Devil 's Claw ( Harpagophytum Procumbens )

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Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) is a plant has been cultivated because of its medicinal properties and currently the plant is exported to many countries around the world. Introduced to Europe in the 1900s, the dried root was used to increase appetite, alleviate heartburn, and lessen inflammation. Over the years, the potential medicinal purposes of the plant have increased and it widely used across Euorpe. Devil’s claw also gained notoriety because of its ability to help liver and kidney problems as well as other health related illnesses. However, recently the German equivalent to the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved devil’s claw for additional medicinal purposes. However, research regarding the medicinal…show more content…
Additionally, the harvest period for devil’s claw is dependent upon the dry and rain seasons in each country. Some studies suggest that is best harvest devil’s claw during the raining season.1 The plant is a perennial that extend up to eighteen inches long and grow along the ground with the taproot growing about two meters deep. The plant contains green leaves that contain three to five lobes. The flower possesses a trumpet shape and may be pink, red, or purple with a white center. The fruit is a woody material that contains a spikey covering.2 Devil 's claw is odorless, but it contains substances that make it taste bitter. The active ingredients that are responsible for the medicinal properties are the chemicals harpagoside, harpagide and procumbide found in the tubers of the plant. All extracts of the plant are not equally effective and the whole-plant extracts appear to have the most medicinal properties.2 Devil 's claw has been used for thousands of years in Africa for fever, rheumatoid arthritis, skin conditions, and conditions involving the gallbladder, pancreas, stomach and kidneys. When it was introduced to Europe in the 1900 's, was used to improve digestion. Devils’s claw is appealing because it has minimal side effects.3 Specifically, individuals with ulcers and heartburn are discouraged to
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