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Bauhinia forticata | Pata de vaca | Cows foot leaf | Unha de vaca

Fresh from Ecuador


Family: Fabaceae

Genus: Bauhinia

Species: B. forticata

Origin: Ecuador

Common names: Brazilian Orchid Tree, Pata de Vaca, Casco de Vaca, Mororó, Pata de Boi, Unha de Boi, Unha de Vaca, Unha-de-anta



Bauhinia Forticata

We sell wonderful 100% organic, hand-picked Bauhinia forticata leaves from Ecuador.

Native Use

Bauhinia forticata is native to Brazil where it has a long history of use by the local indigenous tribes. It is famous for its impressive powers.

For the Brazilian people, Bauhinia Forticata holds a special place in their herbal pharmacy. However, there is little documentation of its traditional uses. For over sixty years people have used Bauhinia Forticata to treat blood sugar disorders, as a blood cleanser and a diuretic. They use the decoction both internally and externally for snakebites, skin problems and elephantiasis. It is known as ‘vegetable insulin’ due to its ability to treat diabetes. In fact, people in South America use it to balance blood sugar levels and to reduce other diabetic symptoms such as kidney disorder, urinary complications and polyuria (urinary frequency).

Traditionally, the local people prepare the plant by infusing the leaves in hot water. They then drink it 3 times a day with food to treat high blood sugar.


It is a small tree that can grow to a height of 5-9 meters. Its leaves are 7-10cm long, and resemble the shape of a cow’s hoof. This is where its common name, Pata de Vaca, comes from. It grows in the tropical rainforests of Peru and Brazil, the eastern side of Paraguay and the north-eastern parts of Argentina. It also grows in the lush tropical regions of Asia. It is a beautiful plant, with stunning large, drooping white flowers. They produce seedpods which are very similar to those of the mimosa tree.

Scientific information

Following more recent use and documentation, it has gained popularity thanks to the variety of chemical components. The leaves are rich in an antibacterial chemical called astragalin, along with other alkaloids, glycosides and flavonoids. One of these is kaempferitrin, said to assist in kidney cell regeneration and induce a diuretic effect. Researchers found other chemicals in the plant including guanidine, heteroglycosides, kaempferitrin, organic acids, quercitrosides, rhamnose, and saponins.

Several studies have validated its traditional use, concluding that Bauhinia Forticata significantly lowers blood sugar levels and also shows a profound antioxidant effect.

Additional Information:




Our products are not certified by the FDA neither Health Canada for human consumption. They are sold for incense and soap making purposes, decorative purposes and/or legitimate ethnobotanical research. Our products are not sold and intended for human consumption. The information given about the plants is for academic purposes only and not intended to be used medically. New Herbals, its suppliers, agents, employees and distributors cannot be held accountable for any misuse of the products offered.


“We always plant more than we harvest.”

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