Devil’s claw is an herbal remedy commonly used to relieve the pain of arthritis. It has both analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties.
In a recent clinical trial, German researchers gave devil’s claw extract to 130 patients with back pain. The patients took the herb twice a day for a period of eight weeks. At the end of the trial, patients were asked to perform various tasks to assess their mobility. The results showed a significant decrease in pain and increase in mobility for those patients taking the devil’s claw extract. Though researchers suggest further studies, they conclude that devil’s claw extract seems an effective option for the treatment of back pain.
In another German study, researchers tested devil’s claw for its ability to help ease general muscle pain. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 63 patients with mild to moderate muscle pain were given either a placebo or 480 mg of devil’s claw twice a day for four weeks. Even midway through the test period, researchers noted a significant reduction in muscle pain in the devil’s claw group. The researchers noted no serious side effects, no effects on the central nervous system and no tolerability issues. Pleased with such positive results, they report that people with mild to moderate back pain could look forward to improved muscle response and reduced muscle stiffness after only four weeks of treatment with devil’s claw.
Sources: Schmerz 2001 Feb;15(1):10-8; Phytother Res 2001 Nov;15(7):621-4