Devil’s claw is a plant that grows in Africa. Its root has been used with other supplements to ease pain in joints. It can be taken as a pill, liquid, or powder.
500 milligrams 2 to 3 times daily
What Research Shows
May Be Effective
Not Enough Data to Assess
- Osteoarthritis C1-C3
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It may be safe to take devil’s claw for a short time, but gastrointestinal problems may happen. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period.D2
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:
- People taking blood thinners should talk to their doctors before taking devil’s claw. It may increase risk of bleeding.D1
A1. Moré M, Gruenwald J, et al. A Rosa canina - Urtica dioica - Harpagophytum procumbens/zeyheri combination significantly reduces gonarthritis symptoms in a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind study. Planta Med. 2017 Dec;83(18):1384-1391.
B. Low Back Pain
B1. Devil’s claw root: ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding? Prescrire Int. 2013;22(144):296.
B2. Oltean H, Robbins C, et al. Herbal medicine for low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2015:CD004504.
B3. Gagnier JJ, Oltean H, et al. Herbal Medicine for Low Back Pain: A Cochrane Review. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2016 Jan;41(2):116-33.
C1. Ameye LG, Chee WS. Osteoarthritis and nutrition. From nutraceuticals to functional foods: a systematic review of the scientific evidence. Arthritis Res Ther. 2006;8(4):R127.
C2. Conrozier T, Mathieu P, et al. A complex of three natural anti-inflammatory agents provides relief of osteoarthritis pain. Altern Ther Health Med. 2014 Winter;20 Suppl 1:32-37.
C3. Del Grossi Moura M, Lopes LC, et al. Oral herbal medicines marketed in Brazil for the treatment of osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytother Res. 2017 Nov;31(11):1676-1685.
D1. Heck AM, DeWitt BA, et al. Potential interactions between alternative therapies and warfarin. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2000 Jul 1;57(13):1221-7; quiz 1228-1230. Review.
D2. Vlachojannis J, Roufogalis BD, et al. Systematic review on the safety of Harpagophytum preparations for osteoarthritic and low back pain. Phytother Res. 2008 Feb;22(2):149-152.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC Last Updated: 5/27/2020