"ABC is deeply grateful to EcoSo Dynamics for adopting devil's claw," said Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of ABC. "ABC also appreciates EcoSo Dynamics' strong commitment to environmentally sustainable and culturally supportive harvesting of devil's claw roots. Devil's claw is a traditionally used herbal remedy with a growing body of scientific and clinical research that supports its safe and effective use to reduce lower back pain and benefit other conditions," he added.
About Devil's Claw
Devil's claw is a perennial herb that can reach up to one meter (3.3 feet) in length. It produces several prostrate annual stems from a succulent taproot, with additional tubers on lateral roots. Other common names for devil's claw are grapple plant and wood spider, referring to the fearsome-looking, hook-like fruits of the plant, which can cripple large animals.
The plant's anti-inflammatory benefits are derived mostly from its secondary root tubers, which are cut and dried and contain iridoid glycosides (primarily harpagoside), among other constituents.
Clinical studies have demonstrated that preparations of the secondary tubers can reduce pain sensation and improve mobility in humans. In addition, they appear to be safe and effective when used for conditions such as degenerative painful rheumatism, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, headaches, allergies, and more. Traditionally, they have also been used to address digestive ailments.
Devil's claw is native to Kalahari savannas in Namibia and parts of South Africa, Botswana, Angola, and Zimbabwe. The tubers are obtained by sustainable wild-collection and also, on a small scale, by harvesting cultivated plant material on farms. On average, between 400 and 450 tons of dried devil's claw is exported annually from Namibia.
About EcoSo Dynamics
EcoSo Dynamics, established in 2004, emphasizes ecological and social sustainability in its sourcing and processing of devil's claw, and has an annual turnover of about 250 metric tons of devil's claw. "EcoSo's mission is to establish a sustainable supply chain for devil's claw that takes into consideration the ecology, economy, and social needs of thousands of [impoverished] villagers throughout southern Africa," said Gero Diekmann, managing director and owner of EcoSo Dynamics. "EcoSo is the frontrunner in establishing contracts with harvester groups to support sustainable harvesting and processing in order to achieve either organic certification and/or processing according to good agricultural and [collection] practices. At our facility we maintain good manufacturing practice (GMP) certification. Through this, EcoSo has full traceability in place and can 100% assure its clients of the purity of the material, be it H. procumbens or H. zeyheri. We see ourselves as leaders in the industry [and our] adoption of devil's claw shows our commitment to our values, and to make these known in the US."
Diekmann also said he hopes the adoption helps assure stakeholders in the US of the purity and quality of the raw material, and that it helps establish direct trade links between Namibia and the US. "Unfortunately, we assume that 90% of devil's claw used in the US comes to the US via Europe," Diekmann said.
About the American Botanical Council's Adopt-an-Herb Program & HerbMedPro
CONTACT: Tim Wermund, 512-909-4753
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SOURCE American Botanical Council