The Benefits of Devil’s Claw for Pain and Inflammation

In the modern day life, it is easier to get a temperature rise, fatigue, body aches, pains and diseases due to a variety of factors. Not only has every simple day filled with tiring activities, but most of the people continue working or studying as soon as they reached home.

The concept of making time for oneself, however, still exists but a person usually will not have time to indulge in something relaxing even if it’s the weekend.

Unfortunately, traditional de-stressing plans such as picnics, going to the beach, meditating are unpopular now, especially in the younger generations.

This is not because the mentioned activities are now not enjoyed that much but because most of the people have the opinion that they require too much time and effort. Who wants to prepare sandwiches and potato wedges for a picnic?

Instead, a majority of the teenagers and adults have opted for sleep or staying in bed for a while over all the other techniques to give a rest to the body and mind which is not anything bad either. The actual problem occurs when people start relying on painkillers.

Studies have shown that the consumption of over the counter medication as well as prescribed drugs has increased considerably over the past years in comparison with the 1960s and 70s with more different types of medicines being produced.

Many of the medicines now have alternatives as well and come in many forms. This is partly because people have relied completely on drugs to cure their pains and aches which has led to the creation of immune microbes.

While taking a painkiller once in a while for a severe headache is fine but completely depending on them to feel better and less tired can be dangerous. Many of the researchers have confessed that such medicines can have more side effects than uses.
Consuming painkillers on a daily basis has reportedly become a habit in not only working professionals but college students. A survey carried out in 5 colleges in 2013 showed at least 35% of the students took a pill every day or every two days.

These pills were common painkillers and were taken even for the most trivial reasons such as a feeling of tiredness and a mild rise in the temperature of the body.

At one side, people have started opting for natural remedies over medication in conditions that do not require the latter.

Secondly, the latter having a number of side effects especially when taken in a high dosage is also increasingly known.
On the other hand, people cannot help but rely on painkillers. This has lead to specific studies based on finding alternatives to common medication.

Consequently, scientists have found a number of spices, herbs, and plants which can work the same way as drugs but with the exception of side effects.

Why is Devil’s Claw Becoming Popular?

Plants have been used to treat body pains and diseases for centuries in the world. Today, those remedies now have scientific papers and backing to prove not only are they highly effective but can be altered for further benefits.

One of the plants that is gaining popularity in the medical researching fields and in the United States is Devil’s Claw. Many people have seen this plant or read about but fail to remember its name. This is one of the actual reasons why everyone gets confused when it is mentioned.

To discuss the many good benefits of Devil’s Claw plant, it is better to understand what it is in the first place.

The terms ‘Devil’s Claw Root’ or ‘Devil’s Claw’ is used widely as a reference to Harpogophytum procumbens. This is a plant found in Kalahari Savanna of Southern Africa, Namibian steppes, and Madagascar.
In the form of supplementation, devil’s claw is made from the dried roots of the plant. Folk doctors have been prescribing devil’s claw as a relief for digestive issues, joint pains, fevers, and body aches since centuries in ancient Europe and Africa.

A hypothesis linked to Devil’s Claw suggests that the plant is beneficial mainly because it contains iridoid glucosides such as harpagoside.

What are iridoids?

Iridoids are anti-inflammatory compounds mainly found in plants that are bound to glucose molecules.
This is also how they get their complete name and are called iridoid glucoside.

In accordance with European Scientific Cooperation on Phytotherapy, Devil’s Claw must contain at least one percent of harpagoside.

In additional, Devil’s Claw contains other beneficial compounds such as bioflavonoids and phytosterols.

These are plants based anti-oxidants which boost the health generally as well as contain anti-spasmodic properties. This is mainly the reason why Devil’s Claw can be of use in digestive problems.
France has approved the marketing of this plant because of the claim of it being a natural and ancient treatment popularized after a similar stance taken by ESCOP. It has also been observed to be of great use in treating painful disorders such as arthritis, loss of appetite, dyspepsia, and tendonitis.

Other conventional uses of Devil’s Claw include relieving the symptoms of gout, helping with heartburn, balancing pH in the stomach and reducing back, chest and head pain without any side effects.

Up till now, no research has noticed any side effects of using the plant. Instead, there is a rise in the number of studies being conducted on Devil’s Claw.

What Are The Benefits Of Devil’s Claw?

Besides the mentioned ways to using Devil’s Claw instead of traditional medicine, a number of studies have been conducted to observe some highly-useful properties of the plant.
Some of the other uses of Devil’s Claw are:

Treating Arthritis

Devil’s Claw has been in the limelight in the research world mainly because of its tendency to work on arthritis and reduce osteoarthritis symptoms in people.

In accordance with a Japanese study in 2010, the harpagoside compound in Devil’s Claw can help with reduction arthritis inflammation greatly.

Generally, Devil’s Claw is now agreed upon by researchers as a supportive treatment for painful and degenerative rheumatism.

When tested on patients, Devil’s Claw specifically showed to reduce back, wrist, joint, neck, knee, hip, elbow, and hand pain. Secondly, the plant helped about 60% of the tested patients to get rid of the need to take conventional medicines to relieve pains.

Weight Loss

Another interesting future use of Devil’s Claw can be to treat Binge Eating Disorder and avoid gaining pounds. A study conducted at a university in Ireland showed that taking Devil’s Claw can slow or stop the production of ghrelin also known as the hunger hormones.

Hence, the problem of hunger pangs or overeating can be managed by the use of Devil’s Claw. In addition, another effect of the plant is the prevention of weight-related atherosclerosis which is inflammation in the arteries in obese people.

Reliving Other Pains

While Devil’s Claw is particularly known for its benefits for arthritis and arthritis-related pains, the benefits of the plant can extend to other types of pains and aches as well. Devil’s Claw can also be used to treat inflammatory pain in the body.

Using Devil’s Claw can reduce pain in a variety of conditions due to its anti-inflammatory properties including acute pains.

One particular health complication that is being treated with Devil’s Claw is sciatic nerve pain also known as sciatica.

In addition, a study conducted in 2001 found that devil’s claw supplement prescribed in patients helped relieve severe back pain and improve mobility in a period of 8 to 12 weeks. No side effects were seen in those patients.