Nature can often seem contradictory. This is the case of the Devil's Claw, a plant whose name alone refers to something negative. But in nature there is nothing negative. Everything is in balance , everything has a positive side, everything has its purpose and its usefulness.

The plant

The Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens ) is a herbaceous plant native to southern and eastern Africa, which grows spontaneously on iron-rich and semi-desert soils. It is characterized by fleshy bluish-green leaves and large purple flowers while the oval-shaped fruits are contained in woody capsules and equipped with hook-shaped thorns, similar to claws .

The most useful part of this plant is constituted by the lateral growths of the root, called secondary roots , which contain high percentages of active ingredients. They are harvested in autumn from wild specimens and, after being cut and dried, are used for the preparation of herbal and phytotherapeutic products.

Properties and uses

The properties for which the Devil's Claw is becoming increasingly known are to be attributed to some components present in the roots, in particular the phytosterols ( beta-sitosterol ), plant compounds that manifest an anti-inflammatory action similar to cortisone, and the harpagoside , a monoterpene that inhibits the synthesis of some pro-inflammatory molecules (prostaglandins and nitric oxide), which are responsible for pain and swelling.

The Devil's Claw has proved particularly active especially in situations that cause pain and inflammation without severe joint compromise such as tendonitis , osteoatritis , rheumatoid arthritis , back pain , headache from cervical arthrosis , general neck pain, bruises, sciatica , arthritis , arthrosis , gout .

The harpagophyte has in fact anti- inflammatory , antirheumatic , analgesic, sedative and diuretic properties . Today it is often used instead for the treatment of arthritic, rheumatic and low back pain pathologies.

For centuries it has actually been used in the traditional medicine of South African peoples for the treatment of various problems of the osteo-articular system. These properties were then confirmed by scientific experiments.

Several studies that have taken into consideration plants rich in antioxidants to regulate skeletal functions have in fact highlighted how the oral administration of harpagoside has a protective effect on the bone matrix and how the harpagid , another active compound of this plant, is able to stimulate the accumulation of minerals and restore good bone mineral density.

The results obtained from these studies suggest that devil's claw may prove to be a promising option for the treatment of arthritis and osteoporosis.

The benefits of the Devil's Claw for muscle-joint disorders

  • tendinitis
  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • backache
  • cervical pains
  • inflammation of sciatica
  • arthritis
  • arthrosis
  • muscle pain of various kinds

In addition to muscle and joint pain, the devil's claw is also useful for counteracting excess cholesterol and lowering uric acid levels, thanks to the presence of bitter active ingredients that stimulate the production of gastric juices and bile; therefore represents a natural ally against gout.

Devil's Claw and synergies: try the MSM Pro Active

The Devil's Claw, both as a preparation to be taken orally and as a basic ingredient in ointments, creams and ointments, lends itself perfectly to being combined with other ingredients that have the ability to enhance their effects and vice versa, giving rise to highly effective synergies. especially in the treatment of disorders of the osteo-articular system .

This is the case of MSM Pro Active , a totally natural product in which the dry extract of the root of this plant combines with the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action of Turmeric and the detoxifying and analgesic action of organic Sulfur (MSM or Methylsulfonylmethane). The addition of Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Keratin , substances naturally present in healthy joints , further contributes to the well-being of the joints, keeping them strong, resistant and elastic .

A synergy of natural ingredients that is extremely effective in counteracting joint pain and stiffening characteristic of old age or due to intense sporting activity that requires intense work of the knees and the joint system in general.

Do you also want to preserve the well-being of your joints in a natural way? Don't miss out on the MSM Pro Active .


The medicinal properties of the Devil's Claw seem to have been discovered by the various populations of South Africa , who used to administer decoctions prepared with the root of this plant to treat digestive problems, rheumatism, arthritis and fevers.

In 1907 , a German doctor by the name of Menhert noticed that the shamans of the local tribes gave the war-wounded the decoction of a root. I then recovered some samples and sent them to Germany to analyze them: this is precisely how this wondrous plant was identified. Following the subsequent and numerous studies carried out, the ability of the Devil's Claw to counteract the disorders of arthrosis, rheumatism and other painful joint manifestations was universally recognized and the use of this remedy spread throughout the world.


A curious aspect of the plant is the capacity of the fruits, with hooked thorns; these easily become entangled in the fur of small animals, trapping them. It is in fact called the Devil's Claw for this reason, due to the frenetic movements that the unfortunate victims make to free themselves, as if they were "possessed" by the devil.

Also try the Devil's Claw in officinal tincture


Menghini L, Recinella L, Leone S, Chiavaroli A, Cicala C, Brunetti L, Vladimir-Knežević S, Orlando G, Ferrante C. Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) and chronic inflammatory diseases: A concise overview on preclinical and clinical data. Phytother Res. 2019.