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Devil?s Claw

Also indexed as:Harpagophytum procumbens
Devil?s Claw
: Main Image© Martin Wall
Botanical names:
Harpagophytum procumbens

Parts Used & Where Grown

Devil's claw is a native plant of southern Africa, especially the Kalahari desert, Namibia and the island of Madagascar. The name devil's claw is derived from the herb's unusual fruits, which are covered with numerous small claw-like appendages. The secondary storage roots, or tubers, of the plant are used in herbal supplements.1

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Osteoarthritis
2,610 mg daily (containing 57 mg harpagoside, 87 mg total iridoid glycosides daily)2 stars[2 stars]
Devil’s claw extract was found in one trial to reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis as effectively as the slow-acting analgesic/ cartilage-protective drug diacerhein.
Rheumatoid Arthritis
4.5 to 10 grams daily of powdered herb or 800 mg of a standardized extract three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
Devil's claw has anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions and is a traditional herbal remedy for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Indigestion, Heartburn, and Low Stomach Acidity
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Devil's claw acts as a digestive stimulant and may be helpful for indigestion.
Low Back Pain
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
One trial found that devil's claw capsules were helpful in reducing acute low back pain in some people.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Numerous tribes native to southern Africa have used devil's claw for a wide variety of conditions, ranging from gastrointestinal difficulties to arthritic conditions.2 Devil's claw has been widely used in Europe as a treatment for arthritis.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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