Devil’s Claw Root Ain’t Evil!


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What’s in a name? Everything! Yet when it comes to herbs, we have to keep an open mind. Devil’s Claw Root (Harpagophytum procumbens) is a South African herb that brings pain relief like you wouldn’t believe. She’s a warrior root who grows well in deserts and overgrazed soil. She digs her roots in the ground and grows like a champ in these conditions, producing both a deep and secondary root. Her smell repels predators to ensure her survival. She’s gangsta! Rumor has it that inexperienced harvesters don’t realize they should leave the deep root and only take the secondary root to avoid extinction. We need to school them now!

Some say her element is fire, others say it’s earth. Either way, she possesses cooling properties that alleviate the heat of pain by reducing inflammation, one of the roots of many diseases. And guess what? This has actually been proven in laboratory studies.

I’ve worked with her personally and for my clients when I sold herbal formulas. I prefer to grind and encapsulate the root because the bitter taste can sometimes be intolerable. She’s great for those experiencing any type of pain related to inflammation – arthritis, headaches, and gout are just a few examples. When I struggled with chronic pain that no medical professional could explain, she was my go to. And since she helps with diarrhea, constipation, and flatulence, as well.

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Her powers are strengthened if you eliminate refined and raw sugar, processed food, and fried food from your dietary lifestyle. Since she has blood thinning properties, she doesn’t mix well with prescription drugs intended to thin the blood.

Her name is indicative of her nature and her claw shaped roots. Ironically, this name is associated with the world’s definition of evil yet she’s known to bring protection by confusing her enemies. Her beauty is intriguing yet her protective smell will keep predators at bay. Root workers have been known to place her roots on a piece of burning charcoal to ward off negative energy.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this amazing herb. Feel free to share your experiences with her, too.

Love and bliss.

Author: Sherrice Sledge-Thomas

Sherrice Sledge-Thomas is the founder and Chief Visionary Officer at Herb Culture University. She's known as the Suburban Herbalista because her place of residence along with her life experiences have shaped her unique brand of herbalism. Sherrice's herbal studies are rooted in experiences with her "rootworking" grandmother and a host of wise women in her community. To compliment her grassroots herbalist education, she earned a Health Coaching certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts with a focus on Women's Studies from The Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administration from Franklin University with a focus on Organizational Leadership and Management. Over the years, she's obtained a variety of certifications in the learning, leadership development, and change management space to compliment her holistic health work. This is the reason many of her certification programs and workshops incorporate elements of strategic planning and execution. Sherrice is the mother of three handsome young men. She enjoys meditation, yoga, and free-spirited dancing.

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