Uncaria tomentosa (Willd. ex Roem. & Schult.) DC.

Nota de alcance (en)

Ethnobotanical and general use

Medical use
Used parts: Bark, leaves. Bark in pieces or ground. In popular medicine, the plant is used against malignant tumour, rheumatism, arthritis, diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver (GUPTA 1995). While in Uncaria guianensis it is mainly the leaves that are used for healing purposes, in U. tomentosa it is the bark which contains the healing properties. In Peru, the bark has been used from time immemorial by the Ashanica Indians to cure a variety of sicknesses, such as immunological and digestive problems (STEINBERG 1994). Intense investigations since 1970 carried out at universities throughout the world have shown that the plant has the following properties: it is immunostimulant, antiinflammatory, antiviral, antiallergic; it even contains substances inhibitory to tumours and stimulates the immune system against aids. U. tomentosa is therefore a species largely used in popular medicine. U. guianensis possesses similar properties, but its effects on the immunological system are less striking as it lacks one of the alkaloids present in Uncaria tomentosa. The pharmaceutical industry already produces tablets, capsules and ointment of U. tomentosa (LINDORF 2000) .

Method of use
2 spoonfuls of the bark are boiled in 1,5 l of water for 30 minutes and left to cool. Half a glass of this liquid is taken 3 times a day before meals (GUPTA 1995).

Healing properties
Antiinflammatory, antiviral, contraceptive; increases phagocytosis, exhibits cytostatic activity, inhibits DNA synthesis in sarcoma, increases the level of immunoglobulin.

Chemical contents
Six alkaloids could be identified. The bark contains campesterol (see also GUPTA 1995).


Whole plant: In a gargle to remedy mouth ulcers.

Nota de alcance

PARTE UTILIZADA= Used part: Corteza, hojas.

ACCIÓN FARMACOLÓGICA= Pharmacological action: Para tumores malignos, reumatismos, artritis, diabetes y cirrosis, inflamaciones, enfermedades inmunológicas y degenerativas, antiviral, inmunoestimulante, antioxidante.

POSOLOGÍA= Posology: Es de reciente aparición en el mercado y se emplea, de acuerdo a las instruccionesde las etiquetas, como inmunoestimulante. Deccoción: 2 cucharadas en 1,5 litros de agua.

COMPOSICIÓN QUÍMICA= Chemical composition: Se han reportado seis alcaloides oxindólicos pentacíclicos: isopteropodina, pteropodina, mitrafilina, isomitrafilina e isorhincofilina. También se reportan seis glicósidos del ácido quinóvico y recientemente tres nuevos triterpenos polihidroxilados. La corteza contiene estigmasterol campesterol; la corteza de raíz-ácido oleanólico y un alcaloide indólico 5-gama-carboxistrictosidina.

ZONA GEOGRÁFICA= Geografical zone: Brasil. 


Origen: Es una planta que crece en zonas tropicales y subtropicales de América.

Estimula el sistema inmunológico; combate la artritis; anticoagulante, reduce los accidentes tromboembólicos.

Nota bibliográfica

1) ALONSO PAZ, Eduardo ; BASSAGODA, María Julia ; FERREIRA, Fernando. Yuyos : uso racional de las plantas medicinales. Montevideo : Fin de siglo, 2007, p.132-133.

2) 270 (doscientos setenta) plantas medicinales iberoamericanas. Santiago de Bogotá : CYTED-SECAB, 1995, p.486-487.

3) South American medicinal plants : botany, remedial properties, and general use / I. Roth, H. Lindorf. Berlin ; New York : Springer, c2002. -- p. 492.

4) Quesada Hernández, Alonso/ Herbario nacional de Costa Rica. Costa Rica: Arena Trans Amèrica, 2008. - p. 61

Uncaria tomentosa (Willd. ex Roem. & Schult.) DC.
Término aceptado: 15-May-2008