A review of the efficacy and safety of devil's claw for pain associated with degenerative musculoskeletal diseases, rheumatoid, and osteoarthritis

Holist Nurs Pract. Jul-Aug 2007;21(4):203-7. doi: 10.1097/01.HNP.0000280932.65581.72.


Harpagophytum procumbens, known as devil's claw, has been used traditionally for the treatment of pain, fevers, and dyspepsia. Recently, it has become popular for the treatment of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Studies have yet to establish a clear mechanism of action; however, current research is focusing on pro-inflammatory mediators as well as on potential antioxidant characteristics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Contraindications
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Drug Interactions
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Harpagophytum* / adverse effects
  • Harpagophytum* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / complications*
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Phytotherapy / adverse effects
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Safety*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antioxidants