Cats Claw Products
This large woody vine grows in proliferation throughout the jungles of the Amazon rainforest and has been used medicinally by numerous tribes for well over 2,000 years. Indigo Herbs brings you three premium Cat Claw ingredients that can be added to your home medicine cabinet. These are; Cats Claw Powder, Cats Claw Tincture and Cats Claw Tea.
As the name suggests this plant has a one hook thorn that resembles a single nail of a cat claw. Other names include pot hook, hawk's claw and sparrow hawk nail. Within the Amazon Rain forest the Peruvian tribes of the Aguaruna, Asháninka, Campa, Cashibo, Conibo and Shipibo all use this plant medicinally for a great number of bodily complaints. The Asháninka have the longest recorded history of using Uncaria tomentosa and are also the largest commercial source of the plant. This tribe live in the heart of the rainforest and are thought to have taught all other tribes about the qualities of Cats Claw. During the time of the Incas it is said that the use of this plant was restricted to the ruler and the royal family only. From early historical references there have always been two different types of Cats Claw; the first is Uncaria tomentosa (or ‘uña de gato roja’ – red Cats Claw) while the second is Uncaria guianensis (or ‘uña de gato blanca’ – white Cats Claw). Both are given an extraordinarily high status amongst the Asháninka as being deities incarnate and are totally interchangeable from one another. The dry stems of the plant are often used to carve the faces of other deities because of the holy nature of the plant. It is said that these two plants are used in the context of regulating the manifest and metaphysical worlds of these rainforest tribes.
Cats claw is a creeping perennial liana that can grow to a very large size. It can reach up to 30 meters in height by using its claw like appendage as an anchor and pulling itself along or upward. A single plant can grow into the forest canopy as well as long distances along the rainforest floor. The leaves are bright green, oval and grow opposite each other on the vine. If a branch is broken then it will excrete a clear watery sap. Flowers are generally yellow, trumpet shaped (a little like a daffodil) and hermaphrodite. A single plant can take over a whole tree as a host, a little like common European ivy.