Name: Devil’s Claw

Biological Name: Harpagophytum procumbens

Parts used: Root tuber

Contains: Aluminium, bitter, calcium, cobalt, fatty acids, flavonoids, glucosides, harpagoquinone, iridiod glycosides, magnesium, phenolic acids, phosphorus, phytosterols, potassium, protein, sodium, sugars, triterpenes and tin.

May assist with: Pain relief. The relief of pain is probably a side benefit of the reduced inflammation, but Devil’s Claw is also reported to improve mobility in the joints. Thought to be comparable to the well-known anti-inflamatory drug phenylbutazone (bute). It can benefit degenerative bone or joint disorders and developmental orthopaedic disease.

Its detoxifying effects extend to the whole body. It can assist in the treatment of lymphangitis. Basically, try it in the treatment of any inflammation. Devil’s Claw can also be used in treatment programs for all respiratory ailments and all gastrointestinal conditions, including a loss of appetite.

Precautions: Avoid using when gastric ulcers have been diagnosed and avoid during pregnancy.

Additional caution: The active constituent in this herb is banned by specific equine discipline regulators.

Notes: It generally takes two weeks to notice the benefits. Diuretics can deplete potassium levels. If administering herbs with this action, it’s a good idea to increase potassium levels in the diet (preferably not at the same time).

Herbal supplements should never replace evidence-based management and treatment. This article is not intended as veterinary advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions for your horse based upon research and in partnership with a qualified equine veterinarian and nutritionist.