Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) is a herbal plant native to South Africa. The root of the plant is popular for treating arthritis because of its strong antiarthritic effects. Besides treating arthritis, devil’s claw is also used to improve digestion, reduce pain and fever. Recent studies have confirmed that devil’s claw is better than standard antiarthritic drug, such as phenylbutazone. Researchers claimed that devil’s claw is better because it reduces pain quicker and has no major side effects. Phenylbutazone and many other anti-inflammatory drugs usually have serious side effects. Some can cause ulcer or gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney and liver damage. In fact, thousands of people die each year because of health problems related to anti-inflammatory drugs. Herbalists recommend taking about 2-3 grams of devil’s claw daily to help treat arthritis.
How to use devil’s claw:
- Steep a teaspoon of chopped dried devil’s claw root in 2 cups (16 fl. oz.) of boiling water for about 20-30 minutes.
- Before drinking the herbal tea, strain it into a cup. Drink the tea daily for a few weeks. If for some reason the pain gets worst, stop drinking the tea and seek professional care.
- Devil’s claw is also available as powder or in tea bags.