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harpagophytum | Natural anti-inflammatory

Have you ever heard of Harpagophytum, this medicinal plant Who works miracles to relieve pain? Originating from South Africa, it is commonly called… Devil's claw It has been used for centuries to relieve joint pain and many other ailments. In this article, I will reveal to you the secrets of this plant Therapeutic properties Exceptional and will explain how to use it to get the most out of its benefits.


  • Harpagophytum, also known as “devil's claw”, is a medicinal plant native to South Africa. It is particularly known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and is particularly effective in relieving joint pain.
  • Active compounds in the plant, including harpagoside, have shown beneficial effects in reducing inflammation and cartilage breakdown. These properties make it a potential natural treatment for conditions such as osteoporosis.
  • In addition to its benefits for joint pain, Harpagophytum also has potential in treating several other inflammatory conditions and can even promote weight loss according to preliminary studies.

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Origin and history

Harpagophytum, also known as devil's claw, is a medicinal plant that grows mainly in South Africa. For centuries, locals have used it for its properties Anti-inflammatories And painkillers. Harpagophytum only began to be studied in Europe in the 20th century, and its benefits have been confirmed through scientific research.

the benefits

The healing properties of Harpagophytum are many and varied. Among them we can mention:

Joint pain

Harpagophytum procumbens, more commonly known as devil's claw, has been studied extensively for its potential role in relieving joint pain. Joint pain is usually caused by inflammation and breakdown of cartilage, the soft tissue that covers and protects the ends of bones in joints. When this cartilage wears down, it can cause pain, swelling, and decreased mobility.

Effect on cartilage : The main active compounds found in Harpagophytum are iridoid glycosides, especially harpagoside. These compounds have shown anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties in various studies(1). Harpagoside works by inhibiting the production of proinflammatory cytokines and enzymes involved in cartilage breakdown, such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). By reducing inflammation and cartilage breakdown, Harpagophytum may help relieve joint pain associated with conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Improve movement : In addition to reducing inflammation and cartilage breakdown, Harpagophytum can also help improve joint mobility. study(2) A clinical study in 122 people with osteoarthritis of the knee and hip showed that a daily dose of 2,610 mg of Harpagophytum was as effective in reducing pain as the drug diacerein, which is commonly used to treat this condition. Improving joint mobility can help improve the quality of life for people with joint pain.

Natural anti-inflammatory

Harpagophytum is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it a promising natural remedy for various inflammatory conditions.

Mechanism of Action : Iridoid glycosides, especially harpagoside, are the main compounds responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of Harpagophytum. Harpagoside works by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules that promote inflammation in the body. By reducing cytokine production, Harpagophytum may help reduce inflammation and relieve pain associated with various inflammatory conditions.

Clinical use : Several studies have shown that Harpagophytum can be an effective treatment for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, gout, and back pain. For example, research suggests that Harpagophytum may help reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis.

in a study(3) A two-month study in 42 people with chronic osteoarthritis found that daily supplements containing devil's claw, along with turmeric and bromelain (also considered to have anti-inflammatory effects), reduced pain by 46% on average (Trusted Source) .

Other benefits

In addition to the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties mentioned previously, devil's claw has other potential health benefits. As a physical therapist, I want to stress that these benefits are based on preliminary research and additional studies are needed to confirm their effectiveness.

Relieve back pain : Devil's claw shows potential for use as an analgesic, especially to relieve lower back pain. Researchers attribute this to harpagoside, an active plant compound found in devil's claw. in a study(4)Harpagoside extract has been shown to be as effective as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) called Vioxx in reducing lower back pain. It is important to note that more research is needed to confirm these findings.

Promote weight loss : Devil's claw may also promote weight loss by interacting with the hunger hormone, ghrelin. The stomach secretes ghrelin and one of its main functions is to send a signal to the brain that it is time to eat by increasing appetite. study(5) In mice, it showed that animals given devil's claw root powder ate significantly less food than those treated with a placebo. However, these appetite-reducing effects have not yet been studied in humans.

Dosage and use

there Harpagophytum root It is a part of the plant that is used in herbal medicine. It is found in various forms, such as injections, Tablets Or capsules.

Devil's claw appears to be safe when taken in doses up to 2,610 mg daily, although long-term effects have not been studied.

Precautions and contraindications

As with any medicinal plant or dietary supplement, Harpagophytum should be used with caution. Reported side effects are generally mild, the most common being diarrhea. However, some conditions may put you at greater risk for more serious reactions, such as heart disease, diabetes, gallstones, and stomach ulcers.


Harpagophytum is contraindicated for people with stomach or duodenal ulcers, gallstones, or acute cholecystitis. It is also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women and people taking anticoagulants, due to the increased risk of bleeding.

Comparison with other medicinal plants

Harpagophytum is not the only medicinal plant used to relieve pain and inflammation. Other plants, such as Uncaria tomentosa (cat's claw), Boswellia, turmeric, ginger and white willow, also have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

However, Harpagophytum is distinguished by its effectiveness in treating joint pain and its strong anti-inflammatory action. In some cases, it can be combined with other medicinal plants to enhance their effect and provide a more complete natural treatment.

The last word

Harpagophytum is a medicinal plant with impressive healing properties. It has been used for centuries to relieve joint pain, and is also effective against inflammation and muscle pain. It is available in various forms, such as injections, tablets and capsules, and represents a natural and effective alternative to conventional drug treatments.

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harpagophytum | Natural anti-inflammatory

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