The desert plant devil’s claw could be used to relieve some symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, said Clinical Nutritionist Dr Josh Axe.
It’s one of the most frequently used natural remedies for arthritis , and works as an anti-inflammatory, he said.
Research has found the plant could “significantly reduce” arthritic inflammation, scientists have revealed.
Devil’s claw could also help to prevent bone loss, Axe said.
“The most extensively researched use of devil’s claw benefits is its ability to reduce osteoarthritis symptoms,” said Axe.
“Like turmeric, devil’s claw serves as a natural anti-inflammatory.
“African and European traditional and folk doctors have prescribed devil’s claw for centuries to treat digestive ills, reduce fever, and relieve pain.
“France has approved the marketing of devil’s claw with a claim that it is ‘traditionally used for symptomatic relief of painful joint disorders’.”
A 2007 study from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, claimed 60 per cent of rheumatic patients benefited from devil’s claw supplements.
They reported significantly reduced pain in their hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and backs.
Similarly, a 2003 study from Germany found osteoarthritis pain was reduced by between 22 and 45 per cent, in 75 patients.
The report suggested devil’s claw extract could be used in clinical treatment of arthritis.
Devil’s claw is a plant found in southern Africa and Madagascar.
It contains useful bioflavonoids and phytosterols, said Axe.
It’s also been claimed that the plant could be used to reduce the symptoms of gout, heartburn, and headaches.
But, patients that are pregnant, have gallstones or ulcers, or are taking blood-thinners, should avoid taking devil’s claw supplements, as it may interfere with medication and can affect heart rate, advised the Arthritis Foundation.