The health benefits of Devil’s claw tea have long been associated with anti-arthritic and anti-rheumatic properties.
Devil’s claw is a plant that is native to the southern regions of Africa, particularly Namibia, Madagascar and South Africa. It got its name from the peculiar appearance of its fruit, which resembles that of several grappling hooks. The inner capsule of the fruit splits open at one end and becomes two curved horns or claws. The claw-like roots are used in medicines.
In the early part of the 20th century, devil’s claw was introduced in Europe. Devil’s claw tea was then used to help improve digestion, as its bitter taste had been thought to help stimulate digestive juices.
The active ingredient of devil’s clawis believed to be iridoid glycosides, which can be found in the secondary root. Other constituents are the following: aluminum, calcium, chlorogenic acid, chromium, kaempferol, luteolin, magnesium, oleanolic acid, selenium, tin, and zinc.
To make an infusion of devil’s claw tea, place a teaspoon of the chopped and dried devil’s claw roots into 2 cups of boiling water. Let the mix soak for about 20 minutes. Then strain the mix and cool to drink. Up to three cups of the tea may be taken per day.
Those taking Coumadin (warfarin) or Plavix should refrain from taking devil’s claw tea. Also, those undergoing surgery should inform their surgeons that they are taking devil’s claw. Pregnant and nursing women should avoid taking devil’s claw as safety for them has not yet been ascertained. Lastly, those suffering from stomach problems, ulcers, or digestive disorders should avoid taking this tea.
The following are the health benefits associated with devil’s claw tea:
- Believed to help relieve joint pains related to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Believed to help relieve muscle pains.
- Believed to help alleviate neck pains and back pains.
- Believed to help relieve pains related to tendonitis.
- When applied topically as an ointment this tea may help relieve certain skin disorders, like boils.
- May help relieve fever.
- May help in the treatment of certain disorders of the liver and kidneys.
- May help improve the digestive process.
- Said to help stimulate the appetite.