Harpagophytum procumbens DC. ex Meiss. (Pedaliaceae)
Harpagophytum burcherllii Decne
Afrikanische Teufelskralle, beesdubbeltjie, devil’s claw, duiwelsklou,
grapple plant, grapple vine, harpagophytum, kanako, khams, khuripe, legatapitse,
sengaparele, Teufelskralle, Trampelklette, wood spider xwate
Prostrate perennial mat-forming herb, up to 1.5 m across. Tuber up to 6 cm in
diameter, bark yellowish-brown, longitudinally striated. Leaves pinnately lobed
and clothed with glandular hairs, the underside densely pubescent. Flowers bright
red, solitary, rising abruptly from the leaf axils; corolla pentamerous, tubular,
pink-purple, up to 7 cm long; androecium of four stamens with one staminodium.
Fruits characteristically large, hooked, claw-like, tardily dehiscent two-locular
capsules, flattened at right angles to the septum, the edges bearing two rows
of woody arms up to 8 cm long with recurved spines
Plant material used
dried, tuberous, secondary roots
Contains not less than 1.2% harpagoside as determined by high-performance liquid
Major chemical constituents
The major active constituents are harpagoside and the related iridoid glycosides,
harpagide and procumbide, which occur in lesser amounts. Total iridoid glycoside
Uses supported by clinical data
Treatment of pain associated with rheumatic conditions
Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established
Treatment of loss of appetite and dyspeptic complaints; supportive treatment
of degenerative rheumatism, painful arthrosis and tendonitis.
Uses described in traditional medicine
Treatment of allergies, boils, diabetes, liver disorders and sores
Proven pharmacological activity
Anti-inflammatory and analgesic, Antiarrhythmic
Antidyspeptic, Anti-inflammatory and analgesic
Mild and infrequent gastrointestinal symptoms were reported in clinical trials
Radix Harpagophyti is contraindicated in gastric and duodenal ulcers, and cases
of known hypersensitivity to the roots. Owing to a lack of safety data, Radix
Harpagophyti should not be used during pregnancy and nursing.
No information available.
Patients with gallstones should consult a physician prior to using the roots.
An extract of the roots did not inhibit the activity of cytochrome P450 isoform
3A4 in vitro, suggesting that Radix Harpagophyti would not interact with prescription
drugs metabolized by this enzyme
Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
No information available on precautions concerning drug and laboratory test
interactions; carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility; teratogenic
effects during pregnancy; or paediatric use.
Dried roots for decoctions and teas; powdered roots or extract in capsules,
tablets, tinctures and ointments. Store in a well closed container, protected
(Unless otherwise indicated)
Daily dose: for loss of appetite 1.5 g of the roots in a decoction, 3 ml of
tincture (1:10, 25% ethanol); for painful arthrosis or tendonitis 1.5–
3 g of the roots in a decoction, three times, 1–3 g of the roots or equivalent
aqueous or hydroalcoholic extracts