Introduction of Devil's Claw:Grapple plant or wood spider.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Devil's Claw, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Harpagophytum procumbens DC., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Devil's Claw, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Devil's Claw(wood spider).

plant of Harpagophytum procumbens with two pink flowers grow in sandy field English Name: Devil's Claw
 Latin Name: Harpagophytum procumbens DC.
 Other Names: Grapple plant, wood spider, harpago, etc.
 Property and flavor: 

 Brief introduction: Devil's claw is a perennial shrub, it is native to Southern Africa. It has dense branches and leaves and red flowers. It is named Devil's Claw because of its tiny claw hook, which covers its fruit. African locals have used it as a folk medicine for centuries to treat pain and inflammation.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Devil's Claw as the roots and lateral tubers of the species (1).Harpagophytum procumbens. It is a plant species of the Harpagophytum genus, the Pedaliaceae family (sesamum family). The dried tubular secondary roots and the thick lateral tubers are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Harpagophytum procumbens DC.

 flowering plants of Harpagophytum procumbens with red flowers grow in sand field Botanical description: Harpagophytum procumbens is a perennial and leafy plant, it is prostrate and sprawling, it has a branched root system and branched, prostrate shoots 1 to 1.5 cm long. The leaves are petiolate and lobed and may be opposite or alternate. The aerial parts of the plant die back in the dry season. The tuber roots are formed from the main and lateral roots. The main roots have obtuse, quadrangular, upright collar-like sections, 10~20 cm long and 30~60 cm thick, which are covered in a fissured cork layer. The roots extend out to an area of about 150 cm around the plant and grow down to a depth of 30~60 cm.

 The flower grows on short pedicles in the leaf axils and is solitary, large, trumpet-shaped, and ranges in color from dark velvety red or purple to pink, the tube base and mouth are yellowish, they can be all yellow, purple, or white, and similar to foxgloves. The petals are pale-pink to crimson, and the seed capsules are bivalvular, compressed at the sides, and ovate. The capsular fruits are 7 to 20 cm long, 6 cm in diameter, and very ligneous (woody) with longitudinally striped rind. They have a double row of elastic, armlike, branched appendages with an anchorlike hook. The capsular fruits contain about 50 dark oblong seeds with a rough surface. The plants flower mainly from about November to April and have fruits from about January.

 Ecological environment: The plant is indigenous to South Africa and Namibia, it has spread throughout the Savannas and the Kalahari, Botswana, southern Angola, etc.

 Growth characteristics: Harpagophytum procumbens is found mainly on the Veldt in Transvaal, thriving in clay or sandy soils, preferring roadsides and waste ground, especially where the natural vegetation has been cleared.

 Characters of herbs: Devil's claw root is the dried lateral roots and secondary tubers of Harpagophytum procumbens, the lateral roots are cut into slices or pieces, or pulverized.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anti-inflammatory activity; ②.appetite stimulant;

 Some studies found the herb has anti-inflammatory activity, but some studies failed, there are conflicting results from the studies, the devil's claw tea preparations have slight painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties, and the action was identified from its component iridoid glycoside harpagoside. Devil's claw is used as an appetite stimulant and relieves indigestion as it contains bitter-tasting substances, the root tea and preparations are approved for this purpose.

 Medicinal efficacy: Devil's claw was used by Africans for rheumatism, stomach upset, indigestion, appetite loss, headache, cancerous growths, blood disorders, fever, pregnancy, and labor pains. It is also used for promoting flexibility in painful arthritic joints. In Europe, the herb is approved for dyspeptic complaints, loss of appetite, and rheumatism. In folk medicine, it is used as an ointment for skin injuries and disorders. The herb is used for fevers and digestive disorders in South Africa. In homeopathy, Devil's claw is used for chronic rheumatism.

 Administration of Devil's Claw (wood spider): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Devil's Claw (wood spider)
Herbal classic books: Common daily dosage is 4.5 grams, as capsules, extracts, or decoction, a decoction prepared with 1 teaspoon powdered or finely chopped root per 2 cups of water and drunk throughout the day. An infusion is prepared of 1 teaspoonful or 4.5 grams comminuted herb with 300 ml boiling water, steep for 8 hours, and strain, the infusion can be taken 3 times daily. The recommended dosage for loss of appetite is 1.5 grams of the herb, or 4.5 grams for other purposes. The herb can be stored in a container and protected from light and moisture.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Conservative herbalists warn that devil's claw has yet to prove itself a safe and effective medicine. Studies indicate that adverse reactions are rare. Reported reactions are loss of appetite, ringing in the ears, and headache. Individuals with ulcers, gallstones, or heart problems should probably avoid the herb.




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