Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) is a plant that got is name from the miniature hooks that cover the fruit. The Khoisan peoples of Madagascar and the Kalahari Desert have used devil's claw root to treat pain and other complaints for hundreds of years.
It came into Europe from Africa in the early 1900's and today is used for degenerative joint diseases like arthritis and low back pain, knee and hip pain and other painful disorders like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, bursitis and some digestive disorders.
A German study examined the use of it for slight to moderate back, neck and shoulder pain and in the four week study it showed that there was a significant reduction in pain in the people taking devil's claw compared to the placebo group. It is approved as a non prescription medicine by the German Commission E. A recent study showed that it can relieve pain in as little as ten days of use.