devil’s claw


Anti-inflammatory medicinal plant, used in cases of rheumatism (arthrosis), is usually found in the form of capsules or tablets.


Name in Portuguese: devil’s claw, harpagophytum
Binomial name: Harpagophytum procumbens (Burch.) DC. ex Meisn., 1840 French name
English name : Devil’s Claw, Harpagophytum
German name: Teufelskralle
Italian name: arpagophyto , artiglio of the devil




Bitter, iridoid principles: harpagoside (proven anti-inflammatory effect), arpagide, phytosterols.

parts used

– Roots (in detail, these are secondary roots)


Anti-inflammatory, (mainly at the cartilage level), cartilage protector, analgesic.

Observation the anti-inflammatory effects of this plant appear quickly, however the complete efficiency appears generally only after 3 weeks of treatment.


Rheumatisms: osteoarthritis (osteoarthritis), arthritis, low back pain: acute low back pain, tendinitis, gout, back pain.

Secundary effects

Gastrointestinal complications such as burning (gastritis) and stomach pain (in some cases hemorrhagic burning with gastrointestinal bleeding), headaches, duodenal ulcers, allergies with the appearance of red spots (sometimes severe allergies, and sometimes allergy may be delayed and occur after several hours or days), hallucinations (according to a internet user). Please read the leaflet and consult your pharmacist.


Pregnancy and lactation, gastrointestinal ulcers, allergy to this plant, children under 3 years old. Please read the leaflet and consult your pharmacist.


Certain anticoagulants, cardiovascular drugs such as those against high blood pressure (risk of hypotension), cholesterol-lowering drugs, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Please read the leaflet and consult your pharmacist.


– Devil’s Claw Pill or Capsule

– Devil’s Claw tea (infusion)

– Devil’s Claw Drops

– Devil’s Claw Decoction

Where does devil’s claw grow?

The harpagophytum (devil’s claw) originates from Africa, the plant grows mainly in hot and dry regions of Africa, such as Angola, Namibia or South Africa, particularly in the savannas.
As harpagophytum grows almost exclusively in Africa, this plant consequently needs to be imported into Europe and North America. We must know that the harpagophytum is an endangered plant.
Namibia is the main exporter of devil’s claw (harpagophytum). This country supplies 90% of the world market1 . In Namibia, devil’s claw is cultivated and also harvested from the wild by thousands of collectors.


– The effectiveness of devil’s claw has been scientifically proven by several clinical studies and its usefulness in the treatment of rheumatic problems such as arthritis and back pain is shown through its anti-inflammatory properties derived from devil’s claw (a principle devil’s claw active).
Note that the treatment based on devil’s claw against arthrosis must last at least 2 to 3 months to be effective (generally based on devil’s claw tablets, taken twice a day, in the morning and in the evening). night). It is also possible to cure rheumatic pains in a few days.

– According to a special edition of the French magazine Science & Vie on medicinal plants, published in July 2020, the effectiveness of Devil’s Claw roots against joint pain and low back pain is probable. To arrive at this very favorable conclusion, which still has some reservations, the French journal was based on several meta-analyses, including one carried out by Cochrane (DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004504.pub4 ) in 2014.

critical opinion

Some scientists and journalists such as those from the French magazine Prescrire (Prescribe in English) believe that devil’s claw is no more effective than placebo (June 2013).

Devil’s Claw Culture

Devil’s claw grows in Africa and must be imported into Europe and the Americas, so its value (since it is a rare plant) becomes increasingly high. Devil’s claw is an endangered plant.

Along with ginkgo biloba (ginkgo), harpagophytum is among the best-selling medicinal plants in the world. The harpagophytum became known in Western medicine through plants only after 1900, that is, at the beginning of the 20th century. A South African farmer noticed that some tribes in South Africa used the harpagophytum to treat different diseases. Then, he promoted the commercialization of an infusion based on harpagophytum, including in Europe. Currently, this plant is widely used around the world, especially in Germany.

Harpagophytum is generally not used externally, being administered solely for internal use (in capsules or cooked). In external use this plant is estimated to be ineffective.

– Devil’s claw is on the list of remedies offered by the SUS (Unified Health System) in Brazil.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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