Harpagophytum procumbens (Hp)
A plant from the sesame family that is native to Southern Africa. Also called grapple plant and wood spider. It has been used in traditional medicine throughout Southern Africa and is harvested in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa on a commercial level.
Can relieve pain, lower inflammation markers and protect joints through anti-inflammatory action.
Has mainly been studied for pain relief for lower back pain and osteoarthritis. A review of the evidence in 2004 concluded that There is limited evidence in the treatment of knee and hip osteoarthritis for treatment with dosages below 30 mg and moderate evidence for the treatment at 60mg and above for the same conditions plus lower back pain.
A more recent review found evidence for the reduction of inflammation markers and protection of articular cartilage. The quality of evidence isn’t ideal, and more robust trials need to be done to make any recommendations to treat arthritis with Devil’s claw.
Devil’s claw has been reported to interact with anticoagulants, painkillers, heart drugs (for example, digoxin) and stomach acid drugs (for example, famotidine). It may also cause diarrhea. There are reported adverse effects in high doses, so lower effective doses are recommended. Only take this herb with the guidance of a health professional.