Cat’s claw or ‘Uña de gato’ is a climbing vine that is native to the Peruvian Amazon and gains its name from the barbed ‘claws’ with which it climbs the jungle canopy. Cat’s claw has been used by rainforest tribes to contribute to the immune system and helps to maintain flexible joints, and it is still well known for these benefits today.
There are many actives in Cat's claw - including alkaloids thought to contribute to the immune system, and a group of chemicals called quinovic acid glycosides. Other actives are carboxyl alkyl esters, sterols (beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol and campesterol) and antioxidants.
Cat’s claw is a bitter herb, which is why Rio Trading Cat’s claw teabags contain added Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamon and Orange peel, giving the tea a pleasant, warming taste, making it ideal for the cold winter months. The loose tea contains no additives, but spices can be added to taste.
Pure shredded Cat's claw bark (Uncaria tomentosa).
Botanical names: Uncaria tomentosa.
Common names: Cat’s claw, Casha, Garbato, Hawk’s claw, Huasca, Samento, Uña de gato.