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

SKU: 4737-4737-bauhinia-forticata-pata-de-vaca- Tag:


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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.

For shipping to all countries except the USA, we offer two types of shipping:
    • Registered shipping: This comes with tracking and is faster than our free shipping.
    • Free shipping: For this service no tracking is available. It tends to be half as quick as the registered shipping. But hey, if you're not in a hurry and tracking is not important please do use this reliable shipping option!
For shipping to Canada we also offer DHL Express on certain orders  
For shipping to the USA, we offer four types of shipping: Registered PostNL: This option ships using PostNL, the national postal service of The Netherlands. Once the package arrives in the US, the USPS take over the shipping. Orders can be tracked with the tracking tool found at Free shipping: There is no tracking available for this reliable, but slower shipping method. Packages ship with PostNL and then are handed over to the USPS and deliveries may take up to 30 days. This option is not always available, depending on what you are ordering and where you are shipping to. Registered via NY: Depending on which state you are shipping to, this option will be available in order to try and ensure that there are no delays to your package as it enters the US. Packages are shipped first of all with PostNL to a NY forwarding address and then, from there, shipped on to you. We will update you on the tracking once your order is shipped from the Netherlands and then again once it is forwarded from NY.  Updates can take up to 24 hours because we work in different time zones around the world.
When you place an order in our web shop, you will automatically see the shipping options that are available, depending on your cart contents and the US state you are shipping to. For different states we use different methods.
Free Shipping from USA: For customers ordering only our Mimosa hostilis Hidden Valley and/or Mexican MHRBs, we have also established a warehouse that will exclusively ship to our customers from within the US.  This has the advantage of offering tracked shipping without having to pass through customs and a delivery time of only 3-4 working days. Orders will be shipped with USPS Priority mail.  This service is available for Mimosa only orders.  Any other products will need to ordered separately and will be shipped from the Netherlands.   Good to know: All of our orders are packed and shipped discreetly with only the obligatory information such as shipping and return address on the outside. Registered orders outside of Europe are sent with PostNL who hand your order over to the national postal service of your country. For instance in the US, packages are handed over to the USPS. Registered orders within Europe are sent with DPD. Fast and trackable at all times. Our Free shipping option is slow(er) but very reliable too. Estimated shipping time for outside Europe is between two to four weeks depending on postal flows.
For valuable orders we would advise choosing the Registered option.