Can an endangered South African desert plant relieve arthritic pain? Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, MD, says devil’s claw can. It’s been used for thousands of years by South African natives to treat pain.
As we reported in Tuesday’s message, she’s studied the effects of the herb on arthritis pain. Several other studies and experts confirm its benefits.
She’s had so much success with the herb that she now uses it to help her patients successfully combat arthritic pain. She combines it with bromelain – an enzyme that breaks down proteins – to treat severe pain.
You may remember that we told you about a University of Maryland study that promoted the benefits of the plant. A second study by the university also found that devil’s claw supplements helped ease arthritic joint pain.
Researchers studied 75 patients for 12 weeks. All patients had knee or hip arthritis. The researchers gave them 2,400 mg of devil’s claw per day.
At the end of the 12 weeks, all patients experienced considerable pain reduction and increased movement. In fact, the benefits were equal to risky pain killers.
And were there any side effects to the natural remedy? Just two people had any kind of adverse reaction. One had an upset stomach. The other experienced mild bloating.
The Power Behind the Claw
So how does devil’s claw work? The active ingredients are sugar?based compounds called harpagosides. They’re harvested from the secondary root of the herb. Those harpagosides bond with plasma to form a compound that cools down inflammation.
Dozens of studies show that inflammation is the root cause of arthritic pain.
But how does this natural herb measure up to a man-made drug? One study set out to investigate just that. The study directly compared the extract alongside a man-made drug.
A randomized, double?blind, parallel group study was conducted in France. It was later published Phytomedicine. Patients were either given capsules containing devil’s claw or a pharmaceutical drug called diacerhein.
Patients reported equal levels of relief from both options. But those receiving devil’s claw experienced significantly fewer adverse side effects than those taking the drug. And – importantly – the devil’s claw patients requested fewer complementary pain relievers.
How Much Do You Need?
Dr. Ann Walker is a researcher at Reading University, in the U.K. She’s also convinced that devil’s claw can help her patients with pain. She uses 700 mg each day to help reduce their pain.They often report major improvement in their ability to stretch and bend.
Devil’s claw is easy to add into your diet. It’s available as capsules, tea, and tincture. It can also be purchased dried, as either chopped pieces or in powder form.
Recommended dosage is based on the percentage of harpagosides in the extract. And that’s usually between 1?2 percent. Daily dosage should be between 50?100 mg of harpagosides.
But relief comes gradually. Dr. Low Dog says you should take devil’s claw for at least one month to enjoy its full benefits.