What are the health effects of harpagophytum?

Harpagophytum is a plant that grows mostly in the African continent. It is a creeping plant with fruit bearing curved and sharp hooks like claws. This peculiarity has earned it the nickname devil’s claw. Its scientific name is Harpagophytum procumbens and it belongs to the Pedaliaceae family. For millennia, this virtuous plant has been the basis of traditional African medicine. In modern herbal medicine, its virtues are used to treat several inflammatory diseases. Its main active agents are harpagoside, polysaccharides, flavonols and sterols.

Interests in natural medicine

In traditional African medicine, theharpagophytum intervenes in the fight against lack of appetite, fever and pain accompanying childbirth. It also deals with skin lesions such as wounds and burns.

In the world of modern medicine, it is mainly involved in improving the daily life of the elderly. Indeed, several scientific studies demonstrate its beneficial effects on pathologies affecting the joints. It is particularly useful for relieve rheumatic pain such as gout, osteoarthritis and arthritic attacks. It also helps to treat diseases including loss of bone mass. We distinguish osteoporosis or back pain.

In addition, this medicinal plant is a major asset for athletes. Indeed, in addition toimprove joint mobility, it also tends to relax the muscles. This prevents muscle contractions. Its other indications are tendonitis, strains, torticollis and sprains.

Forms and preparations in herbal medicine

For therapeutic uses, harpagophytum exists in the form of herbal tea, dry extracts, powder, capsule, tablet, mother tincture, gel, ampoule and massage oil.

Recommendations for use and usual dosage

Internal app

For the preparation of a decoction, bring to a boil ½ liter of water and 1 tablespoon of cut root. Simmer for 5 minutes then infuse for 10 minutes. Drink the infusion 2 to 3 times a day.

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For the powder, it must be mixed in a drink or yogurt. Take 1.5 g of powder per day.

As for capsules and tablets, the recommended dose is 4 capsules per day and 1 tablet per day.

For the mother tincture, take 25 to 30 drops 3 times a day to dilute in a glass of water.

Finally, concerning the drinkable bulbs, consume 1 to 2 bulbs during the day to be diluted in water.

External app

the gel and massage oil based on harpagophytum are used daily for local administration. To obtain the desired effect, gently massage the areas to be targeted in the morning and evening.

Usage precautions

Harpagophytum is not suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women. This is also the case for people suffering from cardiovascular disorders as well as kidney and gastric conditions. As for side effects, they are rare, but not negligible. Nausea, dizziness, headaches and diarrhea are cited.


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