Devil's claw, also known as grapple plant, comes from the dried roots or tubers of Harpagophytum procumbens, an herb used for thousands of years in the traditional wellness practices of tribes in southern Africa. Devil’s claw is named for the curved, sharp hooks on its fruits; this odd-looking shape allows the fruits to stick onto passing animals, thus spreading the seeds.
Indigenous Africans have long used the dried root of devil’s claw in various wellness applications, making teas, infusions and poultices to support digestion, as a liver tonic, and to soothe inflammation. Since devil’s claw root was introduced to European colonists in the 1900s, it has been used to promote gastrointestinal wellness and as an analgesic. In more recent decades, devils claw has gained a large following in Europe as a mobility-enhancing joint support supplement, which remains its most popular use today.**
Research supports the use of devils claw to ease inflammation and maintain healthy joints. Studies suggest that the plant's high concentration of an active natural compound called harpagoside may create an inflammation-modulating effect that can optimize musculoskeletal function and comfort. These joint-soothing effects of devil’s claw are also reputed to assist with lower back discomfort.**
Devil's claw benefits digestion, as well. Devil’s claw root has an extremely sharp and bitter taste that is believed to have a digestion-stimulating effect. Specifically, devil's claw may increase the production of gastric juices, thereby aiding in the overall digestive process.**
Devil's Claw Supplements
Devil's claw supplements contain dried or fresh roots from the Harpagophytum procumbens plant. Supplements come in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, tinctures, topical ointments and liquid extracts. Devil's claw can also be ingested as a tea or an infusion.**
Devil's Claw Directions for Use
Before adding devil's claw or any other supplements into your healthcare regimen, consult with your healthcare provider. Typical devil's claw dosage generally ranges from 500 mg up to 1,000 mg per day in tablet or capsule form.**