AUSTIN, Texas (October 12, 2016) —The American Botanical Council (ABC) is pleased to announce that Namibia-basedEcoSo Dynamics has adopted devil’s claw(Harpagophytumprocumbens; H. zeyheri) through ABC’s Adopt-an-Herbbotanical education program. Devil’s claw is a low-growing plant native tosouthern Africa, mainly Namibia, and its adoption supports ABC’s extensive HerbMedPro database,ensuring that this essential research and educational resource remainsup-to-date for researchers, health professionals, industry, students,consumers, and all members of the herbal and dietary supplement community.
HerbMedPro is a comprehensive,interactive online database that provides access to important scientific andclinical research data on the uses and health effects of more than 250 herbs.
“ABC is deeply grateful to EcoSoDynamics for adopting devil’s claw on ABC’s highly robust HerbMedPro database,”said Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of ABC. “ABC alsoappreciates EcoSo Dynamics’ strong commitment to environmentally sustainableand culturally supportive harvesting of devil’s claw roots. Devil’s claw is a traditionallyused herbal remedy with a growing body of scientific and clinical research thatsupports its safe and effective use to reduce lower back pain and benefit otherconditions,” he added.About Devil’s ClawDevil’s claw is a perennial herb that grows horizontally and can reach up toone meter (3.3 feet) in length. It produces several prostrate annual stems froma succulent taproot, with additional tubers on lateral roots. Other commonnames for devil’s claw are grapple plant and wood spider, referring to thefearsome-looking, hook-like fruits of the plant, which can cripple largeanimals. The plant’s anti-inflammatory benefits are derived mostly from its secondaryroot tubers, which are cut and dried and contain iridoid glycosides (primarilyharpagoside), among other constituents. Clinical studies have demonstrated that preparations of the secondary tuberscan reduce pain sensation and improve mobility in humans. In addition, theyappear to be safe and effective when used for conditions such as degenerativepainful rheumatism, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, headaches, allergies, and more.Traditionally, they have also been used to address digestive ailments.Devil’s claw is native to Kalahari savannas in Namibia and parts of SouthAfrica, Botswana, Angola, and Zimbabwe. The tubers are obtained by sustainablewild-collection and also, on a small scale, by harvesting cultivated plantmaterial on farms. On average, between 400 and 450 tons of dried devil’s clawis exported annually from Namibia. About EcoSo DynamicsEcoSo Dynamics, established in 2004, emphasizes ecological and socialsustainability in its sourcing and processing of devil’s claw, and has anannual turnover of about 250 metric tons of devil’s claw. “EcoSo’s mission isto establish a sustainable supply chain for devil’s claw that takes intoconsideration the ecology, economy, and social needs of thousands of[impoverished] villagers throughout southern Africa,” said Gero Diekmann,managing director and owner of EcoSo Dynamics. “EcoSo is the frontrunner inestablishing contracts with harvester groups to support sustainable harvestingand processing in order to achieve either organic certification and/orprocessing according to good agricultural and [collection] practices (GACP). Atour facility we maintain good manufacturing practice (GMP) certification.Through this, EcoSo has full traceability in place and can 100% assure itsclients of the purity of the material, be it H. procumbens or H.zeyheri. We see ourselves as leaders in the industry [and our]adoption of devil’s claw shows our commitment to our values, and to make theseknown in the US.” Diekmann also said he hopes the adoption helps assure stakeholders in the US ofthe purity and quality of the raw material, and that it helps establish directtrade links between Namibia and the US. “Unfortunately, we assume that 90% ofdevil’s claw used in the US comes to the US via Europe,” Diekmann said. About the American Botanical Council’s Adopt-an-Herb Program &HerbMedPro
EcoSo Dynamicsis one of 40 companies that have supported ABC’s educational efforts tocollect, organize, and disseminate reliable, traditional, and science-basedinformation, including clinical studies, on herbs, medicinal plants, and otherbotanical- and fungal-based ingredients through the Adopt-an-Herb program. Thisprogram encourages companies, organizations, and individuals to “adopt” one ormore specific herbs for inclusion and ongoing maintenance in the HerbMedProdatabase. To date, 45 herbs have been adopted.
Each adopted herb is continuouslyresearched for new scientific articles and pharmacological, toxicological, andclinical studies, ensuring that the HerbMedPro record stays current andrelevant. The result is an unparalleled resource not only for researchers,health professionals, industry, and consumers, but for all members of theherbal and dietary supplements community.
This database is available to ABCmembers at the Academic level and higher. Its “sister” site, HerbMed, isavailable to the general public at no cost. In keeping with ABC’s position asan independent research and education organization, herb adopters do notinfluence the scientific information that is compiled for their respectiveadopted herbs.