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Devils Club materia medica

Oplopanax horridus


Plant Identification

Devils Club, also known as Oplopanax horridus, is a unique plant native to the Pacific Northwest region of North America. It is known for its tall, viciously spiny stems, large broad leaves, and red berry tops making it easy to identify in its natural habitat. You can find Oplopanax growing in the understory of primary forest, where the forest floor is moist and shaded.

Energetic Qualities

Devils Club is a powerful herb with a strong, protective energy (hence its large spiny stem). It is believed to be a symbol of strength and resilience, and is often used in ceremonies to promote health and wellbeing.

Herbal Actions

Devils Club is a nutritive herb rich with alkaloids, flavonoids, and triterpenoids. It may be a supportive ally for conditions, including arthritis, inflammation, and respiratory ailments. I personally love this plant for support in recovery after working out.

Plant Applications and Recipes

Because many of the constituents of Devils Club are water soluble, this plant is best used as a tea. As with most nutritive herbs, you want to harvest the young green parts of Devils Club. You can pick young shoots of the plant that come up in the spring, or the young green leaves off the stem. Avoid using older leaves of this plant as they may be hard on the kidneys.

Devils Club Tea

To make a Devils Club tea, simply steep 1-2 teaspoons of fresh or dried leaves in boiling water covered for 10-15 minutes. Strain and drink 1-3 cups per day as needed.

Devils Club is a unique and powerful herb with a long history of traditional use. Rich in nutritive compounds this herb is a fantastic ally for workout recovery, and general nutrition. As with any new herb or supplement, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before use.

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