Monday, February 1, 2016
Devil's Claw: Harpagophytum Procumbens
Also known as: Grapple plant
Parts used: root
Meridians/Organs affected: liver, stomach, immune, lymph, structural, cardiovascular, blood
Properties: anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, anti-arthritic, bitter, analgesic, sedative, blood purifying, anti-lipidemic, anti-cholesterol
Devil's claw is a member of the Pedaliaceae family. It is a native to southwestern Africa but can be found in the British Isles and the Americas today. It is a rather scary looking plant with hooks on the fruit (think of a grappling hook). Animals are often caught in it when grazing and have to be extricated from the plant. It loves clay and sandy doils and can usually be found in waste places or along roadsides.
This plant has been used a lot in African countries for arthritis and rheumatism. It has recently been studied for a host of other applications as it seems to be somewhat of a wonder drug. The Germans studied it in 1958 and found it to be more effective than phenybutazone and cortisone for inflammation. Both German and French studies found it to relieve pain as well as cortisone too. The Africans used it to stimulate gallbladder and liver function, to lower the blood sugar (making it something that diabetics might find interesting) and to help get the lymphatic system moving. It has also been found to be more effective as a whole plant rather than its individual components in tests. In studies it has been found to be effective for cholesterol as well as arteriosclerosis. It cleans and rejuvenates the veins, arterial and capillary walls and reduces the amount of toxins and fats in the liver and blood stream. In this it has been compared to chaparral (making it a very powerful herb).
African women have used it to relieve pain during childbirth and in Europe it is sold almost exclusively for arthritic and rheumatic conditions. It has been used for allergies, nephritis (kidney inflammation), headaches, hepatitis, obesity, sciatica and myalgia. It has a fair amount of vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin B-12. Do not use if pregnant as it can stimulate the uterus.
As is customary with my posts I am including some links herein for your benefit. Use them as you deem necessary. Stay healthy and strong!