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Home :: Devil's Claw

Devil's Claw Herb, Root -Benefits, Uses And Side Effects

Scientific name: Taraxacum spp

Actions: Alterative, anti- rheumatic, anti-tumor, aperient, bitter, blood purifier, cholagogue, deobstruent, depurative, diuretic, hepatic, immune enhancer and rebuilder, laxative (mild), liptotriptic, nutritive, stomachic, tonic.

Devil's claw is a plant native to Africa. The name comes from the herb's fruit, which look like they have small claws. The part of the plant used medicinally is the secondary root.


Devil's claw is a native plant of southern Africa, especially the Kalahari desert, Namibia and the island of Madagascar. The name devil's claw is derived from the herb's unusual fruits, which are covered with numerous small claw-like appendages. The secondary storage roots, or tubers, of the plant are used in herbal supplements.

After European and North American colonists in Africa were introduced to the herb in the 1950s, it began to be examined for its chemical properties and healing potential. Today many herbalists consider devil's claw effective in treating the aching and stiffness of arthritic joints.

Uses and benefits of Devil's Claw

  • One of nature's top herbs.
  • A liver and gallbladder tonic.
  • Aids in pancreatic function.
  • A kidney and bladder tonic and cleanser.
  • Said to have the same diuretic strength as LasixQ (trade name for furosemide).
  • Promotes the formation of bile.
  • Improves the enamel of the teeth.
  • A great alkalizer.
  • Effective in liver conditions including hepatitis, jaundice and cirrhosis.
  • High in iron, and other minerals, which increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
  • A natural source of protein.
  • Aids in blood sugar issues including diabetes and hypoglycemia.

Are there any side effects or interactions?

  • Devil's claw has been used for centuries in parts of Africa, but information on side effects is still scanty. Some studies have reported occasional mild stomach upset, ringing in the ears, and headache.
  • Devil's claw should not be used by people who are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant. Devil's claw can cause uterine contractions and miscarriage.
  • Based on the findings of studies in small animals, there is a small risk of heart rhythm and blood pressure changes with devil's claw. It's not clear whether this effect on the heart occurs in humans.
  • Do not take if suffering from a stomach or duodenal ulcer.

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