Botanical Name: Uncaria tomentosa
Uncaria tomentosa is a woody vine that uses its claw-shaped thorns to climb trees, while often reaching heights upwards of 100 feet. Native to tropical climates in Central and South America, cat’s claw bark has been a part of indigenous healing traditions for thousands of years. Typical preparations of the bark include extractions, infusions, or decoctions as cat’s claw tea.
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. The plant is a member of the Rubiaceae family.
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