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 Post subject: Plant: Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:36 am 
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Researching my books last nite I didn't see a picture of the Tsama melon flower or any other pink one (most are yellow) of ground creeping thorn or pumpkin/cucumber/melon plant so I am not any wiser.

However I see that the "WILD CUCUMBER" has APHRODISIAC properties . Thats the one with a spiny outside skin. Forgot to record the species name!


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:15 pm 
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Ok my guess would be:

Harpagophytum procumbens - Devil's claw, Grapplethorn (Eng), Duiwelsklou, Bobbejaankloue (Afrikaans).

Devil's claw is a tender trailing perennial with tubers and many round to oval-shaped stems. Leaves are deeply lobed or toothed with white glands on the surface. Solitary, pink or purple flowers with yellow throat, shaped like trumpets appear in spring followed by the characteristic large, hooked and claw-like fruit.
Is a plant of the sesame family, native to Southern Africa.
The name devil’s claw is derived from the herb’s unusual fruits, which are covered with numerous small claw-like appendages/hooks.

The secondary storage roots, or tubers, of the plant are collected in the wild and exported all over the world, where they are extremely widely used in herbal supplements and human as well as animal medicines.
It does not have an odour, but it contains substances that make it taste bitter. It thrives in clay or sandy soils.

For thousands of years, the Khoisan people of the Kalahari Desert have used devil's claw root in remedies. They used it to treat pain and complications of pregnancy. Also in topical ointments to heal sores, boils, and other skin problems.

Africans have used the herb for centuries to treat skin cancer, fever, malaria and indigestion. In Europe, the tea is recommended for arthritis, diabetes, allergies, senility and is widely utilized as an appetite stimulant and a digestive aid.

Parts used
As said the sliced and dried secondary roots are used for medicinal purposes.
Devil's Claw is reputed to have certain main effects - analgesic (painkilling), sedative, anti-inflammatory and diuretic.

More uses

Internal use
- Devil's claw is used internally to treat neuralgia, arthritis, rheumatism, reduce fever and problems involving the gall bladder and pancreas.
- It is also very effective in treating lower back pain, as well as digestive problems, loss of appetite and the treatment of sore muscles, and to reduce cholesterol.
- It is also used to cleanse the lymph system and to remove toxins from the blood.

External use
-Devil's claw is used externally to treat swollen, arthritic joints as well as boils, sores and skin ulcers.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:41 am 
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Jakkalsbessie rules.
I spent 30 minutes in the library yesterday and couldn't get an answer. However I did resolve to study wildfowers more , and took out a book by Sima Elliovsen. Looks like I will be getting in touch with my feminine side .

Jannie the WILD CUCUMBER I refered to is
Cucumis africanus .

In South africa - Land of Beauty , Land of Splendour
Readers Digest 1978
T. V . Bulpin describe's it as such:

LOVE'S PLANT . The wild cucumber , Cucumis africanus , is a tasty vegetable prized as an aphrodisiac.
I assume this is a Koisan tradition.

Any comments you have Jannie would be appreciated.
The photo of it is very similar to the Gemsbuck cucumber ,
very spiky , ovoid fruits on long rangy ground level vines .

If there is any substance to this aphrodisiac property we could put some spin on it to promote tourism in the area.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:48 pm 
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Report on the medical uses of Harpagophytum procumbens in pdf-format.

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