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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

#Popular #Herbs - #Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)

Devil's claw also known as wood spider, is a plant of genus Harpagophytum in the family of Pedaliaceae, native to South Africa.The plant has been used as herb in traditional and herbal medicine to treat fever, rheumatoid arthritis, skin, gallbladder, pancreas, stomach and kidneys conditions, etc.

Health benefits
1. Antiinflammatory effects
In the investigation of Harpagophytum procumbens (Hp) and it effect on inflammatory and degenerative disease, found that standardized ethanol Hp extract from Harpagophytum procumbensinhibits induction of pro-inflammatory gene expression, possibly by blocking the AP-1 pathway. This is novel evidence of a possible mechanism of action of this antiinflammatory drug, according to "Molecular Targets of the Antiinflammatory Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil's claw): Inhibition of TNFα and COX-2 Gene Expression by Preventing Activation of AP-1." by Fiebich BL, Muñoz E, Rose T, Weiss G, McGregor GP.(1)

2. Osteoarthritis
In the observation of Harpagophytum procumbens and it effects on chronic inflammatory conditions such as Osteoarthritis found that Devil's Claw appeared effective in the reduction of the main clinical symptom of pain. The assessment of safety is limited by the small populations generally evaluated in the clinical studies. From the current data, Devil's Claw appears to be associated with minor risk (relative to NSAIDs), but further long-term assessment is required, according to the study of "Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) as a treatment for osteoarthritis: a review of efficacy and safety" by Brien S, Lewith GT, McGregor G.(2)

3. Cholinesterases Inhibitory and Antioxidant Activities
In the investigation of extracts of cell suspension and transformed root cultures of Harpagophytum procumbens (commonly known as Devil's claw) and it antioxidants effect found that indicated that the phenylethanoid fractions may be attractive for various commercial purposes since they displayed significant cholinesterase inhibitory activity (even higher than that of pure galanthamine in the case of butyrylcholinesterase inhibition assay). Crude methanolic extracts from cell and hairy root cultures of Devil's claw exhibited strong ferrous ion-chelating capacity (1.5-2 times higher than pure butylated hydroxyanisole, used as positive standard), according to the study of "Cholinesterases Inhibitory and Antioxidant Activities of Harpagophytum procumbens from In Vitro Systems" by Georgiev MI, Alipieva K, Orhan IE.(3)

4. Osteoarthritis
In the study of Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) and it effects on osteoarthritis found that fourteen studies were identified: eight observational studies; 2 comparator trials (1 open, the other randomized to assess clinical effectiveness); and 4 double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized controlled trials to assess efficacy. Many of the published trials lacked certain important methodological quality criteria. However, the data from the higher quality studies suggest that Devil's Claw appeared effective in the reduction of the main clinical symptom of pain, according to the study of "Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) as a treatment for osteoarthritis: a review of efficacy and safety" by Brien S, Lewith GT, McGregor G.(4)

5. Uterotonic effect
In the analying some traditional health practitioners of South Africa have claimed that Harpagophytum procumbens DC (family: Pedaliaceae) secondary root is a useful obstetric remedy for induction or acceleration of labour, found that the herb provoked powerful contractions of isolated longitudinal, tubular uterine horn muscle preparations of non-pregnant and pregnant rats. The results of this in vitro study indicate that H. procumbens secondary root aqueous extract possesses spasmogenic, uterotonic action on mammalian uterine muscles, according to "Uterotonic effect of Harpagophytum procumbens DC (Pedaliaceae) secondary root aqueous extract on rat isolated uterine horns' by Mahomed IM, Ojewole JA.(5)

(6) Analgesic, antiinflammatory and antidiabetic effects
In the investigation of Harpagophytum procumbens DC (Family: Pedaliaceae). H. procumbens is widely used in South African traditional medicine for the treatment, management and/or control of a variety of human ailments found that H. procumbens root aqueous extract possesses analgesic, antiinflammatory and hypoglycaemic properties, and lend pharmacological support to the suggested folklore uses of Harpagophytum procumbens root in the management and/or control of painful, arthritic and other inflammatory conditions, as well as for adult-onset, type-2 diabetes mellitus in some communities of South Africa, according to the study "Analgesic, antiinflammatory and antidiabetic properties of Harpagophytum procumbens DC (Pedaliaceae) secondary root aqueous extract' by Mahomed IM, Ojewole JA.(6)

7. Degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system
Extracts of the secondary tubers of Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) and it degenerative painful rheumatism effects found that Pharmacological experiments have shown analgesic, antiphlogistic and antiinflammatory actions. Most important constituents are iridoid glycosides, which are supposed to contribute mainly to the observed effects. However, the entire extract has to be considered as active ingredient, according to"[Therapy of degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system with South African devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens DC)].[Article in German]" by Wegener T.(7)

8. Arthrosis of hip or knee
In observation of Preparations made from the secondary tubers of Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) and it effects on rheumatic diseases (arthrosis and low back pain) found that a continuous improvement in typical clinical findings such as 45.5% for pain on palpation, 35% for limitation of mobility and 25.4% for joint crepitus. Only two cases of possible adverse drug reactions were reported (dyspeptic complaints and a sensation of fullness), according to "Treatment of patients with arthrosis of hip or knee with an aqueous extract of devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens DC.)" by Wegener T, Lüpke NP.(8)

9. Low back pain
In the analyzing Harpagophytum procumbens and it osteoarthritis and low back pain effects found that the use of an aqueous extract of Harpagophytum procumbens at 60 mg harpagoside being non-inferior to 12.5 mg rofecoxib per day for chronic non-specific low-back pain (NSLBP) in the short term. Strong evidence exists for the use of an aqueous Harpagophytum extract at a daily dose equivalent of 50 mg harpagoside in the treatment of acute exacerbations of chronic NSLBP., according to the study of "Harpgophytum procumbens for osteoarthritis and low back pain: a systematic review" by Gagnier JJ, Chrubasik S, Manheimer E.(9)

10. Anticonvulsant activity
In the examination of Harpagophytum procumbens DC [family: Pedaliaceae] as a herbal medicine in South African traditional medicine and its anticonvulsant activity found that the anticonvulsant property of the herb may be linked, at least in part, to its ability to depress the central nervous system. However, the results of this experimental animal study indicate that H. procumbens secondary root aqueous extract possesses anticonvulsant activity, and thus lend pharmacological support to the suggested folkloric, ethnomedical uses of the plant's extract in the treatment, management and/or control of epilepsy and childhood convulsions in some rural communities of South Africa, according to the study of "Anticonvulsant activity of Harpagophytum procumbens DC [Pedaliaceae] secondary root aqueous extract in mice" by Mahomed IM, Ojewole JA.(10)

11. Etc.

Side Effects
1. Do not use Devil'sclaw if you have gastric or duodenal ulcers
2. Do not use the herb if you have gallstones
3. the herb may interact with other medicine
4. Do not use the herb if you are pregnant or breast feeding with out permission of related field specialist
5. Do not use Devil's claw if you are taking lower blood sugar medicine.
6. Etc.

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Sources
(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22072539
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17212570
(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21721061
(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17212570
(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19907121
(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15742343
(7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10483693
(8) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14669250
(9) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15369596
(10) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16464685