Herbal Medicine: Devil’s Claw for Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatic Diseases, Gout, Myalgia, Joint Pain and Back Pain – African Remedies
Devil’s claw is an African remedy that is used to treat arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatic diseases, gout, muscle pain (myalgia), back pain and other disorders.
Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum) is an herb native to southern Africa. The roots are used as medicine.
Traditionally, devil’s claw has been mainly used to treat pain, such as Osteoarthritis (a kind of arthritis), joint pain, back pain, neck pain, muscle pain, pains in the spine, hip, knee and shoulder, headache, gout, etc.
Devil’s claw was introduced to Europe in the early 1900s. Today, devil’s claw is used widely in Germany and France to fight inflammation or relieve pain in arthritis, headache, low back pain and other pains. According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, sales of devil’s claw in Germany were estimated to be $30 million euros in 2001, and 74% of the prescriptions of devil’s claw were used for treating rheumatism.
Scientists have found that devil’s claw contains components named iridoid glycosides, which are believed to have strong anti-inflammatory effects. Some laboratory tests suggest that harpagoside, one type of iridoid, is highly concentrated in devil’s claw root may have significant pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
Many studies have shown that devil’s claw reduces pain and improves physical functioning in people with osteoarthritis, joint pain, back pain and other pains.
In a study in Europe, Among 122 patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis, the people who took devil’s claw had as much pain relief as the people who took a leading European medication, and those who took devil’s claw had fewer side effects and needed fewer pain relievers throughout the 4-month study.
Researchers found that in 14 studies, devil’s claw may provide relief for arthritis and joint pain. In a study of 63 people with mild-to-moderate pains in back, neck, or shoulder, taking devil’s claw for 4 weeks provided moderate relief from muscle pain. In another study of 197 people with chronic low back pain, those who took devil’s claw said they had less pain than those who received placebo. In a study of comparing devil’s claw to a pain reliever (Vioxx), 38 people who took devil’s claw shown the same pain relieving results as 35 people who took Vioxx.
How to use devil’s claw
- Dried devil’s claw root powder 1/2 teaspoon
- Water 1 cup
- Boil and simmer for 10 minutes
- Strain and drink it, twice a day
Today devil’s claw root supplements are sold in forms of capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts. You may find it in a health food store. Follow the instructions on the product label.
Though devil’s claw is considered nontoxic and safe, but you still should consult a health care provider before taking it. Devil’s claw may increase the risk of bleeding and the risk of developing low blood sugar. It may also have other side effects.
For more information about natural remedies for arthritis, go to Natural Remedies Center: http://www.naturalremediescenter.com/treat/arthritis/Read Related Articles
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