Devil's Claw - Harpagophytum Procumbens
Devil's Claw, which is also called "grapple plant" or "wood spider" is a genus of plants in the sesame family, native to southern Africa. It owes its common name Devil's Claw to the unusual appearance of its hooked fruit. The plant's large tuberous roots are used medicinally to reduce pain and fever, and to stimulate digestion.
I like to know how cultures have learned about the medicinal use of different herbs, I was pleased to read that a German soldier stationed in Africa brought devil's claw back to his home where it was used to treat arthritis.
I will be starting do work with the roots of this plant, to make a topical rub for lower back pain. From what I have read, Devil's Claw is great for pain sufferers who have grown dependent on pain killers for relief: recently published double blind studies have shown that Devil's Claw can relieve pain from arthritis in as little as ten days of use, lower back, knee and hip pain was also included in the study. It is also used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, bursitis, tendinitis and soft tissue pain (muscle aches).
I am excited to try out some recipes and see how effective it is for my own lower back pain and inflammation, which seems to become worse in cold / damp weather. I am hopeful that this will help!
I purchased the root online on Amazon, since my local herb shop did not carry it. I'll make sure to report what my findings are and how it works.