Oplopanax horridus Common name: Devil’s club
Parts used: Inner root bark
Constituents: Volatile oil, glycosides (araliasides, panaxosides)
Medicinal actions: Analgesic, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, expectorant, alterative, emetic, purgative, anti-rheumatic
Medicinal use: In musculoskeletal conditions can be applied topically or taken internally for aches and pains, arthritis, rheumatism, and broken bones. Also treats infections, and blood disorders and in the treatment of diabetes.
Pharmacology: Little data. Although Devil’s club is a member of the ginseng family, and has some pharmacological and therapeutic similarities, it is not a “mind enhancer” and its modern use as a substitute for ginseng is the result of marketing.
Pharmacy: Decoction: 1 tsp/cup, TID. Tincture: (1:5, 60%), 2-4ml TID. Steam bath, poultice.
Contraindications: None known.
Toxicity: High doses are emetic & purgative.
Interactions: None known.