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Devil's Claw: Nature's answer to arthritis & inflammation

Devil's Claw: Nature's Answer to Arthritis & Inflammation

If you or a loved one suffers from either acute or chronic pain, it's likely that you may have heard of Devil's Claw. Despite its ominous name, Devil's Claw is actually a wonderful plant that's jam-packed with powerful pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, which are proven to alleviate inflammatory-related conditions such as arthritis and gout! 

Devil's Claw is a flowering plant of the sesame family, native to South Africa. The roots and tubers of the plant have been used by the indigenous people for ages to make medicine. While the roots and tubers are medicinally used, Devil's Claw gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, which is covered with hooks meant to attach onto animals in order to spread the seeds. 

In summary, here are the health benefits of Devil's Claw (we go into further detail below):

  1. Reduces inflammation
  2. Improves osteoarthritis
  3. Eases symptoms of gout
  4. Acts as a digestive tonic

1. Reduces inflammation

Inflammation is one of the body’s natural immune response to injury or infection. When you obtain a cut, knock your head or come down with a viral infection, your body will respond by activating the immune system. While some inflammation is necessary to defend your body against harm, chronic inflammation can be detrimental to health. Examples of chronic inflammation include inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), arthritis and gout.

Devil's Claw has been used by indigenous South African people for millennia to remedy inflammatory conditions. Science now proves its anti-inflammatory properties through the presence of plant compounds called iridoid glycosides. In addition to having anti-inflammatory properties, iridoid glycosides may also have antioxidant effects! This means the plant may have the ability to ward off cell-damaging effects of unstable molecules called free radicals.

In the same way that Devil's Claw has traditionally used by people as an effective and natural anti-inflammatory, it holds the same healing benefits for animals, including dogs, cats and horses!

2. Improves osteoarthritis

There are many forms of arthritis but the most common one is degenerative joint disease (DJD), also known as osteoarthritis, which is associated with age and inflammation. For many years it was believed to be a common 'wear and tear' disease that occurs after years of cartilage degeneration, due to repetitive movements and strenuous activity. While this stands true, more recent studies show that chronic, low-grade inflammation may also be a huge culprit! This occurs when the immune system starts producing proteins that attack the joints.

Along with anti-inflammatory effects, Devil’s Claw shows potential as a pain reliever. Devil’s Claw is effective at reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis and is commonly used as an active ingredient in arthritis-management remedies for people and animals! Researchers attribute this to harpagoside, an active plant compound in Devil’s Claw, which acts in the same way as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

View MobiLive - natural arthritis remedy relieves joint and muscle pain (contains Devil's Claw) >>

3. Eases symptoms of gout

Gout is classified as being a form of arthritis, characterized by painful swelling and redness usually in the big toes, as well as other joints. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood which can result from a high protein diet, but is also down to genetic factors, or liver or kidney disease when uric acid is not adequately cleared from the system. 

Studies show that, due to its anti-inflammatory effects and potential to reduce pain, Devil’s Claw has been proposed as an alternative treatment for those with gout as researchers suggest it reduces uric acid build-up.

View Buchu Drops to relieve gout and inflammation >>

4. Acts as a digestive tonic

Another traditional use of Devil's Claw is to remedy digestive complaints. The flavonoids and phytosterols found in Devil's Claw stimulate bile production, which helps digest and absorb food properly, making Devil's Claw a wonderful and healthy digestive tonic! The flavonoids and phytosterols also help maintain digestive health via their antispasmodic effect, and can also provide considerable relief from inflammation caused by acid reflux!

Side effects

Reported side effects of Devil's Claw are rare and mild, but it's still important to know how to use it safely.

  • Taking high doses of Devil’s Claw may upset the stomach in some people and animals, with the most common side effects being diarrhea.
  • People and pets with stomach ulcers, gallstones or duodenal ulcers should not take Devil’s Claw. 
  • Devil’s Claw might thin the blood, so people taking blood thinning medication should consult a doctor before taking this herb.
  • Diabetics should not take Devil's Claw except under strict medical supervision, since it can lower the dose of insulin required.

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Saskia Michele holistic health blog

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