Devils Claw - A Natural Anti-Inflammatory for Horses
Devil's Claw is a useful natural herbal equine anti-inflammatory
and analgesic for providing pain relief
to horses and ponies and reducing inflammation
in equine joints.
It been proven to be an effective replacement for phenylbutazone
('bute') and cortisone - with the added benefit of not having the side
effects of these equine medicines.
If you compete with your horse or pony it would be wise to check
with the controlling authories for the discipline that you compete in
before giving any Devil's Claw preparations to
your horse. Some equestrian authorities have recently banned the use of Devil's Claw
The name Devil's Claw refers to the hooked, claw-like seedpods of the
shrub (Harpagophytum procumbens) from whose roots it is extracted.
Devil's Claw Root is recommended for horses and ponies that suffer from
joint and muscular problems and is also used as a treatment to aid the
healing of equine degenerative bone disease.
Equine joints take a lot of wear, tear and stress and sometimes need
Horse owners who have used this herbal remedy have reported
measurable improvement in their horse's joint and muscle movement.
It is important for the general well-being of an
older horse or pony
that it is kept regularly exercised as long as he is sound enough to do
BENEFITS OF FEEDING DEVIL'S CLAW TO OLDER HORSES
Adding Devil's Claw as an equine feed supplement to
a veteran horse's feed can
help to relieve the general stiffness which is often evident as a horse
or pony ages - sometimes it can be as effective as the prescribed medicines
and injections to treat equine arthritis.
In tests the anti-inflammatory action of Devil's Claw has been found
to be equal to that of steroids.
Devil's Claw has also been shown to have analgesic, sedative and diuretic
properties on horses.
Devils Claw preparations can be added to your horse or pony's feed,
or, if preferred, can be given by a dose syringe straight into the horses
The amount to dose can vary according the the strength of the supplement
- so it is best to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for dosage.
How Devils Claw
works on horses
The two main recognised active ingredients in Devil's
Claw Root are Beta Sitosterol and Harpagoside
which are known as Iridoid Glycosides.
Research has suggested that the anti-inflammatory and analgesic
action of Devils Claw is due to these Iridoid Glycosides reducing
inflammation in a pony or horse's joints.
History of the
use of Devils Claw
For centuries healers in Africa have used the tubers of
Devils Claw to treat diseases including cancer, intestinal
disorders and fevers.
Europeans brought Devil's Claw home from
their travels as a treatment for arthritis.
In the 1920s a German agriculturist began investigating
the medicinal effectiveness of the plant.
He perfected a way of drying the root of the plant without
any loss of potency so that it could be kept and used at a
later date .
Between 1950 and 1970 European scientists conducted several
trials which demonstrated anti-inflammatory and analgesic
effects of Devils Claw.
Do not feed Devils Claw to pregnant mares.
Devil's Claw is now a banned substance in some Equestrian disciplines such as dressage
Check that the preparation that you choose doesn't contain
any banned substances if you intend to compete with
About the plant Devil's Claw
The botanical name for Devil's Claw is
Harpagophytum procumbens. It is part of the sesame family.
It also known as Wood Spider or Grapple Plant.
The name Devil's Claw came from the appearance
of the seed pod , which looks like a claw, and is about approximately
the size of a human hand, with 8 or more "fingers" bent downwards
and another 8 bent upwards.
The plant's seeds are kept in these protective pods until
climatic conditions are right for sowing and germination.
The shrub grows in Southern Botswana, Namibia, Southern
Africa, particularly in the Kalahari Desert.
It is the fleshy tubers, which store water from the rainy
season, growing on the taproot of the plant which are used
medicinally. These tubers are about 20cm long.
Devil's Claw - a natural herbal anti-inflammatory and analgesic
for horses and ponies. Useful in providing pain relief to competition
and sports horses and reducing
inflammation in equine joints. Advice about feeding Devil's Claw