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Scientific Name:
Harpagophytum procumbens, H. zeyheri
Family Name:
Common Name:
devil's claw, grapple plant, wood spider
Evidence of Activity
Ethyl acetate extract of Harpagophytum zeyheri showed significant antioxidant activity, inhibited nitric oxide and TNF-α expression in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophages comparably to diclofenac with lower cytotoxicity. Ncube 2021
Phytochemical profiling of various extracts of Harpagophytum procumbens root revealed polyphenols were highest in DMSO and EtOH50 extracts, while H20 extract did not contain volatile extracts. The H20 extract modulated the endocannabinoid system in synoviocytes from osteoarthritis patients. Mariano 2020
Harpagophytum procumbens water extract blunted production of serotonin, prostaglandins, cytokines, and transcription factors in an experimental model of inflammatory bowel disease, and inhibited Candida albicans and C. tropicalis growth. Untargeted proteomic analysis showed mixed results. Recinella 2020
Shinbaro3, a formulation derived from the hydrolysed roots of Harpagophytum procumbens var. sublobatum, exerted anti-inflammatory effects in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage cells through modulation of the TLR4/MyD88 pathways. Chung 2018
A microwave-assisted aqueous extract of H. procumbens exhibited protective effects on rat hypothalamic (Hypo-E22) cells, and in rat cortex challenged with amyloid β-peptide. Ferrante 2017
A microwave-assisted Harpagophytum aqueous extract modulated the inflammatory, oxidative stress and immune response in an experimental model of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Locatelli 2017
Harpagoside, a bioactive components of H. procumbens exerted a significant anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting the inflammatory stimuli mediated by suppressing c-FOS/AP-1 activity in OA chondrocytes under pathological conditions. Haseeb 2016
Harpagoside and harpagide facilitated cell migration into inflamed tissue, whereby in consequence the anti-inflammatory activity of the resident macrophages was also found to be promoted, thus highlighting the immune modulatory function of these two iridoids. Schopohl 2016
1-NPy mutagenicity was significantly reduced in cultured human lymphocytes pretreated, & co-treated with Harpagoside, the major iridoid glycoside in H. procumbens. Whereas cells exposed to H. procumbens extracts before, during & after treatment with 1-NPy showed significantly reduced genotoxicity. Manon 2015
Harpagoside, a major iridoid glycoside present in H. procumbens, significantly inhibited TNF-α-induced mRNA synthesis and protein production of the atherogenic adipokines including IL-6, PAI-1, and MCP-1. Kim 2015
H. procumbens dose-dependently suppressed the release of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-8 in LPS-stimulated monocytic THP-1 cells at non-cytotoxic concentrations (50-250 μg/ml). Hostanska 2014
Among the isolates from an ethyl acetate soluble fraction of the roots of H. procumbens, verbascosides, containing a caffeoyl and a 3,4-dihydroxyphenethyl groups in their structures, showed effective acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity & also possessed butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory activity. Bae 2014
This review summarizes recent advances in knowledge of harpagoside distribution, biosynthesis/accumulation and pharmacology and discusses the possible synergism and/or antagonism between major constituents in harpagoside-containing phytopharmaceutical products. Georgiev 2013
H. procumbens infusion, crude extract and fractions inhibited lipid peroxidation in a concentration-dependent manner. The ethyl acetate fraction had the highest antioxidant effects either by decreasing lipid peroxidation and cellular damage or restoring thiols levels and catalase activity. Schaffer 2013
The effects of the ethanol Harpagophytum procumbens extract on the expression and release of the major pro-inflammatory mediators in LPS-stimulated human monocytes and the intracellular signalling pathways involved in inflammation was quantified. Fiebich 2012
The ability of extracts, phenylethanoid-containing fractions and the major phenylethanoid glycoside isolated from the devil's claw cultures was tested to inhibit acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase, and the antioxidant activity in iron-related systems. Georgiev 2012
A screening panel consisted of luminescence-based inhibition assays was developed for assessing potential interactions between herbal medicinal products and the cytochrome (CYP) P450 system and used it to evaluate the interaction potential of devil's claw. Modarai 2011
The study evaluated the effect of isolated fractions of Harpagophytum procumbens (devil's claw) on COX-1 and COX-2 activities and NO production using a whole blood assay which showed that the harpagoside fraction is mainly responsible for the activities these enzyme. Anauate 2010
The hypothesis that the major pharmacologically active components of topically applied Harpagophytum procumbens can elicit anti-inflammatory responses in deeper tissues by post-transcutaneous delivery was tested using ex vivo skin as a model. Ouitas 2009
A root tuber extract Harpagophytum procumbens and commercially available tincture were investigated for antioxidant characteristics using in vitro test systems and inhibition of free radical generation. Grant 2009
The effect of Harpagophytum procumbens secondary root aqueous extract (HPE) on longitudinal, tubular uterine horn muscle strips of non-pregnant & pregnant, young adult, female rats were investigated which showed its spasmogenic, uterotonic action on mammalian uterine muscles. Mahomed 2009
Investigation of the ability of harpagoside (1), harpagide (2), 8-coumaroylharpagide (3), and verbascoside (4), from Harpagophytum procumbens, to inhibit the expression of COX-2 following administration to freshly excised porcine skin. Abdelouahab 2008
It is shown that Hypericum perforatum extract (St. John's wort), Harpagophytum procumbens extract, and Grape seed proanthocyanidin extract exerted significant antinociceptive effects in the formalin test of mice. Uchida 2008
Six plant extracts and isolated compounds including Harpagophytum procumbens, Boswellia serrata (dry extracts), Usnea barbata, were screened for antimicrobial effects on bacteria and yeasts with dermatological relevance. Weckesser 2007
A systematic review of the scientific evidence on osteoarthritis and nutrition indicates limited evidence was found for the Chinese plant extract duhuo jisheng Wan, cetyl myristoleate, lipids from green-lipped mussels, and plant extracts from Harpagophytum procumbens. Ameye 2006
18 medicinal plants including Acalypha wilkesiana, Allium sativum, Ananus comosus, Cissampelos sympodialis, Coriolus versicolor, Curcuma longa, Echinacea purpurea, Grifola frondosa, Harpagophytum procumbens & Panax ginseng demonstrate modulation of multiple cytokines. Spelman 2006
The work was carried out to estimate the proton and sodium cation affinities of harpagide (Har), an iridoid glycoside responsible for the antiinflammatory properties of the medicinal plant Harpagophytum. Colas 2006
Inhibition of the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide by harpagoside, one of the major components of Harpagophytum procumbens, involves suppression of NF-kappaB activation, thereby inhibiting downstream inflammation and subsequent pain events. Huang 2006
[Potential molecular basis of the chondroprotective effect of Harpagophytum procumbens.] Chrubasik 2006
The direct antirheumatic effects of an extract of the secondary root of Harpagophytum procumbens DC on the production of matrix metalloproteinases in interleukin 1beta-stimulated human chondrocytes were examined. [Article in German] Schulze-Tanzil 2004
Eight popular herbal remedies including devil's claw root (Harpagophytum procumbens), feverfew herb & Citrus paradisi could be identified as inhibitors of the applied cytochrome P450 enzymes with IC(50) values between 20 and 1000 microg/mL. Unger 2004
Three further Harpagophytum extracts containing about 2% harpagoside did not inhibit nitric oxide (NO) formation suggesting, that only extracts with a high harpagoside content elicit inducible NO synthase inhibition. Kaszkin 2004
Two diterpenes, (+)-8,11,13-totaratriene-12,13-diol & (+)-8,11,13-abietatrien-12-ol from Harpagophytum procumbens displayed in vitro antiplasmodial activity against a chloroquine-resistant & -sensitive strain of Plasmodium falciparum & low cytotoxicity against 2 mammalian cell lines. Clarkson 2003
The aqueous extract of Harpagophytum procumbens was shown to suppress PGE(2) synthesis and nitric oxide production by inhibiting lipopolysaccharide-stimulated enhancement of the cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNAs expressions in L929 cells. Jang 2003
[Effectiveness of devil's claw for osteoarthritis.] Chrubasik 2002a
It has been shown that harpagide and harpagoside had no effect on LPS-induced TNFalpha-release and the Harpagophytum extract SteiHap 69 has anti-inflammatory properties. Fiebich 2001
The active-component harpagoside of Harpagophytum extract from a physico-chemical perspective was characterized and its in-vitro release from tablets according to DAB 1996 was determined. Chrubasik 2000
The study of metabolism of iridoid glycosides from Harpagophytum procumbens and Harpagophytum zeyheri by human intestinal bacteria, was realized in order to elucidate compounds responsible for the pharmacological activities of Harpagophytum. Baghdikian 1999a
Crude methanolic extracts of Harpagophytum procumbens secondary roots and harpagoside showed a significant, dose-dependent, protective action toward HVA induced by reperfusion. Costa De Pasquale 1985
Effects of the crude methanolic extract of Harpagophytum procumbens secondary roots and two of its active principles, harpagoside and harpagide, on some smooth muscle in vitro have been studied. Occhiuto 1985
At concentrations of up to 1 x 10(5) microgram/ml, Devil's Claw was ineffective as an in-vitro inhibitor of prostaglandin synthetase which indicate that Devil's Claw lacks the anti-inflammatory properties possessed by all antiarthritic drugs of the nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory analgesic type. Whitehouse 1983
[Biological analysis of Harpagophytum procumbens D.C. II. Pharmacological analysis of the effects of harpagoside, harpagide and harpagogenine on the isolated guinea-pig ileum (author's transl)] [Article in French] Fontaine 1981
History of Record
ORIGINAL RESEARCH BY: J. Mohanasundaram, MD, PhD
June 2006
January 2018
LATEST UPDATES BY: Oren Rabinowitz, MSc
October 2021