Minerals and Enzymes to Treat Back Pain: Devil's Claw

Patients and doctors alike are praising the latest breakthroughs in science and technology, which have enabled us to heal from conditions that cause back pain, faster and with fewer side effects. So much has happened in back pain medicine in the last 25 years, and new breakthroughs are on the near horizon. Yet most current treatments that are available from western medicine, with the possible exception of physical therapy, are not without their potential costs or side effects. All prescription medications that are available have the potential of harming the body, and we have had to invent a whole new vocabulary of medical terms to describe the complications of back surgeries and pain injections (e.g. spinal headache, adhesions, Pseudoarthrosis). As in any type of diagnostic tests, prescription treatments, and other back treatments, patients and their doctors together will make a benefit vs. cost analysis before moving forward.

But patients don't always have to make such complicated decisions, in terms of cost/benefit considerations, when evaluating back pain treatments. Today, holistic doctors and healthcare practitioners have identified thousands of natural sources of disease modifying agents out there that may provide patients with some relief, for nearly every type of condition. These disease treating sources sprout from the earth or walk above, flow through our rivers, and are available in the earth below us. These sources include plants, herbs, tree bark, Vitamins, Minerals, and Anti-oxidants, and most of these natural substances have zero toxicity associated with them. Zero toxicity means that they are not harmful to the body and don't produce any side effects. Let's take a look at one natural source that provides back pain relief - Devil's Claw.

Devil's claw root is a traditional folk remedy for the pain associated with musculoskeletal problems, including a bad back. Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) is a plant that grows along the ground and is native to the country of South Africa. Devil's claw is a natural anti-inflammatory and may provide significant relief to those suffering from back pain. People who have treated others using this plant have also reported success in treating illnesses including malaria, fever, and kidney and liver problems. The extract of this plant root also treats the pain symptoms of other arthritic conditions.

The active ingredient of this alternative therapy can be consumed or absorbed into the body as an extract, powder, tincture, cream, or ointment. This product often provides fast acting pain relief when rubbed onto the skin as an ointment. When used as an ointment, devil's claw cream also has helped people to recover faster from skin conditions and injuries such as boils and heat sores.

Early Europeans learned about this unique plant, and its many health benefits, when they first settled onto, and traded with, the natives of South Africa in the early 1900s. When the ability of these plants to reduce pain and inflammation to injured joints become known, these Europeans brought back this herb root back, and many westerners learned about and enjoyed its analgesic (pain relieving) benefits.

The active ingredients of this plant thought to provide some many health benefits are iridous glycosides and beta-silesterol.

Devil's claw is also known as wood spider and grabble plant.