An analytical study, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of Harpagophytum procumbens and Harpagophytum zeyheri

Planta Med. 1997 Apr;63(2):171-6. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-957638.


The iridoids of Harpagophytum procumbens and Harpagophytum zeyheri were studied by CLHP. Harpagoside is the main iridoid for both drugs whereas 8-p-coumaroylharpagide is a representative iridoid of Harpagophytum zeyheri only. The ratio harpagoside/8-p-coumaroylharpagide can be used to distinguish chemically both species. For commercial dried aqueous extracts this ratio is intermediate because they are probably prepared from a mixture of H. procumbens and H. zeyheri drugs. The aqueous extracts of both drugs show similar analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Harpagophytum procumbens and Harpagophytum zeyheri should be accepted as sources for the drug Harpagophyti radix.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / chemistry
  • Analgesics / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Rats


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal