Curatodo, Cure everything, miraculous plant

C A T ´ S  C L A W

Scientific name: Uncaria tomentosa

 

Popularly called uña de gato, cat´s claw is a climbing plant of the Rubiáceas family, originally from Ecuador.  It grows in virgin lands of the Ecuadorian jungle, and also in lands well rested for a long time. The plant is used by the indigenous inhabitants as medicine.

Cat´s Claw sticks

The cat's claw is a liana with a thin, woody trunk that reaches 15 meters in height. Its leaves are opposite, ovate and full margin, with parallel nerve. They settle on the stem by a short petiole. Above its insertion grow curved and reflex spines -directed in the opposite direction to the growth of the stem- that the plant uses to attach itself to the trees. To these thorns his common name alludes, like those of thirty or so vegetable species. It grows in the Amazon, along the eastern flank of the Andes mountain range, and develops best at altitudes between 200 and 800 meters at sea level.

Traditional medicine: The cat's claw was known and used by the Kichwas of the central jungle of Ecuador for the cure of common diseases.

 

Modern medicine: Some clinical trials published in scientific journals have found evidence that shows therapeutic effects due to the use of this plant or any of its components. In general, there is evidence of the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory action of the cortex. Evidence of its efficacy as antitumor, antibiotic or antiviral refers to extracts or isolated components:

• Pain due to rheumatism.

• Toothache.

• Ulcers.

• Blood clotting.

• Viral diseases.

• Irregularities of the menstrual cycle.

• Gonorrhea.

• General weakness and convalescence.

• Diabetes.

• Deep wounds.

• Hemorrhoids and fistulas.

History:

Its scientific discovery dates back to 1830, the year in which it was first described as a species. However, it was not until the 1950s that the German naturalist Arturo Brell carried out the first systematic studies of the species from plants collected in the andean jungle. The scientific discovery of the cat's claw as a medicinal plant and its subsequent diffusion throughout the world as a "curatodo (cure everything) plant" starts much later.

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