extract is packed with several active plant compounds. This extract has been proposed as an effective solution for inflammatory discomforts as it contains iridoid glycosides- which is traditionally used to treat wounds.

Devil’s claw extract is a herbal supplement majorly taken to treat arthritis and joint pain. Devil’s claw supplement comes as concentrate, capsules, powder and is also sometimes included in herbal teas.

How is It Extracted?

Devil’s claw extract is extracted from the roots. The plant is called Harpagophytum procumbens. It is derived from the family of Pedaliaceae and originated from southern Africa, where it grows in the deciduous forests.

Devil’s Claw Uses

Devil’s claw is a traditional remedy for an extensive range of diseases and discomforts like arthritis, inflammation, joint pain, and rheumatism. Clinical studies have also claimed that it is useful as an analgesic for lower back pain and osteoarthritis. It is reportedly used for:

  • Atherosclerosis or hardening of arteries
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Myalgia or muscle pain, and
  • In some cases, it has also been suggested that consuming a devil’s claw extract may support weight loss.

[ Read: Benefits of Witch Hazel ]

Devil’s Claw Benefits

There have been many people documenting the health benefits of the Devil’s claw herb. Here we take a look at some very noted health benefits of the Devil’s claw supplement.

1. Anti-Inflammatory/Analgesic Properties

Many studies are largely supportive of the Devil’s claw’s anti-inflammatory action. Inflammation is your body’s natural way of coping with wounds and cuts in the body. Chronic inflammation, however, is detrimental.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to heart diseases, diabetes, and brain disorders. Other conditions linked to inflammation include inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and gout. Devil’s claw extract has been claimed to be a remedy for inflammatory discomforts. Devil’s claw owes its anti-inflammatory properties to the presence of iridoid glycosides, especially harpagoside.

2. Treats Back Pain

Back Pain
Image:ShutterStock

Lower back pain is a real discomfort with many. Sometimes it’s just pain in back or joints. On average about 80% of adults face this once in their lifetime. Besides its anti-inflammatory properties, the Devil’s claw for pain is also a proposed benefit.

It is extremely beneficial for lower back pain, and researchers attribute it to the presence of harpagoside in the extract. The compound harpagoside appears to be effective as it is a nonsteroidal inflammatory drug.

[ Read: Treat Back Pain Naturally ]

3. Relieves Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is caused when the end of the bones covered in cartilage wears down. When the cartilage wears out, it causes the bones to rub together, resulting in swelling and pain.

Through extensive research has not been conducted, current studies suggest that Devil’s claw can relieve people from the pain related to osteoarthritis(1).

4. Promotes Weight Loss

weight loss
Image: ShutterStock

Devil’s claw is noted for reducing pain related to gout, osteoarthritis, et cetera. In a study with mice, the Devil’s claw powder helped reduce appetite.

It also suppresses appetite by interacting with the hunger hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin sends signals to your brain, making you hungry.

Dosage

It is advisable to take Devil’s claw in proper dosages.

See Also
Safflower Oil

  • Studies have found and prescribed that 50 to 100 gms of harpagoside, if taken daily, can help to reduce and cure lower back pain.
  • A clinical study with 122 patients(2) with knee osteoarthritis was conducted, and it was concluded that 2160 mg of the Devil’s claw extract daily might be effective in reducing the pain.

Side Effects

Devil’s claw is considered safe when taken up to 2160 mg dosages per day. However, the long term effects have not been studied extensively. Some reported side effects are

  • Diarrhea among users
  • Nausea
  • Allergic reactions including headache and coughing
  • It is advisable that people with diabetes, heart conditions, gallstones, and stomach ulcers be careful while using it and consult a doctor before using the Devil’s claw extract.

However, in most people, no side effects are seen or are relatively low.

Bottom Line

Devil’s claw is noted to relieve pain from inflammatory conditions like arthritis, gout, and it also suppresses hunger pangs by interacting with the hunger hormone ghrelin. A daily dosage of 600-2160 mg is considered safe.

There are a few cases of users facing side effects like nausea or diarrhea. However, in most cases, it has been reported to be a safe medication that released patients of joint and back pain.

[ Read: Benefits of Pennyroyal ]


FAQs

1. In what form is Devil’s claw available?

The Devil’s claw extract can be had as a supplement, or in powder form.

2. Is Devil’s Claw blood thinner?

Devil’s claw may increase the risk of bleeding if the user is already on blood thinners such as aspirin or warfarin.

3. Is Devil’s Claw poisonous?

Devil’s claw is safe for adults. The dosage is generally prescribed to be 600-2160 mg per day. No poisonous side effects have been reported or studied yet.

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