Stevia, Cat’s Claw & Pau d’Arco: A Review of Two Healing Herbs and Something Sweet Too!


This week we have a review of two common herbs (Cat’s Claw, & Pau d’Arco) and a sweetener that has gained popular press (Stevia).  Each of them have been used to heal the body since ancient times.  As many of you may know by now, I love herbs, and believe in the powerful healing properties herbal medicine provides.  By reading this review you can ensure that if you choose to try these herbs you will do so in the safest possible manner.  Herb’s and herbal medicine are a gentle resource for healing, and they have changed my life in countless ways including to help my asthma, allergies and knee pain.  This review targets just a few wonderful herbs our planet graciously provided for our use.  Continue reading to find out if these natural supplements can be included in your healthy diet today …

Macfadyena_unguis_cat0534OlgaB                                         (Above photo is: Una de Gato, also known as Cat’s Claw)

Una de Gato (Cat’s Claw) 

Source – Cat’s claw is a thorny vine known to grow widely in the Peruvian Amazon.  The bark, root and leaves can be used.

Main Functions of Una de Gato (Cat’s claw):

  • Well documented for it’s pain relief (analgesic)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Antitumor properties
  • Antiviral

Specific Uses found with Una de Gato (Cat’s Claw):

  • Incredible immune system enhancer
  • Arthritis relief
  • Bursitis relief
  • Rheumatism relief
  • Allergy relief (I’ll be trying this tea during the spring season for this reason)
  • Asthma relief
  • Bowel disorders (including gastric ulcer healing, Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
  • Diabetes control
  • Has helped complimentary medicine in cancer, genital herpes, and AIDS

Studies by investigator Klaus Keplinger and others:

  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy side-effects were lower in cancer patients who took cat’s claw.
  • Inflammation was lowered by 46-89% in stomach inflammation, bowel inflammation, rheumatism, and arthritis in a 1991 because of antioxidants (catechins, procyanidins), and phytochemicals (quinovic acid glycosides).
  • May protect the delicate stomach lining if you are frequently taking NSAID’s such as Ibuprofin, Aspirin, Naproxen.
  • Argentina, reported it being an excellent antioxidant (stress remover, cellular repair), and anti-inflammatory (it inhibits the inflammation substance TNFalpha, “tumor necrosis factor”
  • Blood clot prevention, blood cholesterol lowering properties, heart rate lowering properties, possible benefits to Alzheimer’s patients (because of the oxygen it supplies through antioxidant support).

How does Una de Gato (Cat’s Claw) work?

Cat’s claw contains the alkaloids oxindole which greatly increases the quantity of white blood cells (WBC) available.  White blood cells (WBC) help to fight, kill and remove bacteria and virus’s harmful to our immune system.  WBC’s also help with other wound healing and inflammation.

Risks associated with Una de Gato (Cat’s Claw):

Always consult with your physician prior to using a supplement of any kind.  Overall, cat’s claw is considered to be safe, but should not be consumed in excessive amounts (this would be difficult to achieve by drinking Rainforest Treasure Tea or even by taking the recommended daily amounts in other forms).

Reduce or eliminate Cat’s Claw (Una de Gato) if you are:

  • Going through organ transplant
  • Expecting to become pregnant or currently pregnant
  • Taking a blood thinning medication
  • Do not take cat’s claw at the same time as taking antacids

tumblr_inline_mgitbskSE91rw6ndh                                      (Photo above is the Pau d’Arco tree)

Tahari (Pau d’Arco) 

Source: Tahari (Pau d’arco) comes from the Portuguese word “bow stick” Grown from a large tree which is grown mainly in the rainforest of South/Central America. It is the inner bark that is used as traditional medicine in many ancient healing systems.

Main Functions of Tahari (Pau d’Arco):

  • Reduces infection
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Promotes healthy digestion
  • Immune system booster
  • Detoxifies the body of toxins
  • Great addition for cardiovascular disease prevention
  • Helps protect against high blood pressure

Tahari (Pau d’Arco) has been found to help cure the following:

How does Tahari (Pau d’Arco) work?: 

Pau d’Arco contains 20 active compounds which may increase our immune system cells call macrophages.  Macrophages are the real eliminators of disease and toxins found in our body.  Some of the  specific active compounds include naphthaquinones (lapachol which is the key fighter that has been found in Pau d’Arco), anthraquinones, alkaloids (also found in our friend Cat’s Claw), quercitin (I take this during the spring for my allergies, it’s amazing), and other flavonoids.   Contradindications with Tahari (Pau d’Arco):

  • High does should be avoided as hydroquinone can be toxic at high levels
  • Avoid if you are pregnant, likely to become pregnant or breast feeding
  • Inquire with your doctor if you are taking blood thinning medications
  • Although rare, if you have very sensitize Asthma, and work where wood dust is high, you may want to avoid Pau d’Arco or test small amounts to see ensure you can tolerate it without negative side-effects like additional breathing difficulties.


The above photo is the Stevia plant in it’s natural form.


Stevia is a sweetener which does not contain calories, nor does it raise blood glucose levels like regular white sugar does.  It is also not a sugar alcohol like many other common artificial sweeteners are (Splenda, Equal, etc.).  Stevia is, in a way, in a category by itself.  Because it comes from a naturally grown plant it’s considered a glycoside.  Specifically it is classified as Steviol Glycoside.

Why is Stevia used?:
  • It is a non-carbohydrate glycoside sweetener
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Contains flavonoids (one of them being quercetin which was mentioned earlier)
  • Reduces blood glucose levels
  • Helps to dilate blood vessels which can increase the amount of sodium (salt) your body is able to get ride of which can help to lower blood pressure.
  • Helps to prevent dental caries
  • Traditional medicine used by South Americans has used stevia to treat wound infections, inflammation, swelling and depression.

On my other blog which is now exclusively dedicated to TriVita reviews, you can read more about other herbs from the Amazon Rainforest and their healing benefits.  If you would like to find out where you can buy these herbs in one blend, please see TriVita DC Heal.If you would like to directly purchase the Amazon Rainforest Treasure Tea which includes the herbs reviewed here, please click the link below:

Herbal Tea which includes Cat’s Claw (Una de Gato), Pau d’Arco (Tahari), and Stevia.

This review is for informational purposes and is not intended to advertise the product mentioned or other products like it.  The resources for purchases have been provided as a courtesy to those who buy this tea already or would like to.  As always, the mission of DC Heal is to bring to you reputable, and valid information about holistic health topics. Until next week,

Om Shantih,


Direct Links for your referencing:


Cat’s Claw: 

Cat’s Claw:

Photo’s found @:

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