Devil claws. Properties, advantages and contraindications

The Harpagofito or devil’s claw, whose scientific name is Harpagophytum procumbens, is an endemic therapeutic plant native to the Kalahari Desert, a huge desert that encompasses Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, as well as Madagascar.

devil's claw benefits

The plant has a reddish purple flower and the part used due to the properties of devil’s claw is usually the root, which is long and deep and from which multiple health benefits can be obtained.


Properties of harpagofito and what it is used for

Among the properties of devil’s claw, the one that has been studied the most, in addition to being the most popular and proven, is generally its anti-inflammatory actionfor which it is normally highly recommended to treat joint, arthritic, rheumatic and arthritic conditions.

In addition, it significantly reduces the sensation of pain and optimizes mobility without side effects, so it is possible to combine it with other anti-inflammatories in order to reduce their dose.

It also promotes better recovery in case of trauma. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that the iridoids present in the properties of the harpagophytum have rather a peripheral action than with a central analgesic, which is why they are mainly recommended and why it is especially active in the elderly.

It also has gastric and digestive properties, so it is generally used during treatments for gastrointestinal conditions.

The content of bitter principles is what gives harpagofito this property. It also has a choleretic action that increases bile production, thus optimizing digestive function.

It also stimulates the taste buds, which by reflex increase the production of gastrointestinal juices, which greatly improves the appetite.

Apart from what we have mentioned, this plant turns out to be really active and recommended in case of low back pain.

There are many studies where its analgesic properties have been demonstrated.

Its extract serves to naturally inhibit TNF-alpha, specifically intracellular protein kinase, which acts as an intracellular pain intermediary, so it has quite similar efficacy to synthetic drugs, although without its harmful effects.

Devil’s Claw Applications and Uses

There are different ways to use Devil’s Claw. It is possible to use it in infusion, it is also usually consumed in capsules, among others, however, the safest way to use it is usually in creamsbecause it does not completely penetrate the body, but acts on the desired area.

This cream is sometimes known as devil’s claw cream, or simply devil’s claw cream, and is often used as an anti-inflammatory for bumps and other types of muscle and joint damage.

devil's claw contraindications

Devil’s claw against osteoarthritis

Some research has indicated that consuming devil’s claw for 8-12 weeks reduces pain and optimizes physical functioning people with osteoarthritis. If you want to know more natural remedies for arthritis, check out our article.

Similarly, a 4-month survey of 122 people with hip and knee osteoarthritis compared devil’s claw to a leading European pain-relieving drug. People who took Devil’s Claw had the same pain relief as those who took the drug.

However, those who consumed the extract of this plant had fewer side effects and required a smaller amount of painkillers during the survey.

Devil’s claw chemical composition

The main active ingredient in Devil’s Claw consists of harpagosidewhich has an index of 1.0% and 3.3% in plants.

Likewise, a high concentration of monoterpene glucoside is found in its composition, i.e. the iridoids known as harpagin, harpagosides and procumbides and which are found in its roots from which the greatest benefits are gained in relieving aches and swellings.

Properties of the harpagophytum

In the devil’s claw plant and its properties, in addition to these components, they are also present flavonoids, phytosterols -stigmasterol and sitosterol-, steroids, non-specific chemical substances, triterpene phenols, isoacteoside, kenferol, aromatic oils, substances derived from phenylpropane, oleanolic, triterpenes, caffeic, cinnamic acid, luteolin, verbascosideamong others.

the devil’s claw parts which are normally used for medicinal purposes, are usually the previously mentioned iridoid glycosides, essential oils, beta-sitosterol and sugars, such as fructose, glucose and tetrasaccharides.

Among the iridoids, the inhibition of the production of prostaglandins is obtained, so that the permeability of cell membranes decreases and, as a result, a significant relief from inflammation is obtained.

Additionally, glucoiridoids appear to be beneficial because they promote beta-sitosterol, which inhibits the enzyme synthetase/prostaglandin.

Recommended dose of harpagophytum

It is possible to administer Devil’s Claw in different ways and the recommended dose always varies depending on whether it is the extract or the powder, or whether it is a cream.

In the case of the cream, it can be used more than ingested, since problems or incompatibilities, as well as the possibility of side effects, are very low.

Harpagofito contraindications and precautions for its consumption

Harpagofito is contraindicated for people with duodenal or gastric ulcer and also for those with irritable bowel syndrome.

In the case of people with cardiovascular illnesses it is advisable to administer Devil’s Claw with caution.

This is due to an essential precautionary measure and the few conclusive investigations that show otherwise. It is also not recommended to consume Harpagofito due to possible contraindications during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, just as its administration is not recommended for children under 6 years of age.

It is known that sometimes consuming devil’s claw can produce an allergic reaction. In these cases, people typically experience vomiting, abdominal pain, and increased stomach acid.

Side effects of harpagofito and possible incompatibilities

In general, devil’s claw is a very safe plant, however, it is You have to follow the instructions of the specialists or those indicated on the product so as not to exceed the appropriate doses and/or treatment durations.

It should never be taken with medications such as warfarin, diazepam, loperamide, and omeprazole, as they can interfere with their action and effectiveness, as well as cause gastric irritation.

The use of medicinal herbs is often an age-old approach when it comes to strengthening the body and fighting disease.

However, it is possible that they cause side effects, which is why they should be taken with caution, always under the supervision of a competent specialist in the field of botanical medicine.

Devil’s Claw is considered safe and non-toxic, and as far as studies have been conducted, it does not cause side effects when consumed correctly, while in high doses it can cause problems of stomach.

Is short term use recommendedbecause experts don’t know if it’s safe to consume it for a long time.

not recommended that those who suffer from stomach ulcers, duodenal Where gallstones consume devil’s claw, just like, as we said before, pregnant and lactating women.

Also, those who have heart diseasefrom hypertension or of Low blood pressure they should consult their family doctor before starting to consume devil’s claw.

IMPORTANT: This information is intended to supplement, not replace, the advice of your physician or healthcare professional and is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects. This information may not be tailored to your specific health situation. Never delay or neglect seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read in ecothings. You should always consult a healthcare professional before starting, stopping or changing any type of treatment.

Leave a Comment