Devils Claw reduces pain in and improves quality of life in patients with arthritis

September 26, 2007

Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions (AORC) are the leading cause of disability and poor quality of life. The number of people with AORC continues to increase. Devil's Claw is an herb that grows in the Kalahari region of southern Africa. The herb has been used traditionally for arthritic and intestinal conditions. In this study 259 patients with arthritis were treated with Devils Claw for eight-weeks at the School of Health sciences, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Scotland. The patient's assessment of pain significantly improved on Devil's Claw as measured on various scales. Stiffness and the ability to use the joint both significantly improved. There were statistically significant reductions in pain for the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, and back pain. Quality of life significantly increased. Sixty-percent of the patients were able to decrease or completely stop their pain medication. Blood tests and liver function tests along with self reporting by the study participants shows the herb is both safe, lacking in side effects, and is well tolerated. The study is published in the September 20th, 2007 issue of the journal Phytotherapy Research.

Standardized Devil's Claw significantly helps patients with arthritis in the hip or knee

The major active ingredient in Devil's Claw is Harpagoside. In this study 114 patients were treated with 60mg of Harpagoside daily for up to 54 weeks. 56 of the patients had chronic nonspecific low back pain, 37 had painful osteoarthritis of the knee, and 21 had painful osteoarthritis in the hip. Symptoms and well-being were monitored every 4 to 6 weeks. The patients also kept a diary of their pain and need for pain medication. There was an appreciable improvement in the study period that was similar in the knee, hip, and back groups. The need for pain medication decreased and symptoms and well-being improved in all groups with 75% achieving a good or very good response to the herbal treatment. The herb was very safe with few adverse events of which none were serious. The study was performed at the University of Freiberg in Germany and is published in the June 2007 issue of the journal Phytomedicine.