Herbal Spotlight - Devil's Claw


One of the main medicinal plants southern Africa has given to the world, Devil’s claw - Naturally reduce pain and inflammation.  

Fun Fact - The name Devil's claw was derived due to the hooked fruit's odd appearance.

The botanical herb Harpagophytum procumbens, commonly known as Devil’s claw is a plant native to Southern Africa. The botanical name, Harpagophytum, means "hook plant" in Greek. This plant gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, which is covered with hooks meant to attach onto animal fur and therefore spread its seeds. The plant itself lives in very harsh conditions. To enable survival during long severe dry periods the plant forms potato like, water storing, secondary tubers which branch off horizontally from primary tubers. The roots and tubers of the plant are used to for their medicinal properties.  

The tuber like root of the Devil’s Claw has been used medicinally for thousands of years by the San and Khoi people of the Kalahari Desert. Ancient African healers would use this root to treat a variety of complaints, ranging from pain during childbirth, fevers, wounds, and joint pain to indigestion. Interestingly, devil's claw was also used in basket making due to the strength and durability of the roots and tubers.

In 1906 Devils claw was discovered by Western medicine, German colonial soldier, G H Mehnert, who spent the next 40 years studying the properties of this fascinating and powerful herb. 

The German Commission (a committee made up of scientists, toxicologists, doctors, and pharmacists formed by the German government in 1978 to find out if herbs sold in Germany are safe and effective), found Devil’s claw had anti-inflammatory, analgesic and choleretic actions. It is approved by German Commission E for the treatment of degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system:

Rheumatoid arthritis
Psoratic arthritis
Muscular pain  

How we use  Devils Claw 

Like many Western Herbs, there is ongoing research into the benefits of Devils Claw. At Nature’s Sunshine we are passionate about using the traditional evidence used for centuries.  Traditionally, in Western herbal medicine practice, Devils Claw is recommended at a dose of 1-6g of dry root tubers a day. Each capsule of Nature’s Sunshine Devils Claw contains 450mg mg of Harpagophytum procumbens root powder. Therefore, we recommend a total of 3 capsules a day.  

Always read the label. Follow directions for use. If symptoms persist, worsen or episodes become more frequent talk to your medical practitioner.

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