The medicinal plant of the desert, the Harpagophytum (Devil’s Claw)

Devil's claw

This beautiful flower that we see above is the complete opposite of what the devil’s claw represents.

A native of the desert, it is known as Devil’s Claw due to its stems or fruits that have menacing and twisted shapes that stretch across the ground. It is a plant that grows in very adverse conditions and has unique medicinal properties.

But where there is cruelty, there is beauty. This flower represents both! You want to know more? We invite you to continue reading 👇

The flower of the sand that survives defying its conditions.

Devil’s Claw is a medicinal plant that is usually found in devastated or desert soils where many of its sisters cannot grow or germinate. This medicinal plant comes from southern Africa, near Botswana or Namibia, where its roots were (and are) used in home remedies for pain. Thanks to its popularity and its effectiveness, it spread to other places with more unfavorable conditions such as North Africa or southern Spain, places where this plant was very grateful because not many can germinate, and of the few that can, almost none have medicinal properties like the Devil’s Claw.

The Greeks already baptized it Harpagofito, which means “plants with hooks” and is the usual name used in laboratories or pharmacies.

Surely you are full of desire to see what it really is and why everyone gives it these names, so let’s see images of the desert plant in its natural habitat.

harpagofito flower ground

☝ Up here we can see the flower and its stems growing on pure rock.
No need for fertile land or water.

And in this image above ☝ we can see more clearly its root and its twisted stems extending in all directions. This is the part that is used for medicinal purposes.

Below, we can see its stems more clearly and why everyone gives it bad names like Devil’s Claw. 👇

The therapeutic properties of Harpagofito and its uses.

Now that we have a clearer image of the plant in our heads, we know where it grows and where it originates from, we are going to talk about its medicinal purposes and why it has been used in home remedies since ancient times.

The first medicinal uses that were applied to this root were from African tribes that cooked it and applied its powders in infusions for muscle and joint pain. A more shamanic medicine that was later adopted by the Greeks and over the years has been used to alleviate pain. In modern times, the root has been analyzed in laboratories and it has been discovered why it was effective in these home remedies and why it became popular.

The Devil’s Claw is a xerophytic plant, (from a dry medium) and contains a unique chemical composition that is known as Harpagophytum procumbens. This name is a denomination of secondary metabolites, which, in summary and without going into very technical details, secondary metabolites are compounds that are produced by natural means such as fungi or plants.

In this case, from the root of this plant, active ingredients in pharmacology are extracted, such as Procumbide, Harpagoside and Procumboside.

These active ingredients have peripheral analgesic capacity (only analgesic where it is applied and not throughout the body) and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it ideal for certain muscle injuries or localized pain. This explains why in ancient times it became such a popular infusion and was extrapolated to different territories. If you put together a plant that can grow in very adverse situations and on top of that has medicinal properties… it is natural that the human being would take it everywhere.

After numerous studies, the best use of this plant is through the skin to take advantage of its analgesic properties, which is why it is common to see it in muscle creams and gels from various pharmacological laboratories. In our case, at Phytodoxia, we use it in our product called Physio Gel, where it is combined with other medicinal plants such as Arnica, which we have already talked about in another article, and all the combined properties are taken full advantage of.

This desert plant has a name that does not go with it for how good it is. Do you dare to try it?

Gel Physio 500

Gel Physio 500

For families and professional use

Gel Physio 200

For high performance athletes

Gel Physio 75

Gel Physio 75

For occasional use

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