Botanical Name: Harpagophytum procumbens
- English: Devil’s Claw Root
- Also, known as: Harpagophytum, Harpagophytum burchelii Decne, Grappl Plant, Wood Spider, Afrikanische Teufelskralle, beesdubbeltjie, devil’s claw, duiwelsklou, grapple plant, grapple vine, harpagophytum, kanako, khams, khuripe, legatapitse, sengaparele, Teufelskralle, Trampelklette, wood spider xwate
Parts Used: Root
Harpagophytum procumbens inhabits deep, sandy soils, and occurs in areas with low annual rainfall. It is a perennial, tuberous plant with annually produced creeping stems.
It is native to the southern part of the African continent and may be found in the Kalahari Sands of Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Tuber up to6 cm in diameter, bark yellowish-brown, longitudinally striated. The above-ground stems emerge after the first rains and die back during droughts or after frosts. The stems grow from a persistent primary tuber and several secondary tubers grow from the primary tuber at the end of fleshy roots. Leaves are large, have 3-5 lobes, and are covered in white mucilaginous cells, making them appear a grayish-green colour. Flowers are trumpet-shaped and pink, red, or purple with a yellowish center. Fruits characteristically large, hooked, claw-like, tardily dehiscent two-locular capsules, flattened at right angles to the septum. The plant gets its scientific and common names from the hooked spines of its woody capsules.
The sustainability of the trade-in the devil’s claw has been questioned for several years. The governments of each of the countries in which it occurs (range states; Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa) have developed policies and regulations to protect the species, to determine a sustainable harvest, and to provide for continued livelihoods for the harvesters. At various times, the species has been proposed for protection by the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). However, the range states have implemented measures to manage the trade sustainably and the proposal to protect the species by CITES was withdrawn.
How to use:
Decoctions are suitable for roots, barks, large seeds & berries, and other dense material. The simple way to make decoction is, in a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of dried herbs to 1 cup of water. Bring the water to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy it!
- You can sweeten your herbal decoctions with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.