Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)

 The Herbal Anti-Inflammatory 

Devils claw root

Devil’s Claw Root


This now endangered plant has its origins in Northern Africa where its valuable roots are harvested for a worldwide herbal industry. Its botanical name is Harpogophytum procumbens. There are a number of other species under the genus of Harpagophytum sold as Devil’s Claw but they are not as effective as procumbens.

Devil's Claw Edit 1

Devil’s Claw Flowers


Devil’s Claw Active Ingredients

These consist of Beta sisterols, Iridoid Glycosides (harpogoside, harpagide, procumbine). Our research here in new Zealand has found a few readily avaible species sharing some of the same active ingredients. Its remains to be seen if these are as effective as Devil’s Claw.


  •  German studies have shown that this plant has strong anti-inflammatory properties compared to cortisone and phenylbutazone.
  • It has a healing reputation for arthritis and myalgia.
  • It has pain relieving properties.
  • The active ingredients responsible for this are harpogoside and Beta sitosterol.
  • Experiments show that the whole group of active ingredients works better than isolating just a few.
  • Bitter principles act to stimulate liver, gall bladder and lower blood sugar.

Devil’s Claw Medicinal Uses

Caution do not use in conjunction with allopathic medicines without informing your health professional. Devils’ Claw stimulates uterine muscles  must not be given to pregnant women, pets or mares.


  •  Long term use of Devil’s Claw  for managing arthritis and degenerative conditions.
  • As a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory treatment for acute conditions like  injuries.
  • May help with the inflammatory response in some cases of  hay fever .
  • Used in conjunction with yarrow tincture may help with the treatment of tendon and ligament injuries
  • May be suitable for those concerned about the side effects of allopathic pain killers and cortisone and  wishing to get off long term pain medication.
  • May be used for systemic inflammation.
  • Used in conjunction with St John’s wort may help with long term back aches and/or muscular pain.


  • Long term use of Devil’s Claw  for managing arthritis and degenerative conditions. Suitable for the older horse.
  • Administer prior to working on hard ground to reduce concussive injury or damage.
  • May be used to alleviate pain associated with laminitis.
  • May be used to alleviate discomfort due to allergies in particular may help with headshaking where the trigeminal nerve is senstive.
  • Is slightly sedating and may help with general sensitivity (anticipating discomfort) to being ridden and handled.


  • Devil’s Claw is suitable for pets recovering from surgery after going off veterinary medication
  • may be used for long term management for pain associated with degenerative conditions and the process of aging.


DISCLAIMER: Hira Laboratories will not be held responsible for the use or misuse of any products listed. We recommend that either a qualified herbalist or your animal professional carry out diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Herbal remedies must not be given not be taken in conjunction with other medication with out consulting a medical professional.



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