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Useful Tropical Plants

Harpagophytum procumbens

(Burch.) DC. ex Meisn.

Pedaliaceae

+ Synonyms

Harpagophytum burchellii Decne.

Uncaria procumbens Burch.

Common Name: Devil's Claw

Harpagophytum procumbens
Harpagophytum procumbens Harpagophytum procumbens Harpagophytum procumbens Harpagophytum procumbens Harpagophytum procumbens Harpagophytum procumbens Harpagophytum procumbens

General Information

Devil's claw is a prostrate, sprawling plant with a stout, perennial rootstock that has a group of secondary storage tubers arising from it[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. It produces annual stems[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
Devil's claw has long been a traditional medicine of the people in southern Africa, more recently it has gained acceptance in the West where it is widely available in pharmacies and health food stores[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
].
Many tons of dried tubers are exported each year from S. Africa, mainly to Europe. Most of this is harvested in the wild so there has been much concern about over-harvesting[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. The plant is protected in all the regions in which it grows, and can only be collected with a permit[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. Efforts to get the plant into cultivation have not yet led to much success.[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Known Hazards

The plant has very spiny fruits that lay on the ground and can cause serious damage to the feet[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Botanical References


Range

Southern Africa - southern Angola, Namibia, Botswana, S. Africa.

Habitat

Found mainly on the Veldt in Transvaal, thriving in clay or sandy soils, preferring roadsides and waste ground, especially where the natural vegetation has been cleared[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.30 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

The plant grows in the arid tropics and subtropics where mean annual rainfall can be within the range 200 - 600mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Succeeds in both clay and sandy soils[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

Devil's Claw root contains a range of medically active ingredients, including the iridoid glycoside harpagoside; sugars, phytosterols, flavonoids and harpagoquinone[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
]. It has been shown to be analgesic, antiinflammatory and a bitter digestive stimulant[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
].
The thick, fleshy secondary roots are the only parts of the plant that are used medicinally. The strongly bitter action of the root stimulates and tones the digestive system[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
].
It Western herbalism, the root is therefore taken internally to treat digestive problems and conditions associated with poor digestion such as arthritis and rheumatism[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
].
The root is used in traditional African medicine for a wide range of applications such as stimulating the appetite and for treating conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, gout, peptic ulcers, fever, infectious diseases including tuberculosis, menstrual cramps, muscular aches and pains[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -

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