Devil's claw is a native of South Africa, so named because of its rather peculiar appearance. Its large tuberous roots are used medicinally, after being chopped up and dried in the sun for 3 days.

Native South Africans used the herb to reduce pain and fever and stimulate digestion. European colonists brought devil's claw back home, where it became a popular treatment for arthritis.

In modern Europe, devil's claw is used to treat all types of joint pain, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Devil's claw is also used for soft tissue (muscle-related or tendon-related) pain.

Like other bitter herbs, devil's claw is said to improve appetite and relieve mild stomach upset.