Horse Health: Devils Claw Extract

by Jeff Butler -

Devil's Claw (or Harpagophytum procumbent) is a plant which grows in the South and South-East of Africa and used as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic for equines.

Extract Origin

Much like carrots, water is stored in the tuber section of the plant during the rainy season. It is in this tuber region that we find the raw material, which is extracted to form the active ingredient of Devil’s Claw. Above ground the plant resembles that of a “claw”, approximately the size of your hand, hence the term “Devil’s Claw”.

Devil’s Claw has been studied since the mid-1920s for its therapeutic uses after a German agriculturist was able to dry the root without losing any of it’s potencies. In the years to follow many trials have been conducted that have resulted in findings showing significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. With these findings trials have been conducted in the equine world to find that Devil’s Claw can help to reduce inflammation around an injured joint.

Why Feed Devil’s Claw?

Aspirin is a short term means of relief from injury but over an extended period and at high dosages has been reported to cause scours and/or ulcerations. Phenylbutazone is drug that has very beneficial effects for pain relief but can cause stomach upset and/or damage over a period of time. Dosage and treatment time are the limiting factors to these components which has increased the attention to herbal remedies such as Devil’s Claw.

Devil’s Claw is Not a Cure

Caution should be taken when using a Devil’s Claw product because although you are reducing the swelling in the injured area and improving the animal’s comfort level, you are not addressing the problem. Pain is the body’s natural response to protect the injured area to allow it to heal through rest. If you are taking this natural defense away then you run the risk of further damaging the area.

Are Devil’s Claw Supplements All the Same?

When using a Devil’s Claw product you need to look at the composition of the entire supplement. You want to include components that are anti-inflammatory as well as those that have arthritic properties. If these components are not included in the Devil’s Claw product you will want to include a second product that will help to promote joint health such as Glucosamines, Chondroitin Sulfates and Hyaluronic Acids.


About Prime Performance Nutrition

Our Devil’s Claw Combo supplement is used to relieve the discomfort of daily activity without the adverse stomach implications that may occur with synthetic medications. Prime Performance Nutrition uses only certified ingredients and rigorously tests its products. Visit or “Like” us on Facebook at