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Uncaria – Wikipedia

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– Description:
– Woody lianas
– Climbing by hooks formed from reduced, modified branches
– Stipules entire or bifid
– Inflorescences are compact heads at the ends of horizontal, very reduced branches
– Corolla lobes without appendages

– Species:
– Uncaria acida (W.Hunter) Roxb.
– Uncaria africana G.Don
– Uncaria angolensis (Havil.) Welw. ex Hutch. & Dalziel
– Uncaria attenuata Korth.
– Uncaria barbata Merr.

– Uses:
– Chinese used U. gambir for tanning in the 1830s
Plant extract contains 150 identified phytochemicals
– Cats claw and Chinese Uncaria species used in traditional medicine
– No high-quality clinical evidence for medicinal properties
– U. tomentosa and Chinese Uncaria species commonly used

– Adverse effects:
– Cats claw safe below 350 milligrams per day over 6 weeks
– Possible adverse effects include nausea and diarrhea
– Upset stomach may occur
– Increased risk of bleeding if used with anticoagulant drug
– Caution advised for cats claw usage

– References:
– World Checklist of Rubiaceae at Kew Gardens Website
– Mabberleys Plant-Book third edition (2008)
– Index Nominum Genericorum in Regnum Vegetabile
– International Plant Names Index
– Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution study on Cinchonoideae

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