The devil’s claw, popular and commercial name of Harpagophytum procumbens, is a plant with roots with medicinal properties, usually found in desert areas.
It is used as an adjunctive treatment to combat some inflammation and joint problems, such as osteoarthritis.
Its part used is the root and the plant receives such a popular name because of its spiny structure, similar to a claw.
In its natural form it is generally used in the preparation of infusions, but it can also be found in the version of pills and capsules.
Want to know more about the plant? Keep reading!
What is the Devil’s Claw for?
The Devil’s Claw is a plant that has the potential to act on problems related to the body, such as pain and inflammation. Studies indicate that it can serve as an adjunct in cases of osteoarthritis and even low back pain .
Currently, the plant is registered by the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) as a herbal medicine with anti-inflammatory (fighting inflammation) and anti-rheumatic (fighting problems related to rheumatic diseases).
More specifically, the Devil’s Claw can be used to:
Inflammation is the body’s response to injuries that can be caused by a variety of causes, such as trauma or infections. When an inflammatory process occurs, there may be manifestations such as fever , pain, swelling, among other symptoms.
To combat this type of manifestation there are anti-inflammatory drugs that work to alleviate inflammation. There are different natural products that also have this potential and, among them, the Devil’s Claw.
In studies carried out, the effectiveness of the plant as a natural anti-inflammatory product was pointed out. In addition, it is approved by Anvisa to be used as a supporting anti-inflammatory herbal medicine, that is, as an auxiliary product to traditional treatments.
Degenerative joint diseases
The Devil’s Claw is believed to be effective in relieving pain related to degenerative joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis.
This type of disease mainly affects the joints, causing wear and tear of the cartilage, pain and difficulty in locomotion.
Some clinical studies have revealed that the plant has a potential similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (without hormonal components in the composition), medications used to treat this type of disease.
In addition, its use as an anti-rheumatic herbal medicine (combating inflammation caused by rheumatic diseases) is allowed by Anvisa, that is, the plant can be used as an adjunct treatment for the relief of pain related to joint wear problems.
The Devil’s Claw can be a good ally in fighting back pain, also called low back pain .
This is because some studies conducted with the plant have shown promising results in relation to this analgesic potential, specifically for acute low back pain.
This problem occurs in the region near the end of the spine, and can last for 4 to 6 weeks.
One of the popular uses of Devil’s Claw is as an appetite stimulant for people who have eating problems.
Despite being used for this purpose, there are not enough scientific studies to prove this property related to the plant.
In this way, the use is made based on popular beliefs, without scientific proof.
Act as digestive tonic
Digestive tonics are substances that facilitate the digestive process, beneficial for use in cases of heavy meals or stomach problems such as gastritis , for example.
Popularly, the Devil’s Claw is used as a tonic, with the purpose of improving digestion and preventing symptoms of constipation, vomiting and diarrhea.
Despite popular use, it is worth mentioning that there are also not enough scientific studies to prove the plant’s effectiveness for this purpose. Thus, the application is strictly based on popular beliefs.
What are the benefits of the Devil’s Claw?
The Devil’s Claw has different popularly known benefits, some scientifically proven, others not. In general, it can provide beneficial effects for people who suffer from constant pain, as in the case of degenerative joint diseases. Among the benefits are:
- Relieves joint pain;
- Acts as an analgesic in the case of low back pain;
- Reduces inflammatory processes;
- It can assist in eliminating the symptoms of poor appetite.
Devil’s claw lose weight?
The previously known properties of Devil’s Claw indicate that the product acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic. Currently, there are not enough specific scientific studies that present a potential for weight loss with the use of the plant.
Thus, the substance should not be used for the purpose of weight loss, and its administration is important only in accordance with medical recommendations, package inserts or product packaging.
How to make Devil’s Claw tea?
To make the devil’s claw tea the steps are relatively simple, just infuse with water and the plant root. In general, the necessary steps for the preparation are:
- Put ½ liter of water to a boil;
- When boiling, add 1 tablespoon of crushed Devil’s Claw root;
- Turn off the heat and muffle;
- Let stand for 15 minutes, strain and serve.
The recommendation is that tea should be consumed from 2 to 3 cups a day, always following medical advice.
How to take Devil’s Claw in capsules?
The capsule version of the Devil’s Claw is one of the most popular and can be found in health food stores or pharmacies.
In general, the indication for use is 2 capsules a day .
However, it is always worth following the guidelines contained in the package insert or product packaging, since the recommendation may vary according to the manufacturer.
What are the side effects of Harpagophytum procumbens ?
Even plants can cause side effects in some people. Symptoms such as headaches and gastrointestinal disorders can occur in those who use the Devil’s Claw.
Specifically, adverse reactions include:
- Abdominal pain;
- Loss of appetite;
- Loss of taste;
- Ringing in the ear;
- Laxative effect.
Allergies can also occur, especially if the substance is used in excessive amounts. Therefore, it is always worth taking in moderation and following medical guidelines for use.
It is important to note that each organism reacts differently with the use of the plant and, in this way, not all people will suffer from the side effects.
Price and where to buy
The price of the Devil’s Claw may vary according to the geographic region, presentation and manufacturer brand. The product can be found in health food stores and physical pharmacies and online.
In general, the value * of the devil’s claw for the capsule version is:
- Natural Anti-inflammatory Garra do Diabo Minas-Brasil, 60 capsules – R $ 81.95.
Among the presentation options in tablets and their values * are:
- Devil’s Claw Herbarium, 45 tablets – R $ 42.52;
- Arpynflan, 30 tablets – R $ 41.50;
- Artroflan, 60 tablets – R $ 88.98.
The natural version of the product, that is, the dry root, can be purchased in bulk for about R $ 15 to R $ 25 per 100g.
If there is a need to compare prices and make a purchase, it is possible to use the Consulta Remédios website , which indicates the best medicine prices in pharmacies in each region.
* Prices consulted in July 2020. Prices may change.
Devil’s claw and cat’s claw: what’s the difference?
The Devil’s Claw and Cat’s Claw, although often confused, are two different plants, both known for their potential medicinal uses, such as anti-inflammatory and analgesic action.
Scientifically called Uncaria tomentosa, the cat’s claw, like the Devil’s Claw, is registered by Anvisa as an anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic herbal medicine.
Thus, it can be used as an adjunctive treatment in inflammation and problems related to rheumatic diseases (affecting joints, cartilage, bones, muscles and tendons), specifically osteoarthritis.
There is not much scientific information about the effects of the Devil’s Claw on the human body, besides the anti-inflammatory and analgesic action.
Despite this, the plant shows good results in its use for the properties already known.
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