Planta Med 1992; 58(2): 117-123
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-961411

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic Effects of an Aqueous Extract of Harpagophytum procumbens

Marie-Claire Lanhers1 , Jacques Fleurentin1 , François Mortier2 , Annie Vinche3 , Chafique Younos1
  • 1Laboratoire de Pharmacognosie, Centre des Sciences de l'Environnement, Université de Metz, 1 rue des Récollets, F-57000 Metz, France
  • 2Laboratoire de Pharmacognosie, Université de Nancy, 5 rue Albert Lebrun, F-54000 Nancy, France
  • 3Laboratoires Biophyland, 34 rue St Romain, F-69008 Lyon, France
Further Information

Publication History


Publication Date:
05 January 2007 (online)


The dried aqueous extract of Harpagophytum procumbens (Pedaliaceae) and its main iridoid glycoside, harpagoside, have been evaluated for anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in mice and rats, in order to validate or invalidate the involvement of this compound in such properties. This extract exerted significant and dose-dependent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, from the dose 100 mg of dried secondary roots/kg, the first being obtained on an acute inflammatory process (carrageenan-induced edema test in rats) and the second being obtained against a chemical stimulus (writhing test in mice). Harpagoside does not appear to be involved in anti-inflammatory properties, since this iridoid glycoside did not protect against carrageenan inflammatory effects when it was used at 5 and 10 mg/kg; 5 mg corresponding to the quantity contained in 400 mg of dried secondary roots. The main iridoid glycoside of H. procumbens appears to be implicated in the peripheral analgesic properties of this species, but other compounds have to be involved, since the dose of 10 mg/kg exerted a significant protective effect.

The absence of the activity of H. procumbens after an acid treatment (0.1 N hydrochloric acid), similar to the physio-chemical conditions found in the stomach, suggests the use of a suitable galenic preparation in order to protect the active principles from the action of the acid released in the stomach.