Vilcacora (Uncaria tomentosa) is an indigenous plant to South and Central America, also known as uña de gato, or Cat’s Claw due to the vine’s claw-shaped thorns. The active compounds (tetracyclic and pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids) are considered to have a strong stimulating effect on the immune system, making it an ideal herbal supplement in a variety of ailments.
Vilcacora has been widely used in many different types of digestive disorders, bacterial and viral infections, and inflammatory diseases. Its use in the treatment of Lyme disease is due to its antibacterial properties. Studies have shown that the active alkaloids are capable of killing the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, responsible for the symptoms of Lyme disease.
Though it is most commonly used for improving symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, cat’s claw is also known for its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, liver-protective, anti-ulcer, immuno-stimulating/modulating, blood sugar-lowering properties.