Devil’s Claw Purchase & Information
Devil’s Claw, Grapple plant, Garra del Diablo, Girrafe du Diable, Harapagophyti Radix, Racine de Windhoek, Racine de Griffe du Diable, Teudelskrallenwurzel, Wood Spider
Why Do People Use Devil’s Claw?
Orally - The preparations of devil’s claw root, like devil claw’s powder, are mostly used orally. The detail of disease cured with devil’s claw is given as follows:
Inflammatory & Painful Conditions - Devil’s claw powder is used for the treatment of a number of inflammatory conditions. Moreover, devil’s claw is also used for the treatment of several conditions that are associated with pain. Such conditions include:
• Rheumatoid arthritis.
• Muscle pain and inflammation (myalgia).
• Gout (inflammation of the joints).
• Pleuritic chest pain.
• Migraine headache.
Gastrointestinal Disturbance - A number of gut ailments are treated by the use of preparations made from devil’s claw root. Such conditions include dyspepsia, gastrointestinal upset and loss of appetite.
Miscellaneous issues - Devil’s claw powder is also used as a remedy for the cure of a number of other conditions, for instance:
• Abnormalities associated with childbirth.
• Menstrual abnormalities.
• Diseases associated with bladder.
• Allergic reactions.
• Dysfunction associated with locomotor system.
• Kidney diseases.
• Certain degenerative disorders.
Topically - The topical preparations of devil’s claw are mostly used for:
• The treatment of skin injuries.
• The cure of disorders related to skin.
Is It Safe To Use?
Possibly Safe - Devil’s claw root preparations are possibly safe when used orally. Devil’s claw powder can be consumed for as long as one year without serious side effects. However, there is lack of authentic information regarding the safety of use of topical preparations of devil’s claw. Similarly, little is known about the safety of long term use of different devil’s claw root preparations.
Pregnancy - The oral use of devil’s claw powder is perhaps unsafe during conditions like pregnancy. Certain studies relate the consumption of devil’s claw during pregnancy with the development of ototoxicity (hearing problems) in newborns. Therefore, pregnant females should avoid the use of devil’s claw root preparations.
Lactation - There is lack of sufficient information to rate the safety of devil’s claw powder for lactating females. Therefore, such females should avoid its use to avoid any unnecessary side effects in themselves and in their babies.
How Effective Is Devil’s Claw?
Possibly Effective - Devil’s claw root is possibly effective in following conditions:
Back Pain - The oral consumption of devil’s claw powder or devil’s claw root has been linked with non-specific reduction in the pain of lower back. Results of some studies have shown that consumption of as much as 50-100 mg aqueous extract of devil’s claw can reduce lower back pain. In fact, devil’s claw root has found to be as effective as 12.5 mg rofecoxib (Vioxx) in the reduction of lower back pain.
Osteoarthritis - Devil’s claw powder has also been found effective in the cure of pain associate with osteoarthritis. It has been observed that use of devil’s claw root, either alone or in combination with other analgesic drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can provide relief from osteoarthritis related pain. Results of some studies have suggested that use of devil’s claw powder is as effective as diacerhein (a medicine for osteoarthritis; unavailable in the US) in reducing knee and hip pain associated with osteoarthritis after 16 weeks of consumption. It has also been found that patients using devil’s claw rely less on NSAIDs for the relief of their osteoarthritis pain. A study was conducted that used a specific powder made from devil’s claw root (Arkopharma, Harpadol), which contained 2% harpagoside (9.5 mg/capsule) and 3% of another constituent called iridoid glycoside (14.5 mg per capsule). Another preparation of devil’s claw root, which has been used for the treatment of osteoarthritis, is its extract (Ardeypharm, Doloteffin) used in a dose of 2400 mg/day that gives 60 mg/day of the harpagoside constituent.
However, studies have failed to demonstrate the effectiveness of devil’s claw powder for following conditions:
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Results of some preliminary research have shown that oral consumption of devil’s extracts don’t seem to improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. More research is needed to rate the effectiveness of use of devil’s claw root for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
How Devil’s Claw Works?
The root or the tuber is the applicable parts of devil’s claw. Devil’s claw root is quite rich in iridoid glycosides, mainly harpagoside but also contains other constituents as well like procumbide and harpagide. Evidences also suggest that constituents other than harpagosides are also responsible for the effects of devil’s claw powder. Moreover, devil’s claw is rich in other compounds like acteoside (verbascoside), a phenylethanol derivative, stachyose oligosaccharide and isoaceteoside. The iridoid glycoside constituent of devil’s claw root is perhaps responsible for its anti-inflammatory effects. That’s why the use of devil’s claw powder is very popular among people for the cure of inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis.
Cyclooxygenase and lipooxygenase are enzymes that play a pivotal role in the development of chemical mediators associated with inflammation. It been shown as the result of several studies that harpagoside present in devil’s claw can inhibit the activity of both these enzymes. Moreover, detailed analysis of action of devil’s claw root has shown that it can inhibit the activity of cyclooxygenase 2 but doesn’t inhibit the activity of cyclooxygenase 1. It also inhibits the function of nitric oxide synthase, another potent enzyme associated with inflammatory reactions. Another mediator of inflammation that is influenced by devil’s claw powder is tumor necrosis factor (TNF). It has been seen that TNF is inhibited by certain compounds of devil’s claw other than harpagoside. But the trials of devil’s claw on human beings have shown no inhibitory action of this herb on the arachidonic acid pathway.
Results of some studies also suggest that preparations of devil’s claw like its root or its powder have certain cardioprotective actions. These cardioprotective actions of devil’s claw root or devil’s claw powder are due to its harpagoside constituents. Eating low dose of devil’s claw can bring about several effects on the heart like it can decrease the rate of heart contraction and can also increase the force of contraction of heart. But opposing effect is seen with higher doses. With higher doses, the heart contractions weaken and the flow of blood in coronary blood vessels decreases significantly. Another way devil’s claw can be cardioprotective is due to its ability to ameliorate the chances of development of arrhythmias. It has been demonstrated that use of isolated harpagoside or extracts from devil’s claw herb can act as antiarrhythmic agents. Preliminary studies suggest that the acid of stomach has a tendency to inactivate devil’s claw constituents. Therefore, it is better taken via sublingual route. But the effect of stomach acid on devil’s claw powder is rather controversial. Other research suggests that there is little or no effect of gastric acid pH on the inactivation of devil’s claw root constituents.
The amount of harpagoside constituent vary greatly in the different preparations of devil’s claw extracts. It’s perhaps because some preparations of devil’s claw are prepared from a mixture of Harpagophytum zeyheri and Harpagophytum procumbens. These species don’t differ much in their pharmacological properties but contain different concentrations of compounds like harpagoside.
What Are The Side Effects /Adverse Reactions of Devil’s Claw?
The oral preparations of devil’s claw root, like devil’s claw powder, are well tolerated even when used for as long as a year without serious side effects. However, oral consumption of devil’s claw has been linked with some side effects. These side effects include:
Gastrointestinal Side Effects - Devil’s claw may trigger some issues associated with gut, such as:
• Abdominal pain.
• Loss of sense of taste.
Miscellaneous Side Effects - In addition, a number of other side effects have also been observed with the oral consumption of devil’s claw powder. Such side effects include:
• Allergic reactions of the skin.
• Dysmenorrhea (pain during menstruation).
• Excruciating frontal headache.
• Hemodynamic instabilities.
How Devil’s Claw Interacts With Other Herbs and Supplements?
There is no known interaction of devil’s claw root with other supplements or herbs. More research is warranted to find out interactions of this nature.
How Devil’s Claw Interacts With Drugs?
Devil’s claw powder shows interaction with a number of drugs. Details are as follows:
CYTOCHROME P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) SUBSTRATES
Be careful of this drug interaction of devil’s claw. This interaction is mostly of moderate degree but still requires careful monitoring. There is some evidence that devil’s claw might be responsible for the inhibition of action of cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19). Till date, there has been no reports of this interaction in humans. Since devil’s claw powder has a potential to inhibit the action of this cytochrome, it can therefore be responsible for increasing the concentration of drugs metabolized by this enzyme. Most important drugs that are metabolized by cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) include diazepam (Valium), nelfinavir (Viracept), proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole (Prilosec), carisoprodol (Soma), lansoprazole (Prevacid) and pantop razole (Protonix) and others.
CYTOCHROME P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) SUBSTRATES
Like other cytochromes, this interaction of devil’s claw root is of moderate intensity requiring observation of caution. So far, there have been no reports in which this interaction was reported in human beings. But there is a possibility that devil’s claw powder might increase the concentration of different drugs that are cleared by this enzyme system. Therefore, patients should consult with their health care provider before using a combination of devil’s claw with such drugs. Some of the CYP3A4 metabolized drugs include itraconazole (Sporanox), triazolam (Halcion), lovastatin (Mevacor), fexofenadine (Allegra), ketoconazole (Nizoral) and several others. Therefore, individuals using devil’s claw should avoid the use these drugs as the higher concentration of these drugs in their body, following the oral consumption of devil’s claw root, may promote unnecessary side effects.
This interaction is of minor degree. But still observe caution to avoid the occurrence of unwanted side effects. There are some reports that devil’s claw powder can inhibit the action of a multi-drug transporter protein called P-glycoprotein. This property of devil’s claw, theoretically, can give it an ability to increase the concentration of drugs related to P-glycoproteins. But the research on this topic is still in preliminary phase and more research is needed to find the exact relation between devil’s claw root and P-glycoprotein functioning. Therefore, observe caution during the concomitant use of devil’s claw powder and drugs including quinidine, etoposide, loperamide (Imodium), paclitaxel, cyclosporine, vinblastine, fexofenadine (Allegra), vincristine, cisapride (Propulsid), vindesine, erythromycin, etoconazole, corticosteroids, itraconazole, verapamil, amprenavir, diltiazem, saquinavir, indinavir, ranitidine, nelfinavir, cimetidine and others.
PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS (PPIs)
Although this interaction is of minor nature but still be aware of this interaction as it might trigger a number of side effects. Results of some studies have suggested that devil’s claw herb can increase the production of acid in stomach. Due to this ability, devil’s claw powder or devil’s claw root might antagonize the function of PPIs and decrease their effectiveness. Some of the PPIs include rabeprazole (Aciphex), esomeprazole (Nexium), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix), lansoprazole (Prevacid) and others.
This is another interaction of devil’s claw powder with drugs. This interaction is of moderate intensity. Therefore, patients should consult their physicians before taking the combination of devil’s claw and warfarin. There have been some case studies where pupura has been be reported in patients taking the combination of devil’s claw root and warfarin. The exact cause is unknown but it is believed that devil’s claw root can somehow potentiate the anti-coagulant actions of warfarin. Consult with your physician for dose readjustment if you intend to take devil’s claw in combination with warfarin.
How Devil’s Claw Interacts With Foods?
There is no known interaction of devil’s claw with other foods.
How Devil’s Claw Interacts With Lab Tests?
So far, no interaction has been reported between devil’s claw and any lab results. More research is warranted in this area.
How Devil’s Claw Interacts With Diseases and Conditions?
Devil’s claw root interacts with following diseases or conditions:
DHypertension, Hypotension & Cardiac Disorders - It has been observed that devil’s claw powder can influence the rate and strength of contractility of heart. Moreover, it has also been linked with the regulation of blood pressure. Therefore, it can adversely affect patients suffering from certain cardiovascular disorders. Patients suffering from cardiovascular disorders should not consume devil’s claw without the recommendation of their physicians.
Diabetes - Devil’s claw has hypoglycemic effects of its own. Therefore, concomitant use of devil’s claw root with anti-diabetic drugs can accentuate the effects of these drugs. Diabetic patients using devil’s claw powder should monitor the level of glucose in their blood very carefully. Consult your health care provider for the need of readjustment of anti-diabetic drugs dosage while consuming devil’s claw.
Gallstones - Patients with gall stones should avoid the use of this herb. It’s because devil’s claw root can increase the production of bile acid. This effect can exacerbate the negative effects of excessive bile in such patients. Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD)
Devil’s claw powder has been linked with increased production of stomach acid. Therefore, patients with PUD should avoid the use this herb to escape the worsening of symptoms.
What Should Be the Dose/Administration of Devil’s Claw?
• The oral preparations of devil’s claw root are mostly used for the treatment of conditions like osteoarthritis. For this condition, 2.6 grams/day dose of devil’s claw product (Harpadol and Arkopharm), providing 87 mg of iridoid glycosides, have been traditionally used. A 435 mg capsule of this product contains 3% iridoid glycoside (14.5 mg per capsule), and 2% harpagoside (9.5 mg per capsule).
• Another preparation of devil’s claw is its herbal extract (Doloteffin, Ardeypharm). This product is used in a daily dose of 2400 mg and provides a dose of 60 mg harpagoside daily.
• Devil’s claw is also used for the treatment of back pain. For this purpose, a preparation (Doloteffin, Ardeypharm) daily providing 500-600 mg harpagoside has been traditionally used.
Devil’s claw means hook plant in Greek language. The botanical name for this herb is Harpagophytum. This plant is native to Africa. It gets its name from its fruit, which is covered with hooked structures. These hooked structures are meant to stick to the animals for the purpose of seed dispersal.
General Certificate of Analysis (COA)
Specification sheet links below are a standard copy of the COA less the batch or lot number and manufactures dates. Specification sheet can be dated and should only be considered as a general information. Please contact and request an up to date COA if needed for specific updated information before placing order by filling out the contact form with product name and SKU number. If ordering quantities of twenty five kilos or more contact for availability.