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Herbal Remedies for Back Pain - Devils Claw  White Willow Bark And Cayenne Effective Treatment Remedy for Lower Back Pain

April 20th 2006

Herbal Remedies for Back Pain - Devils Claw  White Willow Bark And Cayenne Effective Treatment Remedy for Lower Back Pain

Devils Claw

The Cochrane Collaboration reports that the herbal supplement Devilís Claw given in a daily dose of 50mg (or 100 mg harpagoside), appears to reduce lower back pain more than a placebo.  A 60mg dose can reduce pain about the same as a daily dose of 12.5mg Vioxx. 

According to the report, Willow Bark, in a standardized daily dose of 120 mg and 240 mg of salicin reduced pain more than placebo; a standardized daily dose of 240 mg reduced pain about the same as a daily dose of 12.5 mg of Vioxx. Also, Cayenne was tested in plaster form, and reduced pain more than placebo and about the same as the homeopathic gel Spiroflor SLR. Adverse effects were reported, but appeared to be primarily confined to mild, transient gastrointestinal complaints.

The story was featured on Good Morning American and other ABC, NBC, CNN, and CBS news programs. Back pain is common, and about 35% of the population in any given month will experience non-specific lower back pain.  This pain is defined as pain between the lowest rib and the bottom of the buttocks that is not caused by a serious problem like rheumatoid arthritis, infection, fracture, cancer or sciatica due to herniated disk or other pressure nerves.


The researchers looked at ten randomized controlled trials that included 1567 adults with non specific acute or chronic lower-back pain. Two oral herbal medications, Harpagophytum Procumbens (Devil's Claw) and Salix Alba (White Willow Bark), were compared with placebo (fake pills) and with rofecoxib (Vioxx). Topical Capsicum frutescens (Cayenne) was compared with placebo and a homeopathic gel.

The authors caution that the trials only tested the short term effects (only up to six weeks).  Not all of the studies were consider high quality and about half of the studies may have been prone to a conflict of interest.  They added that Vioxx has been withdrawn from the market because of adverse effects, so all three substances should be compared with readily available pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen, to test for relative effectiveness and safety.


So far, there is no evidence that the substances are safe and useful for long term use. The researchers consider the results good for all three of the herbal medicines for short term use. 

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

Books about Pain

Keywords and misspellings:  pane reumatoid rhumatoid rhumatoidal rheumatoidal arthritis arthrites pain

Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM