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This monograph is intended to serve as a guide to industry for the preparation of Product Licence Applications (PLAs) and labels for natural health product market authorization. It is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the medicinal ingredient.



May 20, 2022

Proper name(s), Common name(s), Source information

Table 1. Proper name(s), Common name(s), Source information
Proper name(s) Common name(s) Source information
Source material(s) Part(s) Preparation(s)

Harpagophytum procumbens

  • Devil's claw
  • Grapple plant
  • Wood spider

Harpagophytum procumbens

Secondary root tubers


Harpagophytum zeyheri

  • Devil's claw
  • Grapple plant
  • Wood spider

Harpagophytum zeyheri

References: Proper names: USDA 2018; Common names: USDA 2018, Barnes et al. 2007, McGuffin et al. 2000; Source information: ESCOP 2003, Blumenthal et al. 2000, Bradley 1992.

Route of Administration


Dosage Form(s)

This monograph excludes foods or food-like dosage forms as indicated in the Compendium of Monographs Guidance Document.

Acceptable dosage forms for oral use are indicated in the dosage form drop-down list of the web-based Product Licence Application form for Compendial applications.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)


Claims for traditional use must include the term "Herbal Medicine", "Traditional Chinese Medicine", or "Ayurveda".



Adults 18 years and older


Methods of preparation: Dry, Powder, Non-Standardised Extracts (Dry extract, Tincture, Fluid extract, Decoction, Infusion)

Stimulation of appetite

0.6 - 1.5 grams of dried secondary root tubers, per day (EMA 2016; Blumenthal et al. 2000; Bradley 1992)

Relief of digestive disturbances

0.6 - 4.5 grams of dried secondary root tubers, per day (EMA 2016; Blumenthal et al. 2000; Bradley 1992)

Relief of joint pain associated with osteoarthritis

0.6 - 7.5 grams of dried secondary root tubers, per day (EMA 2016; Mills and Bone 2005; ESCOP 2003; Hoffmann 2003; Bradley 1992)


1If both Harpagophytum species are used in a product formulation, the total amount of secondary root tubers should be within the quantity ranges listed on the monograph.

Direction(s) for use

No statement required.

Duration(s) of Use

Relief of joint pain associated with osteoarthritis

Use for at least 2-3 months to see beneficial effects (ESCOP 2003).

Risk Information

Caution(s) and warning(s)


No statement required.

Known adverse reaction(s)

No statement required.

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database (NHPID) and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.

Storage conditions

Must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the Natural Health Products Regulations (NHPR).


References Cited

Barnes J, Anderson LA, Philipson JD, editors. Herbal Medicine, 3rd edition. London (UK): The Pharmaceutical Press; 2007.

Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinkmann J, editors. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.

Bradley PR, editor. British Herbal Compendium: A Handbook of Scientific Information on Widely Used Plant Drugs, Volume 1. Bournemouth (UK): British Herbal Medicine Association; 1992.

EMA 2016: EMA/CHMP/627057/2015 European Union herbal monograph on Harpagophytum procumbens DC. and/or Harpagophytum zeyheri Decne., radix Final. 12 July 2016. London (GB): European Medicines Agency: Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (CHMP). [Accessed 2018 September 2018]. Available from:

ESCOP 2003: ESCOP Monographs: The Scientific Foundation for Herbal Medicinal Products, 2nd edition. Exeter (UK): European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy and Thieme; 2003.

Hoffmann D. Medical Herbalism. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press; 2003.

McGuffin M, Kartesz JT, Leung AY, Tucker AO, editors. Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition. Silver Spring (MD): American Herbal Products Association; 2000.

Mills S, Bone K. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. St. Louis (MO): Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2005.

USDA 2018: United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville (MD). [Accessed 2018 September 27]. Available from:

References Reviewed

Brien S, Lewith GT, McGregor G. Devil's claws (Harpagophytum procumbens) as a treatment for osteoarthritis: A review of efficacy and safety. The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine 2006;12(10):981-993.

Brinker F. Online Updates and Additions to Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 3rd edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications; 2008. [Accessed 2008 May 9]. Available from:

Chantre P, Cappelaere A, Leblan D, Guedon D, Vandermander J, Fournie B. Efficacy and tolerance of Harpagophytum procumbens versus diacerhein in treatment of osteoarthritis. Phytomedicine 2000;7(3):177-83.

Chrubasik JE, Roufogalis BD, Chrubasik S. Evidence of effectiveness of herbal antiinflammatory drugs in the treatment of painful osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain. Phytotherapy Research: PTR 2007;21(7):675-683.

Chrubasik S, Chrubasik C, Kunzel O, Black A. Patient-perceived benefit during one year of treatment with Doloteffin. Phytomedicine 2007;14(6):371-376.

Chrubasik S, Conradt C, Black A. The quality of clinical trials with Harpagophytum procumbens. Phytomedicine 2003;10(6-7):613-623.

Chrubasik S, Conradt C, Roufogalis BD. Effectiveness of Harpagophytum extracts and clinical efficacy. Phytotherapy Research: PTR 2004;18(2):187-189.

Chrubasik S, Model A, Black A, Pollak S. A randomized double-blind pilot study comparing Doloteffin and Vioxx in the treatment of low back pain. Rheumatology 2003:42(1):141-148.

Chrubasik S, Thanner J, Kunzel O, Conradt C, Black A, Pollak S. Comparison of outcome measures during treatment with the proprietary Harpagophytum extract Doloteffin in patients with pain in the lower back, knee or hip. Phytomedicine 2002;9(3):181-194.

Gagnier JJ, vanTulder M, Berman B, Bombardier C. Herbal medicine for low back pain: a Cochrane review. Spine 2008;32(1):82-92.

Grant L, McBean DE, Fyfe L, Warnock AM. A review of the biological and potential actions of Harpagophytum procumbens. Phytotherapy Research: PTR 2007;21(3):199-209.

Gregory PJ, Sperry M, Friedman Wilson A. Dietary supplements for osteoarthritis. American Family Physician 2008;77(2):177-184.

Laudahn D, Walper A. Efficacy and tolerance of Harpagophytum extract LI 174 in patients with chronic non-radicular back pain. Phytotherapy Research 2001;15(7):621-4.

Leblan D, Chantre P, Fournié B. Harpagophytum procumbens in the treatment of knee and hip osteoarthritis. Four-month results of a prospective, multicenter, double-blind trial versus diacerhein. Joint, bone, spine : revue du rhumatisme 2000;67(5):462-7.

McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, editors. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 1997.

Mills S, Bone K. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Toronto (ON): Churchill Livingstone; 2000.