Devil’s Claw


Devil's claw is an herb. The botanical name, Harpagophytum, means "hook plant" in Greek. This plant 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. The roots and tubers of the plant are used to make medicine.

Devil's claw is used for back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Some experts warn that devil's claw may interfere with the body's response against COVID-19. There is no strong data to support this warning. But there is also no good data to support using devil's claw for COVID-19.


Is a Form of:


Primary Functions:

Back pain

Also Known As:

Devils Claw, Devil's Claw Root, Garra del Diablo, Grapple Plant

How Does It Work?

Devil's claw contains chemicals that might decrease inflammation and swelling and resulting pain.


  • Back pain. Taking devil's claw by mouth seems to reduce low-back pain. Devil's claw seems to work about as well as some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Osteoarthritis. Taking devil's claw alone, with other ingredients, or along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) seems to help decrease osteoarthritis-related pain. Some evidence suggests that devil's claw works about as well as diacerhein (a slow-acting drug for osteoarthritis that is not available in the U.S.) for improving osteoarthritis pain in the hip and knee after 16 weeks of treatment. Some people taking devil's claw seem to be able to lower the dose of NSAIDs they need for pain relief.

Recommended Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For osteoarthritis: 2-2.6 grams of devil's claw extract have been taken in up to three divided doses daily for up to 4 months. A specific combination product providing 600 mg of devil's claw, 400 mg of turmeric, and 300 mg of bromelain has been taken 2-3 three times daily for up to 2 months. A specific combination product (Rosaxan, medAgil Gesundheitsgesellschaft mbH) containing devil's claw, stinging nettle, rose hip, and vitamin D taken by mouth as 40 mL daily has been used for 12 weeks.
  • For back pain: 0.6-2.4 grams of devil's claw extract has been taken daily, usually in divided doses, for up to 1 year.

Devil’s Claw Supplements Frequently Asked Questions

What does Devil's Claw do for you?

The roots and tubers of the plant are used to make medicine. Devil's claw is used for “hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis), arthritis, gout, muscle pain (myalgia), back pain, tendonitis, chest pain, gastrointestinal (GI) upset or heart burn, fever, and migraine headache.

Is Devils Claw safe to take?

When taken by mouth: Devil's claw is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken for up to a year. The most common side effect is diarrhea. Other side effects may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, headaches, ringing in the ears, loss of appetite, and loss of taste.

How do you make devils claw?

Pour 300ml of boiling water over 4.5g or 1.5g of finely chopped Devil's claw root and let it stand for 8 hours at room temperature, then strain and drink in three portions.

Can you take devil's claw with blood pressure tablets?

What is the most important information I should know about devil's claw? Do not take devil's claw without first talking to your doctor if you have a stomach or intestinal ulcer, diabetes, high or low blood pressure or other heart problems, or if you are taking any medicines to prevent or treat these conditions.

Is Devil's Claw good for joint pain?

Devil's claw is an herb. The botanical name, Harpagophytum, means "hook plant" in Greek. ... The roots and tubers of the plant are used to make medicine. Devil's claw is used for back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Is Devil's Claw a blood thinner?

Blood thinners: Devil's claw may enhance the effects of Coumadin (also known as warfarin), which may lead to increased bleeding and bruising. Stomach acid reducers: Devil's claw may decrease the effects of stomach acid reducers, such as Pepcid, Zantac, Prilosec and Prevacid.

How long does it take for devil's claw to start working?

Osteoarthritis. Several studies show that taking devil's claw for 8 to 12 weeks can reduce pain and improve physical functioning in people with osteoarthritis. One 4-month study of 122 people with knee and hip osteoarthritis compared devil's claw and a leading European medication for pain relief.

Is Devils claw any good?

Systematic review 2

The above trials were reviewed in a more recent scientific article. It found that results of the high-quality trials suggest that devil's claw is effective in the reduction of osteoarthritis-related symptoms. *NB: Diacerhein can be spelt with or without the 'h'.

Is Devil's Claw a diuretic?

Analysis shows devil's claw to be a source of aluminium, calcium, cobalt, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium and tin. It also contains flavonoids and sterols (sugars with anti-inflammatory qualities) and compounds that act as a diuretic, stimulate the heart, lower blood pressure and raise blood-glucose levels.

Is Devil's Claw the same as cat's claw?

Cat's Claw and Devil's Claw

“The evidence for devil's claw is stronger than for cat's claw or turmeric, but it's still not strong,” Dr. Gregory said. According to the Arthritis Foundation some studies suggest stomach acid may counteract the benefits of harpagoside (the active ingredient in devil's claw).

Where do I get Devil's claw?

Devil's claw is a plant native to deserts of South and South East Africa. Extracts from the plant root are used medicinally to treat several diseases. You can buy devil's claw from high-street retailers.

Is Devil's Claw good for menopause?

Some women recommend using herbal supplements like Devil's Claw to alleviate menopausal joint pain. Devil's Claw is reported to have similar effects to steroids but without the steroidal side effects. It contains a class of compounds called iridoid glycosides, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Can you take devil's claw long term?

Devil's claw appears to be safe when taken in doses up to 2,610 mg daily, though long-term effects have not been investigated (29). Reported side effects are mild, the most common being diarrhea. ... Heart disorders: Studies have indicated that devil's claw can affect heart rate, heartbeat and blood pressure.

Clinical Studies