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Scientific Name:
Harpagophytum procumbens, H. zeyheri
Family Name:
Pedaliaceae
Common Name:
devil's claw, grapple plant, wood spider
Evidence for Efficacy (Human Data)
Traditional and Folk Use
In this review, Harpagophytum zeyheri was identified as used for both gargling and as a mouthwash in the traditional medicine of the people of Namibia. Nyambe 2021
Glucosamine, Harpagophytum procumbens, and acupuncture are the most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine approaches utilized by patients suffering from osteoarthritis. Sanders 2011
[Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens). Also known as 'grapple plant' or 'wood spider'.] Barnes 2009
[Harpagophytum procumbens (devil's claw). Monograph.] None 2008
Fifteen species of special commercial interest southern African medicinal plants including Agathosma betulina, Aloe ferox, Artemisia afra, Harpagophytum procumbens & Hoodia gordonii, were chosen for more detailed reviews. van Wyk 2008
Several supplements are promoted for treating osteo-arthritis, such as methylsulfonylmethane, Harpagophytum procumbens (devil's claw), Curcuma longa (turmeric), & Zingiber officinale (ginger), but there is insufficient evidence regarding long-term safety or effectiveness. Gregory 2008
The study was carried out to review the safety of treatment with Harpagophytum procumbens for osteoarthritic and low back pain. Vlachojannis 2008
Harpagophytum procumbens, known as devil's claw, has been used traditionally for the treatment of pain, fevers, and dyspepsia. Recently, it has become popular for the treatment of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Denner 2007
The effectiveness in the treatment of pain in the joints or lower back, was strong for a proprietary unsaponifiable avocado soybean fraction & Harpagophytum preparations containing > 50 mg harpagoside in the daily dosage, moderate for ginger & a proprietary rose hip & seed powder. Chrubasik 2007
For centuries, Harpagophytum procumbens has been used as a traditional treatment for a variety of illnesses, including fevers, skin complaints, arthritis and diseases of the digestive tract as well as an appetite stimulant. Grant 2007
An evidence-based systematic review including written and statistical analysis of scientific literature, expert opinion, folkloric precedent, history, pharmacology, kinetics/dynamics, interaction, adverse effects, toxicology, and dosing of devil's claw is presented. Brendler 2006
The antiinflammatory actions of Harpagophytum procumbens is due to its action on eicosanoid biosynthesis and it may have a role in treating low back pain. Setty 2005
The root extracts of Devil's claw (Harpagophytum spp.) contain the iridoid glycoside, harpagoside, and are found to be effective in the treatment of degenerative rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, kidney inflammation, and heart disease. Stewart 2005
The preparations of Harpagophytum procumbens with 50-60 mg harpagoside in the daily dosage are of better quality and provide more reliable evidence for the treatment of pain in the joints and lower back than a proprietary ethanol extract with half the amount of harpagoside per day. Chrubasik 2004
Search for ethnobotanical uses of Harpagophytum in Dr.Duke's Phytochem and Ethnobot DB
History of Record
ORIGINAL RESEARCH BY: J. Mohanasundaram, MD, PhD
June 2006
MAJOR REVISION BY: Eli Scheinman, MES
January 2018
LATEST UPDATES BY: Oren Rabinowitz, MSc
October 2021