Herbs Guide

Devil's Claw

Family Name: Pedaliaceae

Botanical Name(s): Harpagophytum Procumbens

Popular Name(s): Grapple Plant

Parts Used: Dried Roots

Habitat: Devil's Claw is a native plant of southern Africa, especially the Kalahari Desert, Namibia, and the island of Madagascar.

Description: Devil's claw is a tender trailing perennial with tubers and many round to oval-shaped stems. The leaves have white, hairy undersides. Solitary, red to purple flowers, shaped like trumpets appear in spring followed by the characteristic large, hooked and claw-like fruit.

Uses: Devil's claw is used internally to treat rheumatoid arthritis, neuralgia and problems involving the gall bladder and pancreas. It is also very effective in treating lower back pain, as well as digestive problems, loss of appetite and the treatment of pain during and after childbirth or labor. Devil's claw is used externally to treat swollen, arthritic joints as well as boils, sores and skin ulcers.