Pain and Inflammation Relief

Devil’s Claw Benefits for Pain & Inflammation

Devils claw benefits - Dr. AxeMany are rethinking their stance on traditional painkillers because of the many side effects of these medications. Instead, they’re choosing to relieve pain through natural methods. For people suffering from arthritis and other forms of joint or back pain, this is where devil’s claw benefits come in.Devil’s claw is one of the most frequently used home remedies for arthritis. But that’s not the only way devil’s claw benefits the body. (1) Like turmeric, devil’s claw serves as a natural anti-inflammatory. Like the South American root, cat’s claw, devil’s claw is used to relieve the symptoms of arthritis and digestive problems.It is also used alongside bromelain in some research as a way to relieve joint pain, particularly related to arthritis.Even if you’re not looking for a pain remedy, you may still be interested to know the other devil’s claw benefits scientists have discovered. For example, there is at least one early report that it may have anticancer potential.


 

What Is Devil’s Claw?

To discuss what it does, it’s important to understand what devil’s claw is. The term “devil’s claw” or “devil’s claw root” refers to Harpogophytum procumbens, a plant found in the Kalahari savanna of southern Africa, Madagascar and the Namibian steppes.

In supplement form, devil’s claw is derived from the dried roots of the plant. African and European traditional and folk doctors have prescribed devil’s claw for centuries to treat digestive ills, reduce fever, relieve pain and to treat certain pregnancy symptoms. (2)

Often, it is hypothesized that devil’s claw benefits originate from the valuable iridoid glucosides it contains, including harpagoside. Iridoids are anti-inflammatory compounds found mostly in plants and are bound to glucose molecules. This is why the whole compound is called an iridoid glucoside. (3) Devil’s claw root, according to the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP), should contain at least one percent harpagoside.

Devil’s claw also contains useful bioflavonoids and phytosterols, which are plant-based antioxidants with antispasmodic properties (which supports the use of this supplement for digestive problems).

France has approved the marketing of devil’s claw with a claim that it is “traditionally used for symptomatic relief of painful joint disorders.” ESCOP has also approved its use to treat “painful arthritis, tendonitis, loss of appetite and dyspepsia” (acid reflux).

Harpagophytum is literally translated as “hook plant” in Greek. Growing predominantly (and originally) in Africa, devil’s claw looks as if it is literally covered in hooks. The hooks actually cover the fruit of the plant, which allows it to catch on animal fur and therefore spread its seeds.

Other traditional uses of devil’s claw include boosting heart health, relieving gout symptoms, soothing heartburn and reducing back, chest and headache pain. (4)


Devil’s Claw Benefits

1. Arthritis Relief

The most extensively researched of use devil’s claw benefits is its ability to reduce osteoarthritis symptoms.

According to a Japanese study in 2010, devil’s claw (particularly the harpagoside compound) caused a significant reduction of arthritic inflammation in a group of mice. (5)

In general, devil’s claw is accepted by many medical professionals as a “supportive treatment of degenerative, painful rheumatism.” (6) Rheumatism, or rheumatic diseases, includes diagnoses such as osteoarthritis (from wear and tear), rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune condition), lupus, ankylosing spondylitis and Sjogren’s syndrome. All of these disorders are marked by chronic inflammation and usually joint, muscle and fibrous tissue pain.

When tested on patients with various rheumatic disorders, devil’s claw seems to significantly reduce pain in the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee and back. In addition, the same study found that quality of life improved for most patients. In fact, 60 percent of whom were able to reduce or stop taking their other pain medications. (7)

Another uncontrolled trial found an improvement in pain ratings by over 22 percent and as high as 45 percent for various types of osteoarthritis pain. With only two minor adverse reactions (acid reflux and a “full” sensation) in 75 patients, the research here suggests devil’s claw extract may be beneficial for clinical treatment of arthritis, specifically of the hip or knee. (8)

In 2014, an observational study was conducted to investigate the efficacy of a supplement that includes devil’s claw, turmeric and bromelain on rheumatic pain. Results found all patients experienced a reduction in pain, especially chronic joint pain. Researchers discovered no side effects or withdrawal issues and find this three-plant complex to be a safe alternative to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for patients with degenerative joint disorders, such as osteoarthritis. (9)

In addition to reducing pain, it’s possible that devil’s claw benefits arthritis sufferers by preventing bone loss. Although tests thus far have taken place only in lab and animal tests, there are promising results that suggest devil’s claw prohibits bone loss in inflammatory osteoporosis. (10) These results are conflicting when it comes to hormonally activated osteoarthritis. (11)

2. Might Aid in Weight Loss

Interestingly, this anti-inflammatory root may also be a novel way to lose weight. A university study conducted in Ireland found devil’s claw can help to stop or slow ghrelin (known as the “hunger hormone”) production. (12) By reducing hunger pangs, those with overeating issues may find their appetites at a level closer to average, aiding their weight loss.

Another way devil’s claw may help those with obesity is by potentially helping to prevent weight-related atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by the particular way it suppresses inflammation. (13)

3. Natural Painkiller

While it seems to be effective for arthritis pain, devil claw’s benefits for pain don’t stop there. Although it isn’t understood well, devil’s claw reduces inflammation and inflammatory pain in a variety of conditions, including acute (fast onset) pain, with few adverse effects in somewhere around 3 percent of patients. (14)

In an animal study, neuropathic pain (shooting or burning pain often the result of some type of nerve damage) and postoperative pain were reduced after 21 days of treatment with an extract of devil’s claw. (15)

Research conducted in 2001 found that devil’s claw extract given for a period of eight weeks helped to relieve chronic back pain and improve mobility in 117 patients — all of those evaluated within the study — for a period of at least six months. No serious side effects were recorded. (16)

Some sources also recommend using devil’s claw as a treatment for sciatic nerve pain, also referred to as sciatica. It should be noted, however, that no studies have been conducted on the efficacy of devil’s claw on sciatica at the time of this writing.

4. Potential Lymphoma Treatment?

While the research here is in its infancy, there is surprising evidence that devil’s claw may somehow help to impact follicular lymphoma.

In a cancer unit at a hospital in British Columbia, a doctor noticed a partial regression of one patient’s lymphoma after 10 months with no chemotherapy. The patient shared that he was taking two supplements, including devil’s claw. After hearing about this natural treatment, another patient in a support group with the first began taking devil’s claw, followed by a similar regression 11 months later, sustained for four years.

The doctor is careful here to draw conclusions, as a two-patient observation of regression is not solid scientific evidence that devil’s claw can treat or cure cancer. In some research, some 16 percent of lymphoma patients have spontaneous regression of their cancer. However, the physician found the timing curious enough to suggest more studies be done on the potential for devil’s claw to support cancer treatment for follicular lymphoma patients. (17)

Devils claw benefits - Dr. Axe5. Fights Chronic Inflammation

One of the reasons devil’s claw is so valuable is its ability to help reduce inflammation, which is at the root of most diseases.

Current research indicates that devil’s claw can help to inhibit tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), a cytokine (cell-signaling protein) that is involved in the normal inflammation that occurs in the body as it regulates the immune system. (18)

This is significant because when TNF-alpha is overactivated, chronic inflammation can occur and lead to a variety of diseases. In fact, inhibition of TNF-alpha is a major subject of study in the prevention of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatic disease, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). (19)

6. Rich in Antioxidants

Another basic way devil’s claw can help prevent disease is due to the many antioxidants it contains. According to The Institute of Biochemistry and Microbiology in Düsseldorf, Germany, devil’s claw is “particularly rich in water-soluble antioxidants.” (20)

In fact, some research suggests that some of the anti-inflammatory benefits of devil’s claw may actually be the result of these antioxidants because of the way they work hand-in-hand. (21)

7. May Aid in Digestion

Remember that I mentioned above how devil’s claw benefits include inhibition of TNF-alpha, which is a treatment consideration for inflammatory bowel disease? Inflammation has a great deal to do with digestion.

The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of devil’s claw may be useful as a supplementary treatment for these diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. (22)

8. Supports Kidney Health

Another underdeveloped area of study on devil’s claw benefits is the way it might help treat a group of kidney diseases known as glomerular diseases. These illnesses are inflammation-related and refer to diseases that injure the kidney’s tiny filters that clean the blood.

An extract of devil’s claw helped to suppress the formation of nitrites as the extract’s antioxidants acted in this lab test, suggesting to researchers that these extracts “may represent potential anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of glomerular inflammatory diseases.” (23)


The History of Devil’s Claw

The exact origin of devil’s claw is unknown, although it is native to southern Africa and found originally in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Madagascar and Zimbabwe. It was first used medicinally in Europe in 1953 to treat arthritis, liver problems, kidney and bladder issues, appetite problems and seasonal allergies.

Devil’s claw is known by a variety of folk names, including grapple plant, wood spider and harpago. These creative monikers refer to the small “hooks” on the fruit of the plant.


How to Find and Use Devil’s Claw

To reap devil’s claw benefits, the roots of the devil’s claw plant are dried and then packaged in capsule or tablet form, or used to create a liquid extract or ointment to use on the skin. Some people make devil’s claw tea to take advantage of the various effects it’s said to have.

As with all supplements, ensure you purchase devil’s claw from a reputable company with transparent ingredients and supplement facts listed. If you choose to try using it to reduce pain, you may want to try both internal (capsule/tablet) and external (ointment) forms to find what works best for you.


Possible Side Effects/Caution

There is a lack of information regarding potential side effects of devil’s claw. Most sources suggest avoiding it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding because the results are unknown. (24)

According to WebMD, people with heart problems, hypertension, low blood pressure, diabetes, gallstones or peptic ulcer disease should avoid devil’s claw. There is at least some evidence that it could affect these conditions. So if you take devil’s claw and have one of these conditions, you should be closely monitored by your health care provider.

Anecdotal reports suggest devil’s claw could increase the production of stomach acid, so if you suffer from chronic heartburn, it may be a factor to consider.

One case report in 2015 found systemic hypertension (high blood pressure) caused in a patient taking devil’s claw. (25)

Certain medications could potentially interact with devil’s claw, including medications changed by the liver, because devil’s claw may slow the liver’s breakdown of these substances. The clotting drug warfarin (brand names include Coumadin and Jantoven) may also be affected by devil’s claw.

Other medications that may interact in minor ways with devil’s claw include P-glycoprotein substrates, H2-blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).


Final Thoughts

  • Devil’s claw is a plant found in parts of Africa. It’s used as a natural remedy for a variety of disorders.
  • One of the iridoid glucosides in devil’s claw, known as harpagoside, is the focus of much of the research into devil’s claw benefits. Other compounds are also responsible for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  • A fairly large body of research has been done on the ability of devil’s claw to relieve arthritis pain. Results show that it likely does relieve this pain.
  • Devil’s claw benefits may also include weight management, reducing chronic inflammation and preventing oxidative stress.
  • Devil’s claw benefits those with many types of chronic pain. Plus it has been found to be particularly effective against back pain.
  • Some less-researched possible benefits of devil’s claw include: treatment for follicular lymphoma; prevention of inflammation-induced bone loss in arthritis; and prevention or treatment of certain inflammatory kidney diseases known as glomerular diseases.
  • Devil’s claw does not generally have serious side effects. But limited evidence of its safety means you should always take it (and any supplement) under the supervision of your physician.
  • It’s possible devil’s claw may interact with certain medications. Consult your doctor before starting devil’s claw if you take other medications regularly.

Josh Axe

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Spiralling to Great Health with Spirulina

PRODUCT  Spirulina powder

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DESCRIPTION  200 g of wholly healthy organic spirulina powder, high in chlorophyll protein

The recommended daily dose is typically between three to five grams. You can spread the dose out to twice or three times a day if you like. It is safe to take higher doses, but this is a good place to start.  Remember to increase your intake of spring or filtered water when taking spirulina to help it absorb into your system

 

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BENEFITS  Healthy for Vegetarians — More Protein than Red Meat

When you think of protein, you probably imagine sitting down to a meal of organic eggs or grass-fed beef or maybe even drinking a whey protein shake

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you may turn to plant-protein sources such as nuts, beans, lentils, and soy products. Unfortunately, soy is not the health food it claims to be. None of the above-mentioned sources of protein compare to the protein punch delivered by spirulina. Spirulina is 65-71 percent complete protein compared to beef, which is only 22 percent, and lentils, which is only 26 percent

In addition to being protein-rich, spirulina is an excellent source of vital amino acids and minerals easily assimilated by your body. You would need to consume only two tablespoons of spirulina as a protein substitute for a meal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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one of very many vegan body builders

 

 

STILL MORE BENEFITS!

  • Chlorophyll benefits include helping fight cancer, improving liver detoxification, speeding up wound healing, improving digestion and weight control, and protecting skin health
  • The primary reason chlorophyll is considered a superfood is because of its strong antioxidant and anti-cancer effects. Chlorophyll benefits the immune system because it’s able to form tight molecular bonds with certain chemicals that contribute to oxidative damage and diseases like cancer or liver disease
  • Cholesterol lowering – Thankfully, there are natural ways to lower one’s cholesterol. Avoiding fructose and grains, and getting appropriate exercise top the list, but spirulina may also help. According to a study done on elderly male and female patients ages 60-87, those given eight grams of spirulina per day for 16 consecutive weeks showed lower cholesterol levels than those who were given a placebo
  • According to studies, spirulina is being successfully used to treat a wide variety of ailments, including those who’ve been poisoned by arsenic-contaminated water
  • Candida – If you have an autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lupus or fibromyalgia, chronic candida yeast can both cause and worsen your symptoms. Spirulina has been shown to encourage and support the growth of healthy bacterial flora in your gut, which can help keep candida overgrowth under control
  • Improves liver detoxification
  • Speeds up wound healing – Chlorophyllin seems to slow the rate at which harmful bacteria reproduce, making it beneficial for wound healing and preventing infections
  • Protects skin – There’s some evidence that chlorophyll benefits skin healthy due its antiviral effects, allowing it to help stop the development of cold sores within the mouth or genital area caused by the herpes simplex virus. Some early studies have found that when chlorophyll-containing ointment or cream is applied to skin it helps reduce the number of sores that appear and speeds up healing time, making it a natural herpes treatment. (8)
  • Chlorophyll might also be able to protect the skin from shingles, reducing symptoms like painful sores, plus lower the risk for skin cancer. Injecting chlorophyll directly into the skin or applying it via lotion has been found to help reduce the recurrence of cancerous cells in people with basal cell carcinoma, a very common type of skin cancer.
  • Improves digestion and weight control – another way that chlorophyll improves detoxification is by speeding up waste elimination, balancing fluid levels and reducing cases of constipation.  Additionally, preliminary research shows chlorophyll benefits the metabolism and increases the likelihood of success with weight-loss efforts.  It seems to help promote weight loss by controlling appetite hormones and improving obesity-related risk factors, all without the scary side effects of most commercial weight-loss supplements

 

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FURTHER INFORMATION

You’ve undoubtedly heard of chlorophyll, and you probably know that plants couldn’t without it. But what is chlorophyll exactly, and are there chlorophyll benefits for humans?

As we learned back in science class, chlorophyll is a type of plant pigment responsible for the absorption of light in the process of photosynthesis, which creates energy. So why is it important for humans beyond sustaining plant life? Turns out, chlorophyll is linked to natural cancer prevention, blocks carcinogenic effects within the body and protects DNA from damage caused by toxic molds like aflatoxin — very similar to way in which chlorophyll-rich chlorella has anticancer effects.

And that’s just one of the five major chlorophyll benefits for human health, all of which help cleanse the body and allow it to function at an optimal level


 

Acknowledgement for information : https://draxe.com/chlorophyll-benefits/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/07/01/spirulina-the-amazing-super-food-youve-never-heard-of.aspx

 

Top five chlorophyll benefits - Dr. Axe

 

CONTRA INDICATIONS?

Can Chlorophyll Ever Cause Toxicity?

Because it’s completely natural, chlorophyll and chlorophyllin are not known to be toxic. In fact, over the past 50 years there have been practically no toxic effects attributed to their consumption, even in people with weak immune systems, such as those healing from cancer.

While the risk for toxicity is extremely low, chlorophyllin supplements might cause minor side effects like green discoloration of urine or feces, temporary discoloration of the tongue, or mild indigestion/diarrhea. These usually go away quickly and are only caused by supplemental chlorophyllin use, as opposed to eating foods that naturally contain chlorophyll.

In pregnant women, chlorophyll or chlorophyllin supplements haven’t been researched very much, so at this time it’s not recommended that they’re used during pregnancy or when breast-feeding.

One interaction to keep in mind is that certain medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitizing drugs) can interact with chlorophyll. This means taking these medications along with chlorophyll can increase sensitivity to sunlight even more and make you susceptible to burns. Use chlorophyll supplements carefully if you take photosensitive drugs or are especially prone to sunburns, blistering or rashes when you’re exposed to UV light.


How to Get More Chlorophyll: Top Chlorophyll Food Sources
Chlorophyll foods - Dr. Axe

 

 

This product is not designed to diagnose, treat or prevent any condition

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