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Bauhinia Forficata Pata de Vaca

Updated on April 12, 2011

Bauhinia Forficata Pata de Vaca

Pata de Vaca and a small tree that grows to 5-9m high. Its leaves are shaped like a cow's hoof, hence also its Brazilian name "pata de vaca". It grows in the rain forest and tropical areas of Peru, Brazil, Asia, eastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. It is quite common in Rio de Janeiro and the south of Brazil.It is a herbal plant.

Although scientists have studied some of the components of pata de vaca and have them identified, was not conducted a thorough search to determine which elements have properties of biologically active phytochemicals. The leaves contain a popular item from the phytochemical antibacterial astragalin known as flavonoids, alkaloids and glycosides. The leaves are a rich source of kampferitrina, a flavonoid which are attributed to the adjuvant properties of renal cell repair damaged, as well as a diuretic.

The ownership of pata de vaca to lower the sugar level in blood was first reported in a study in Brazil in 1929, which were followed by a study in 1931 and one in 1941. Another clinical study was conducted in 1945 in order to determine the active constituents responsible for this action.

Since a simple tea leaf pata de vaca was shown to help balance glucose levels, pata de vaca became a popular folk remedy for diabetes, but for many years were not carried out further studies on this plant.

In the mid-'80s, the new studies were performed on pata de vaca and its popular use as a substitute for insulin. A survey of Chile 1999 has determined that the plant has significant hypoglycemic effects. Two other studies were conducted in 2002 by two teams of researchers in Brazil. The first study has documented a significant hypoglycaemic effect in both normal individuals and in diabetics. The second study has documented that, after a month of daily administration of water 150mg/litro pata de vaca, serum glucose and urine glucose, as well as urea in the urine of diabetic mice was significantly reduced.


In 2004, she was again documented the hypoglycemic action of pata de vaca, together with action to reduce triglycerides, cholesterol and HDL cholesterol levels. In the same year, was reported as the hypoglycemic action of pata de vaca and kampferitrina be effective even at low doses in people with diabetes, but only at higher doses in normal subjects.


 Pata de vaca is still a popular folk remedy for diabetes in South America. It is generally prepared and drunk in tea after every meal, often combined with pedra hume caa. The North American naturopaths and herbalists use it for diabetes, hyperglycemia, and polyuria.


Below is a brief summary of uses Ethnomedical pata de vaca:

for diabetes, diarrhea, and as a tonic 
to purify the blood, central nervous system disorders, cystitis, diabetes, diarrhea, elephantiasis, hyperglycemia, intestinal worms, kidney disorders, kidney stones, leprosy, obesity, polyuria, skin problems, snakebite, syphilis, urinary disorders, as an astringent , diuretic 
for diabetes 
for diabetes and as a tonic 


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    • susannah42 profile image

      susannah42 6 years ago from Florida

      Your information is always quite good.

    • Tweetmom profile image

      Tweetmom 6 years ago from Newark

      interesting hub! i love voting up your hubs