Osteoarthritis (OA) is an inflammatory chronic condition that leads to the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. This reduces the cushioning effect between the bones, making them rub against each other, causing pain and a loss of mobility.

Conventional medicine, though popular, offers little help to treat osteoarthritis and mostly focuses on managing pain with analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, there are several herbs and natural foods that can help manage osteoarthritis better. Devil’s claw is one of them.

Devil’s Claw & Osteoarthritis
Harpagophytum procumbens, commonly known as devil’s claw, is a perennial plant native to South Africa. The active compounds present in it, particularly iridoid glycosides and monoterpene harpagosides, have strong anti-inflammatory properties that curtail pain and swelling. [1,2]

A 2002 study published in the journal Phytomedicine found that more than 50 percent of people with OA of the knee, hip or lower back who took devil’s claw, reported less pain and better mobility after eight weeks. [3]

How To Use It

  • Brew a tea by boiling 1tsp dried devil’s claw in a cup of water. Let it steep for 15 minutes. Have it twice daily for better relief.
  • You can buy devil’s claw powder here.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page and read about other Natural Remedies here.

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1. Mncwangi N, Chen W, Vermaak I, Viljoen AM, Gericke N. Devil’s Claw-a review of the ethnobotany, phytochemistry and biological activity of Harpagophytum procumbens. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Oct 11;143(3):755-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.08.013. Epub 2012 Aug 21. Review. PubMed PMID: 22940241.

2. Long L, Soeken K, Ernst E. Herbal medicines for the treatment of osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2001 Jul;40(7):779-93. Review. PubMed PMID: 11477283.

3. Chrubasik S, Thanner J, Künzel O, Conradt C, Black A, Pollak S. Comparison of outcome measures during treatment with the proprietary Harpagophytum extract doloteffin in patients with pain in the lower back, knee or hip. Phytomedicine. 2002 Apr;9(3):181-94. PubMed PMID: 12046857.