Devil’s Claw, Nature’s pain reliever
Are you looking for an all-around pain reliever? Devil's claw is the herb for you! With its anti-inflammatory capabilities, this herb packs a powerful punch against all manner of painful ailments, such as Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. The fruit of this South African plant may look a bit odd, but its benefits are undeniable, making it a must-have in your pain-fighting arsenal.
In this article, we will look at some of the benefits of the Devil’s Claw and why you should consider adding it to your natural medicine cabinet. We’ll also dispel some of the myths about the devil’s claw so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you.
What is this curious-looking herb?
Devil’s Claw is a herb that is native to the Kalahari area of South Africa, as well as in countries such as Namibia, Botswana, the Northern Cape, and South Africa. The botanical name for this curious-looking herb is Harpagophytum Procumbens which belongs to the Sesame family. It has long, tube-like roots that are harvested for the amazing benefits that this plant has been known to have. It has been used for ages to treat a myriad of conditions such as fevers, pain, and digestive conditions. Today it has become a popular herbal remedy used to help treat inflammation, joint pain, and Arthritis. Devil’s Claw can be found in a few different types, including capsules, powders, and even teas.
The History of Devil’s Claw
Devil’s claw has been used as a medicinal plant by the San people of Southern Africa since before Africa was colonized for conditions such as fevers, Malaria, and digestive conditions. In the 1900s, European Colonists learned about this incredible herb and started exporting it back to Europe. Today it is commercially cultivated in South Africa as a dietary supplement and topical cream to alleviate inflammation and pain. In 1953 this herb made its way to Europe thanks to a German soldier called Mehnert.
Interesting facts about Devil’s Claw
- Devil’s Claw got its name because the fruit has little hook-like protrusions from the fruit of this plant.
- The plant’s Latin name (Harpagophytum) comes from the Greek word “Harpago”. This word means hook.
- Devil’s claw can be dried, ground up, and placed in capsules for convenience, or it can be made into tea.
- The pods and seeds of this plant are both edible.
Let’s see what this plant can do for us
You may be able to manage your IBS with Devil's Claw
IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a digestive disorder that causes symptoms such as abdominal cramps, stomach pains, gas, constipation, and diarrhea, as well as a few other symptoms. Devil’s Claw can help to manage these symptoms thanks to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic (Pain relieving) properties. It has been shown that Devil’s Claw helps to reduce gut inflammation and can thus help to ease IBS symptoms. Devil’s Claw can also help your body to better digest food by stimulating the production of gastric acid and digestive enzymes.
Anti-inflammatory properties are found in Devil's Claw
One of the more famous properties of this herb is its anti-inflammatory capabilities. This is thanks to the active compounds called Harpagoside and Beta-Sitosterol. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury, infection, or diseases. However, chronic inflammation (Which means the inflammation sticks around for longer than it’s supposed to, or long-term inflammation), can cause conditions such as Arthritis, heart disease, and perhaps even a few different types of cancers. It has been shown that Devil’s Claw can help to inhibit the body’s production of inflammatory substances such as Cytokines and Prostaglandins, this means that Devil’s Claw can stop your body from getting inflamed altogether and can help to reduce the inflammation already present in your body, helping to reduce pain. Devil’s claw can also help protect against oxidative stress, which is said to be an underlying cause of inflammation. Devil’s Claw offers an alternative to anti-inflammatory medications that often have some nasty side effects, such as stomach ulcers and other digestive issues.
Devil’s Claw is a natural pain reliever
Devil’s Claw is said to be one of the natural world’s most powerful painkillers thanks to its strong analgesic properties. This magnificent herb also has active compounds called Harpagoside and Beta-sitosterol, which are said to have pain-killing effects, especially when it comes to joint and muscle pain. Devil’s Claw can help to reduce pain and promote healing by increasing blood flow to damaged areas of your body.
You may benefit from Devil's Claw if you suffer from gout
Did you know that Gout is actually a form of inflammatory Arthritis? It is created by a buildup of uric acid in your joints. It is usually felt in one’s feet but can be experienced in other joints as well. Symptoms of this painful condition include intense pain in joints and discomfort in your joints that persists after the pain subsides, and as the condition worsens you may have reduced mobility in your joints. Devil’s Claw may help to reduce symptoms of this painful condition. Devil’s Claw has anti-inflammatory and analgesic capabilities that can help to ease the pain, inflammation, and stiffness that this condition causes. Devil’s Claw could help to lower the amount of uric acid in your body, which we know is said to be the cause of Gout. There is a compound in Devil’s Claw that is the most helpful for the treatment of Gout, it is called Harpagoside. It is a strong Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory. Interestingly enough, this compound can only be found in Devil’s Claw. The compounds in this amazing herb reduce inflammation by lowering the amount of TNF-alpha that your body produces, this compound is a cytokine( basically the messenger of the cellular world)
Devil’s Claw may help to ease your Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
Arthritis and Osteoarthritis are conditions that are incredibly painful conditions that are characterized by joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. As we know, chronic inflammation is the culprit that causes quite a few conditions, and as we have mentioned before Devil’s Claw is great at lowering inflammation, which in turn can help to lower the inflammation caused by Arthritis and Osteoarthritis and other similar conditions. A study done in 2002 found that individuals with Osteoarthritis of the knee who took Devil’s Claw found significant improvement in pain and stiffness compared to those who only took a placebo. Another study found that Devil’s Claw can be as effective as commercial anti-inflammatory drugs found on the market that are normally used to help treat symptoms of Arthritis.
You may be able to manage your type 1 diabetes with Devil's Claw
Diabetes is shaping up to be one of the biggest world pandemics that we have ever seen. Interestingly, Type 1 Diabetes is known as Juvenile Diabetes. This type of diabetes (as the name suggests) primarily affects children. Type 1 Diabetes is thought to be an autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks the body itself. In this case, the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that makes insulin. Not enough insulin means too much glucose and boom, Diabetes. Another possible cause of Diabetes 1 is a group of viruses called Enteroviruses, these viruses cause diseases such as Polio and Meningitis. It is also said that there is a genetic component to Diabetes 1, the same genetic components can increase one’s risk of other autoimmune conditions such as Coeliac disease. Devil’s Claw can lower the inflammation in the pancreas and help improve your body’s insulin sensitivity. Another way that Devil’s Claw can help with Diabetes is that it can help to lower blood sugar levels, which can also help to manage diabetes.
Devil’s Claw may hold some risks
- Although Devil’s Claw is generally considered safe, there are a few side effects to be aware of. These include digestive discomfort, headaches, skin rashes, loss of appetite, blood pressure changes, irregular heartbeats, and ringing in the ear.
- Individuals with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar more closely and should consult a doctor before using this supplement.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using Devil’s Claw at all costs as it can cause uterine contractions.
- Individuals with heart conditions should consult a doctor before using this supplement as Devil’s Claw can affect your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Those with gallstones should avoid using this supplement as it may increase the production of Bile in your stomach and worsen the condition.
- Those who suffer from Stomach ulcers should also avoid using Devil’s Claw as the increased stomach acid can worsen the condition.
- Individuals with low Sodium levels should avoid this supplement as Devil’s Claw can further lower your sodium levels and can worsen symptoms you may experience.
There may be some medications that interact with Devil’s Claw
According to the Imperfect boss, possible interactions include:
- Allegra (fexofenadine)
- Celebrex (celecoxib)
- Coumadin (warfarin)
- Cozaar (losartan)
- Elavil (amitriptyline)
- Feldene (piroxicam)
- Glucotrol (glipizide)
- Halcion (triazolam)
- Mevacor (lovastatin)
- Mobic (meloxicam)
- Motrin (ibuprofen)
- Nizoral (ketoconazole)
- Prevacid (lansoprazole)
- Prilosec (omeprazole)
- Protonix (pantoprazole)
- Soma (carisoprodol)
- Sporanox (itraconazole)
- Valium (diazepam)
- Viracept (nelfinavir)
- Voltaren (diclofenac)
Other interactions include:
- Cytochrome P450 substrate medications, such as CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP3A4: Devil’s Claw may affect the way these proteins work and the amount of time it takes these proteins to break down. When these proteins are in medication, Devil’s Claw may cause more side effects.
- Heart medications: Devil’s claw may reduce the effectiveness of these medications.
- Blood thinners such as Jantoven(warfarin): Devil’s Claw may increase your risk of bleeding and bruising.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin, and Feldene: Devil’s Claw may affect the absorption rate of these medications.
Final thoughts about this amazing herb
In today’s day and age, when it seems the very environment we live in and food that is meant to be convenient is trying to kill us. It is getting harder and harder each day to trust the healthcare system that seems hell-bent on making money off of our suffering, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Supplements such as our Devil’s Claw can help to get you one step closer to your healthcare freedom. From helping to ease inflammation and pain caused by Arthritis and Gout to helping to lower the risk of and helping to manage type 1 Diabetes. Nature has given us a way to manage our health without nasty side effects or breaking the bank. So why not try our Devil’s Claw supplement and see what it can do for you?
Written by: Arin Spangenberg
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