Devil's claw (botanically Harpagophytum procumbens) belongs to the sesame family and is native to the savannah of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa and Namibia. The name is derived from "harpagos", the Greek word for "grappling hook".
Woody seed capsules with branched arms and large barbs develop from the striking red flowers of the devil's claw, which have given the plant its German name Teufelskralle (devil's claw).
The natives of southern Africa have long valued the plant for its many properties. In Europe, devil's claw is also popular for its effect on digestive function. African devil's claw is traditionally said to benefit the metabolism in ligaments, tendons and joints and can thus serve the normal functional maintenance of the entire musculoskeletal system and is approved as a phytotherapeutic for pain of the musculoskeletal system due to wear and tear.
This effect on the joints comes from the special ingredients of devil's claw, the bitter substances harpagoside and harpagid.