For centuries, the devil's claw was used in southwestern Africa for indigestion, fever and pain relief. However, knowledge of the healing power of this plant came to Europe only about 100 years ago. The Latin name of the devil's claw is Harpagophytum procumbens and refers to the clawed, barbed fruits. Translated, "Harpagos" means grappling hook and "phytum" plant. "Procumbens" means laying down and describes the up to 1.5 meter long shoots of the plant lying on the ground. Almost 2000 different species are known on Earth, but only for the African devil's claw are healing effects scientifically proven.
Effects of Devil's Claw
Initially, only the effect of the bitter substances contained in the tubers was known, which stimulate the stomach and digestive juices. For this, a tea extract was prepared from the dried tubers, which was used for loss of appetite and reduced gastric and bile production.
This medical effect is attributed to the so-called iridoid glycosides even today. It was only later discovered that the ingredients of devil's claw also anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving.
Meanwhile, the findings are scientifically well secured and the devil's claw approved for supportive therapy in degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
Another advantage of devil's claw preparations: they are usually better tolerated than chemical painkillers and interactions with other medicines are unknown. Devil's claw is therefore for a long-term therapy z. B. well suited for chronic pain.
For the production of medicines, the dried roots of devil's claw are used. The extract is now available in many finished medicinal products in the form of tablets, teas and tinctures.
Treatment with devil's claw
Because of its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, the devil's claw has become an important part of modern phytotherapy. From the healing power of the plant patients with arthrosis such. As a painful joint wear, patients with mild rheumatic diseases, but also people with chronic back pain.
For more severe forms of joint disease, natural medicine serves as a helpful adjunct to medical treatment. In pain therapy, devil's claw can be used for mild pain and for stronger pain to support therapy.
Risks and side effects of devil's claw
Drugs with devil's claw are generally well tolerated. Side effects such as nausea, dizziness or headache are rare. When taking devil's claw preparations, it should be noted that the effect does not start until approximately 3 weeks have passed.
Patients suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease or gallstones should consult their doctor before taking it. During pregnancy and lactation, in children under 12 years Devil's Claw preparations should not be used, as well as in gastric and duodenal ulcers!
Devil's Claw is not suitable for the treatment of acute or severe pain. For acute complaints of joints that are accompanied by redness, swelling or overheating, always consult a doctor!