This article was authored by Klaus Ferlow, HMH (Honorary Master Herbalist), innovator, lecturer, researcher, writer, founder Ferlow Botanical Enterprises Ltd, Vancouver, B.C. manufacturing/distributing organic toxin-free medicinal herbal and personal care products to professional health & wellness practitioners in Canada and parts of USA since 1993.
Millions of people are suffering from the pain of joint inflammation due to arthritis. In fact, arthritis has become a major cause of disability due to the chronic degeneration of the joints as the body ages.
While conventional medicine promotes aspirin and other drugs as a treatment of the symptoms, it consistently ignores such safer options such as dietary changes, fasting, supplements and herbs.
"Devil's claw has been used by arthritis sufferers with no side effects."
Arthritis is a natural but ultimately incorrect cellular response to certain stresses on the body. No two people have identical patterns or progression of symptoms, a program is needed to steer the body toward a healthy response without causing unwanted side effects. Arthritis is the type of condition in which symptoms vary enough to cover many areas of the body. Major symptoms include red, inflamed and swollen joints, stiffness of joints, muscular aches and pains, deformities of the hand and fingers, and bone spurs which can be detected in ex-ray examinations. From a medical perspective, there are no known specific causes of this disease which afflicts 25 - 55 million North Americans.
Finding relief from this painful condition can be a challenge. In my experience as a life-long herbalist, I have found that for almost every chronic condition, nature has given us healing herbs to help alleviate our suffering. My mother, for example, suddenly developed arthritis in her fingers at the age of 82. She could no longer straighten her fingers and this was very uncomfortable for her. She had also developed pain and inflammation in one of her knees. I suggested that she use a Devil's claw cream externally and Devil's claw tincture internally to fight it both ways. My mother had always been a advocate of herbal medicine and used to make her own salves from calendula, chamomile and yarrow. She would also have us drink gallons of herbal tea when we were children and no pop drinks. The idea of using a herbal preparation fit in well with her beliefs about healing and the power of herbals. She used the devil's claw preparation with great success. Within a short time they helped to relieve her pain both in her fingers and knees and she could function normally till the age of 92 when she passed away three years ago.
Devil's Claw has been used by arthritis sufferer with no side effect.It also helps to eliminate the swelling and stiffness of inflamed joints and muscles and it offers some anti-fungal action. Given the benefits of devil's law as a herbal remedy, more and more people are using its various forms, such as herbal creams, tinctures, capsules and tablets. The advantage of a herbal cream is that it can be used on the affected area and when skin problems occur. A cream works five times faster than products taken internally, as it is absorbed into the bloodstream within minutes.
Devil's claw is a plant native to southwest Africa, grows in the Kalahari Desert and "claws" on the ground and has been used by aboriginals for centuries to relieve pain. It produces brilliant red-purple flowers with woody barbed fruit. The name comes from the claw-like shape of its seed pods. The devil's claw tincture is classified as a "bitter tonic" useful in the management of various gastro-intestinal complaints including dyspepsia and digestive upset due to poor gallbladder and pancreatic function. Decoctions of the dried roots have long been taken as a tea by indigenous people of South Africa for a variety of digestive and rheumatic conditions. It also acts as a powerful detoxifier and liver cleanser. It is best known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties, benefiting such conditions as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and gout.
A German scientist named Menert introduced devil's claw to Europeans in the early 1970's. It has been estimated that 30.000 arthritic patients in the United Kingdom alone were using it successfully.
If arthritic pain is bothering you, devil's claw could be your best friend. In combination with proper diet, exercise, relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga etc. and nutritional supplements, this herb can be very effective in keeping rheumatic conditions under control the natural way. However, before using any herb with which you are unfamiliar, your health care practitioner can help to determine any potential side effects or interactions with other remedies or medications you may be taking.
Caution: Devil's claw should not be taken during pregnancy, or suffering from stomach and duodenal ulcers and gallstones.
"A wise man ought to realize that health is the most valuable possession and learn how to treat his illnesses by his own judgment."
Hippocrates, circa 500 BC
A Regime for Health
And remember: HEALTH IS WEALTH!
Arthritis - Wholistic Therapy, ISBN 1-56959-549-6 Kurt W. Donsbach, DC, ND, Phd, H. Rudolf Alsleben, MD, DO, Phd.
Encyclopedia of Herbs, ISBN 1-55356-011-6, Terry Willard, Cl.H., Phd
How To Eat Away Arthritis, ISBN 0-13-242892-X, Lauri M. Aesoph, ND
Flax Oil AS A True Aid Against Arthritis & other diseases, ISBN 0-9695272-1-7, Dr. Johanna Budwig
Therapeutic Herb Manual, Ed Smith
This information is offered for its educational value only and should not be used in the diagnose, treatment, or prevention of disease. Any attempt to diagnose and treat illness should come under the direction of your health care practitioner.