What is Devil’s Claw Root
The devil’s claw root, also known as grapple plant or wood spider, is a medicinal plant widely used to treat rheumatism, arthrosis and pain in the lumbar region of the spine, as it has anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Its name in Greek means “vegetable harpoon” due to the sharp hook shape of its fruits. It can reach up to 2 meters long.
Its scientific name is Harpagophytum procumbens and is primarily found in the Desert regions of southern Africa (Namibia, Kalahari desert, Southern Africa).
Properties of Devil’s Claw Root
Devil’s claw root is composed of iridoids, including harpagosides, which are known to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Its primary root is long and tuberous, from which thickened secondary roots are born that keep the medicinal properties of the devil’s claw. It also contains phytosterols, bitter principles, flavonoids, triterpenic acids and, abundantly, a carbohydrate or oligosaccharide, known as stachyose. These active compounds are responsible for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antispasmodic and diuretic properties. It also behaves as a lipid-lowering (reduces bad cholesterol ) and hypoglycemic compound.
Benefits of Devil’s Claw Root
The devil’s claw root has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties and, therefore, it can be used to help in the treatment of some ailments, such as:
· Rheumatoid arthritis;
· Pain in the spine and lumbar region;
In addition, some studies suggest that the devil’s claw could also help in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, such as dyspepsia, in addition to being able to act in the case of urinary infections, fever and postpartum pain.
Despite having anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used in various situations, the use of the devil’s claw is not a substitute for the treatment indicated by the doctor, being only a complement.
How to Use Devil’s Claw Root
The devil’s claw is usually used to make teas and plasters, the roots being mainly used.
To prepare devil’s claw tea, simply place 1 teaspoon of the dried roots in a pot, along with 1 cup of water. Boil for 15 minutes over low heat, cool, strain and drink 2 to 3 cups a day.
Devil’s Claw Contraindications
The use of the devil’s claw should be recommended by the doctor, it is important to use the recommended amounts per day to avoid the appearance of side effects, such as irritation of the gastrointestinal mucosa, diarrhea, nausea, symptoms of poor digestion, headache and loss of taste and appetite.
Given its properties, Devil’s Claw is not recommended for pregnant women, people with diabetes, children, people with cardiovascular problems such as arrhythmias or hypertension or people suffering from ulcers.
NOTE: We highly recommend that before using any herbal medications you should consult your health care provider or medical doctor for professional advice.
Disclaimer: All herbs and spices listed on http://www.islandherbsandspices.com/ or sold for medical and household use only, again we advice that before using any HERBS for medical purposes, please consult your physician.