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Devil's Claw

Botanical names: Harpagophytum procumbens


2,610 mg daily (containing 57 mg harpagoside, 87 mg total iridoid glycosides daily)
Devilís claw extract was found in one trial to reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis as effectively as the slow-acting analgesic/cartilage-protective drug diacerhein.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
4.5 to 10 grams daily of powdered herb or 800 mg of a standardized extract three times daily
Devilís claw has anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions and is a traditional herbal remedy for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

How It Works
The devilís claw tuber contains three important constituents belonging to the iridoid glycoside family: harpagoside, harpagide, and procumbide. The secondary tubers of the herb contain twice as much harpagoside as the primary tubers and are the chief source of devilís claw used medicinally. Harpagoside and other iridoid glycosides found in the plant may be responsible for the herbís anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions. However, research has not entirely supported the use of devilís claw in alleviating arthritic pain symptoms. In one trial it was found to reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis as effectively as the slow-acting analgesic/cartilage-protective drug diacerhein. One double-blind study reported that devilís claw (600 or 1,200 mg per day) was helpful in reducing low back pain.

Devilís claw is also considered by herbalists to be a potent bitter. Bitter principles, like the iridoid glycosides found in devilís claw, can be used in combination with carminative (gas-relieving) herbs by people with indigestion, but not heartburn.

How to Use It
As a digestive stimulant, 1.5 to 2 grams per day of the powdered secondary tuber are used. For tincture, the recommended amount is 1 to 2 ml three times daily. For osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, 4.5 to 10 grams of powder are used per day. Alternatively, standardized extracts, 1,200 to 2,500 mg per day, may be taken.

Side Effects
Since devilís claw promotes the secretion of stomach acid, anyone with gastric or duodenal ulcers, heartburn, gastritis, or excessive stomach acid should not use the herb. Additionally, people with gallstones should consult a physician before taking devilís claw.

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
At the time of writing, there were no well-known interactions with this supplement.

Copyright © 2009 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of the Aisle7 content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Aisle7. Healthnotes Newsletter is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. Aisle7 shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. AISLE7 is a registered trademark of Aisle7.

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