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Its name comes from the appearance of the branchy and woody fruit supplied with beards like claws. The plant was commonly used by native Africans, as an infusion, in rheumatic diseases, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, liver diseases, kidney and bladder. Besides having also a possible beneficial effect on stomach diseases , gall bladder, pancreas and intestines. Also proclaimed that its regular use reduced the ills of old age and the arteries became more elastic. Although it was from botanical knowledge since the nineteenth century, it was only after the 1st World War initially in Germany that were developed studies on their pharmacological properties. Devil's claw develops in relatively limited areas of Africa, especially in Kalihari desert and the steppes of Namibia.1,2
References: 1 - Kathe W, Barsch F, Honnef S. Trade in Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) in Germany - Status, Trends and Certification. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. 2003. 2 - Introdução à fitoterapia: utilizando adequadamente as plantas medicinais. Colombo: Herbarium Lab. Bot. Ltda, 2008.