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Devil's Claw

Devil's Claw, (Harpagophytum procumbens)

The low key ancient root with remarkable properties.
The herb grows in the deserts of the Namibian Steppes and the Kalahari. In the rainy season March-April it thrives in the red sandy soil. The roots grow deep into the ground. With the largest roots measuring around 80-90 cm. It has a very bitter taste, the roots have several hand like endings with horns, which is why it is called devils claw. Once dried out it is extremely hard and the roots can grip, the plant's seeds are found within.

It was first introduced in Germany after the First World War, by agricultural pioneer Mr Mehnert, he studied the therapeutic actions of the herb for 40 years. Then submitted samples to doctors in university clinics and laboratories where test and trials were conducted. After which it soon gained a reputation all across Europe as a powerful healing agent with no side effects.

Dr P.C. Seeger M.D. (Harpagophytum an effective plant remedy, in "Erfahrungsheilkunde" Vol.811973 ) wrote Harpagophytum tea is the best stimulant, and according to Indian medicine it is very good for the lymphatic system and very effective for inflammation. Stimulates both yin and yang sides of the organism.

It has a diuretic action and when treating problems with the heart, sometimes balancing herbs are added to strengthen the heart and aid circulation. Due to the herb's bitter taste it has a special effect on afflictions with the liver, gallbladder and pancreas. However it is not recommended to take the herb if you are using insulin.

The entire glandular system is strengthened. The whole organism is cleansed. A general feeling of well-being is noted after using the herb for a few days. Those finding it hard to climb stairs are soon finding it effortless.

Reports from Namibia gives us a long list of benefits derived from this root. Such as, rheumatism, lumbago, neuralgia, old age symptoms, headaches, heartburn, allergies, bladder disease and so on. It is definitely worthy of looking into, particularly as winter is coming.

Dr A.Vogel, the famous Swiss naturopath has written about this herb as an aid for thorough cleansing of the organism as a preventative against undesirable illnesses.

In our present climate of increased pollution this is a welcome addition to our supplement cupboards and should be taken as a course for up to 7-9 weeks at the time. The herb can be taken for longer periods without any side effect if you observe a week's break after 9 weeks.

The organically grown herb is available conveniently in vegetable capsules from Bee Well please inquire about a 7-9 week supply.

Herb Profile by Marijke Vogel, MH 19 September 2001