Devil’s Claw is one of many herbal/plant solutions that can be used at home as a simple, but highly effective treatment for a wide spectrum of ailments.

Devil’s Claw (or Harpagophytum procumbens) is a plant which grows naturally in south and south-east Africa, particularly in the Kalahari Desert and Namibia.

Like a potato, water from the rainy season is stored in tubers attached to the root system and it is these tubers which provide the raw material for the product Devil’s Claw.

The name evolved from the appearance of the seed holder, which is shaped like a claw, approximately the size of a hand, with eight or more “fingers” bent upwards and another eight bent downwards.

The seeds are stored in these protective claws until climatic conditions progress their sowing and germination.

The history of Devil’s Claw

It was in the early 1920s that a German agriculturist started to investigate the therapeutic effectiveness of the plant. Over a period of 30 years, he perfected a method of drying the root so that it could be stored and used at a later date without any loss of potency.

Between 1950 and 1970 there were many trials by scientist throughout Europe, especially in Germany where one paper by Marie-Claire Lanhers stated that: “this extract exerted significant and dose dependent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. . .”

Devil’s Claw and pain relief

Research has confirmed that Devil’s Claw can help reduce inflammation around the joints with the same net effect as “bute” but without any side effects, although the reaction time is slower.

However, it is recommended that Devil’s Claw should not be taken during pregnancy and should not be given to pregnant mares or bitches.

Among the ailments Devil’s Claw has proved effective for are:

  • Rheumatism

  • Lumbago

  • Neuralgia

  • Liver/kidney/bladder disease

  • Stomach and intestinal disease

  • Urticaria

  • Old age symptoms

  • Sciatica

  • Eczema

    Information supplied by Equine Health & Herbal, manufacturers of NoBute. For more information on their range of natural remedies contact them on (tel: 01787 476400) or visit www.equinehealthandherbal.co.uk