10. Cat’s Claw Decoction
Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a woody climbing vine found in South and Central America, with its most notable use being in the Amazon rainforest. It is named after the thorns on the plant which are hooked, much like cats claws. It has been used as a traditional remedy in its native habitat for a long time, but test tube studies finally revealed evidence for promising benefits, one amongst them being lowering blood pressure. It does so by dilating the blood vessels (known as vasodilation) and therefore lowering the pressure by allowing blood to flow through more readily. It can also act as a mild diuretic, getting rid of unneeded salt and water in the body, which can again reduce hypertension. The tannins and flavonoid are most likely the main constituents that account for the herbs healing actions.
Here it is made into a flavorful decoction that will give you all of its benefits. A decoction is essentially a tea, but is simmered for much longer as it is made from the woody, tough, fibrous parts of the plant such as roots or (in this case) bark. There are two things to keep in mind when searching for your herb-first, make sure its scientific name matches the one above (there are several other plants known as cats claw) and secondly, make sure it is from an ecologically sustainable Cats Claw should be avoided by women who are pregnant.