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The harpagofito native of Africa, is a perennial plant, belonging to the family of pedaliaceae, which reaches 30 cm. with long branches that extend at ground level.
It has a tuberous main root that can weigh up to 600 g by the accumulation of water, and from it split some secondary roots, similar to peanuts, and that have a flavor bitter.
The leaves are opposite, hard, lobed and fleshy; the flowers are born solitary in the axillae foliar, with trumpet shape and a variable coloration.
As for the seeds of the harpagofito, this one has big spikes.
For its correct development, the harpagofito requires soils that present a high insolation, clayey or sandy, rich in organic matter and with an average amount of precipitation. Seed propagation is carried out during the spring, although the most common method is by dividing the tuber into pieces of 2 cm length and planted during the autumn.
The roots of the harpagophyte are unearthed in autumn, when the plant has accumulated a certain quantity of active substances essential for its regrowth the following year; they are cut and allowed to dry in a dark and well-ventilated environment.
Healing properties of the harpagophyta
The harpagophyte has been used as a natural remedy for centuries. African tribes used it to lower fever, malaria and blood diseases ( purify blood ) colds, diarrhea, gonorrhea, gout, lower back pain, low back pain , for to facilitate childbirth and syphilis.
However, it was not until 1904 when GH Mehnert made known to the western world the great properties of the harpagofito. This plant was first exported to Germany and then introduced in the rest of Europe in 1953.
At present, it has been proven that it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties thanks to the glucoside compounds it has.
Likewise, the harpagophyte possesses antiarrhythmic, antibacterial, and antirheumatic, cholagogue, diuretic, febrifuge, hypotensive, laxative and purgative, sedative, and uterine contraction-promoting properties.
However, its greater efficacy is found in the treatment for joint pain, in cases of arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatism and gout; for soft tissue pain (with proven efficacy against low back pain) and is that the harpy-fungus acts like cortisone, but lacks its unpleasant side effects.
The British pharmacopoeia recognizes its analgesic, sedative and diuretic properties, and states that it is more suitable for chronic pain than for acute pain. The German Commission includes the harpagofito to treat the loss of appetite, dyspeptic disorders and as support for the pain of bones and joints.
 Folk remedies
Remedy with harpagofito for sprains or cardinals Boil 2 tablespoons of harpagofito rhizome in a cup of water for 5 minutes. Cover and let cool only a little. Soak, still warm, a cloth and place, as a compress, on the affected area. Leave on until it cools and reapply another warm soaked cloth.
Remedy with migraine harp-naphite: Place 2 tablespoons of harpagofito rhizome in a cup of boiling water. Cover and let cool. Then, filter and drink a cup twice a day.
Remedy with harpagophytum for osteoarthritis Boil a handful of willow bark and another harpagofito rhizome in 1 liter of water for 10 minutes over low heat . Remove from heat, let stand for a few minutes and strain. Drink 1 cup of this preparation before each meal.
Remedy with harpagofito for sciatica : Pour 2 teaspoons of harpagofito and 2 of ulmaría in 1/2 liter of water is boiling Cover and leave to macerate for half an hour. Let rest for 10 minutes and consume it throughout the day.
Remedy with harpagofito for ankylosing spondylitis : Pour 2 tablespoons of harpagofito root in half a liter. , washed and chopped. Boil for 10 minutes. Cover and let cool. Drinking throughout the day.
Remedy with harpagofito to facilitate digestion Pour 2 teaspoons of harpagofito powder into a cup of boiling water. Cover and drink still hot. This remedy stimulates the production of gastric juices which helps the digestion of foods rich in fats.
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