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Research Work May Save Devil’s Claw As A Natural Health Resource

October 14, 2009 by  

Research work may save devil's claw as a natural health resource An African plant with highly regarded medicinal properties has been threatened with extinction, but researchers around the globe are coming together to preserve its unique compounds for natural medicine.

Devil’s claw – which is under threat from drought in large parts of Africa – is believed to provide effective treatments for a range of conditions including arthritis and tendonitis. In fact, its extracts are in Phase II clinical trials in the U.S. for the treatment of hip and knee arthritis.

Scientists suspect that its beneficial effects stem from compounds called iridoid glycosides harpagoside and harpagide.

Dr. Milen I. Georgiev says the plant currently faces significant problems with natural renewal, mainly due to low rainfall in areas where it grows.

"These problems are driving efforts to find alternative ways to produce high value compounds from the plant, independent of geographical and climatic factors," he stresses.

Georgiev is one of the scientists spearheading the effort, and at the recently held 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society he presented a paper which describes a new technique which may be used to develop "biofactories" that could produce large quantities of the plant extracts at low cost.
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  • Steph Smythe

    African plants have lived for 5000 years under the same climate. Harvesting of this resource should be made fairly and the profits from this plant be shared with the descendants of people that have cared for the environment all these years. Otherwise I am beginning to believe that African resources and indigenous knowledge are being commercialized without any benefits to Africans. This can be called exploitation.

    • Gregory

      Can be grown outdoors in Spring and Summer here in the States. Die after first frost. Have large seed pods that should be handled with gloves. You can sell the seedpods or seeds on ebay. From my understanding this plant like a potato plant has tubers coming out of the root. The root tubers are dug up and used for many different health problems. Mostly pain.

  • http://yahoo.com walter e stone sr

    Is it possible to grow this plant at home in a contyrol tem..???

  • http://Donothaveawebsite Jeanie Gray

    I purchased Devil’s Claw in Alaska. Can This plant grow in such extrmely different different climates?

    • Gregory

      These plants thrive in hot temps. Can be grown in States from Spring till first frost. Like the sun and lots of water. Very dangerous plant, keep children away from it!

  • Gregory

    Last year I grew a big bed of these plants outside my home. I had bought the seeds off ebay. A dog got into them and caused me all kinds of problems. Warning to you people do not let any children around these Devil Claw plants they are a type of carnivorous plant. They use the corpse of whatever walks into them as fertiizer. The seed pod hooks into whatever walks into them. Very painful plants to walk into. I used miricle-gro soil and grew plants up to 4 foot tall. Easy to grow likes a lot of water, kinda pretty with a flower and horrible smell. I have to say the Devils Claw was the most interesting plant I have grew. Grow them only where you can keep an eye on them, they can hurt a child.

  • s c

    I’m hoping that America will be found to be a storehouse of medicinal plants. That would compensate for those who seem to have an interest in destroying plants that have health-restoring properties. Maybe the tree-huggers and the save mama earthers should band together and do the right thing.
    That is, if they can tear themselves away from their political projects. They do care, don’t they?

    • Jana

      We may have no choice but too go back to herbs and plants for healing. When Obama is through with healthcare, I would trust the plants more than goverment! In fact i’m not going to have any part of Obamacare! I don’t want anything to do with Fascism, Marxism or Socialism! I will not obey big goverment! I am an American and a Capitalist, and I will die that way. I think there is going to be a cival war in this country before Obama turns us into a third world ragged country! I’m tired of being pushed by liberal Fascist! Gun sales have tripled since Barack Hussein Obama Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm has began ruling over us! A sence of impending doom is in the air! I’m Ready!

  • Mary

    please keep your political views to yourself when talking about herbs and plants
    I do not want to read them when researching herbs!!!!! As my girlfriend lays in bed dieing because she has a brain tumor in the back of her head she has NO insurance and NO hospital or surgeron will do anything for her or operate to remove it bacuse she can’t afford a $200,000.00 surgery. REAL NICE!!!

    • DaveH

      Mary,
      This is a site I ran across which seems to be very comprehensive. A good starting point anyway. Good luck.
      http://home.comcast.net/~iaa/index.html

    • Jana

      Mary darling I’ll say whatever I want, we have free speach in this Country still!! 54 percent of the American people are happy with their healthcare. We have the best healthcare in the world!! We sure don’t need Obamacare and a Fascist goverment!!!

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