Devil's claw is a native of South Africa, so named because of its rather peculiar appearance. Its large tuberous roots are used medicinally, after being chopped up and dried in the sun for 3 days.
Native South Africans used the herb to reduce pain and fever and stimulate digestion. European colonists brought devil's claw back home, where it became a popular treatment for arthritis.
What Is Devil's Claw Used for Today?
In modern Europe, devil's claw is used to treat all types of joint pain, including osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis , and gout . Devil's claw is also used for soft tissue (muscle-related or tendon-related) pain.
Like other bitter herbs, devil's claw is said to improve appetite and relieve mild stomach upset.
What Is the Scientific Evidence for Devil's Claw?
The evidence for devil's claw is fairly preliminary, with the largest and most well-designed studies showing marginal benefits at best. Most studies have evaluated it for treatment of arthritis.
A typical dosage of devil's claw is 750 mg 3 times daily of a preparation standardized to contain 3% iridoid glycosides.
Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are taking:
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -