This is a plant from South Africa long valued by the native people to support the inflammatory response, help manage the pain response, and tonify digestion.* The interesting name of the genus means literally “hook plant” which refers to the hook like structures on the seed meant to cling to animals, an adaptation the plant has made to insure it's proper distribution. The plant was taken to Europe from South Africa in the 1800's by colonists and used specifically as a plant medicine.
Research has centered on a group of constituents called Harpoagosides that are classified as iridoid glycosides. The roots and tubers also contain plant sterols with small amounts of Beta Sitosterol contributing to those constituents. Recent data provide evidence that Harpagophytum extracts have a broad mechanism of action by interacting with both the cyclo?oxygenase? (COX) and lipoxygenase?mediated pathways of the arachidonic acid cascade as well as with the release of cytokines.*
Uses of Devils Claw
This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.