Osteoarthritic Treatment Found in Devil's Claw

November 1, 2000

1 Min Read
Osteoarthritic Treatment Found in Devil's Claw

Osteoarthritic Treatment Found in Devil's Claw

CARROS, France--In the fall issue of Phytomedicine (Chantre, P. et al.7(3):177-185, 2000), a study noted that the herb devil's claw (Harpagophytumprocumbens) may be as effective as pharmaceutical drugs in alleviatingosteoarthritic pain.

The herb was tested on randomized, double-blind, parallel groups involving122 patients (ages 30 to 79) with osteoarthritis of the knee and hip. For fourmonths, the patients were divided into two groups, with one group receiving 435mg of powdered devil's claw (Harpadol from Argentina-basedArkocapsulas) and the other group receiving 100 mg of diacerhein, a drugprescribed for osteoarthritis.

Pain measurements were conducted on each group, with frequency of spontaneouspain as the measure; both groups of participants experienced the same decreasein pain. However, the only adverse event reported in both treatments wasdiarrhea, which was experienced in 8.1 percent of the devil's claw group and in26.7 percent of the diacerhein group.

One drawback of the study, researchers noted, was that diacerhein is notapproved for use in the United States, which may make the study less substantivethan if a U.S.-approved arthritis drug had been used.

Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American BotanicalCouncil, said this latest study is just one more that supports the efficacy ofdevil's claw as an osteoarthritic treatment. "Although more research iswarranted, this may be good news to people who suffer from osteoarthritis, aswell as their physicians, whose therapeutic choices have been fairlylimited," he said.

For additional information, visit www.urbanfischer.de/journals/phytomed.

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