Also known as: Uncaria tomentosa, and Una de Gato.
Farming Type: Wild Harvested
Cat’s claw is a tropical vine clinging to 100-foot (and taller) trees by using its namesake “claws.” Cat’s claw (una de gato in Spanish) refers to at least 20 plants with sharp curved thorns, both native to the South and Central American tropical rain forests, with most of the commercial production focused on Uncaria tomentosa. Ethically harvested cat’s claw bark is a major source of income for many Brazilian and Peruvian villages. Usually used as a tincture. The tannins in the herb are released only if it is taken in an acidic medium; add a little lemon juice to a quarter-cup of water to which you add the tincture or prepare as a tea. For convenience it may be taken as a capsule.
NOTE: Women should avoid use of this herb when trying to get pregnant.
In magick, this herb has often been used in health and healing magick, as well as to renew life. In native communities it has been often used in shamanic journeys and vision quests.