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Home » Plant infomation

Uncaria gambir  (W. Hunter) Roxb.


Botanical Name


Uncaria gambir (W. Hunter) Roxb.

English Name


Gambier, White cutch, Pale catechu, Cat's claw



Nauclea gambir Hunter, Ourouparia gambir Baillon





General Info


A liana often cultivated as a straggling shrub, with square young stems and erect main stems bearing horizontal branches with recurved hooks. Leaves opposite, subcoriaceous, and entire, ovate to (broadly) elliptic, (6—)9—12(—15) cm x (3.5—)5—7(—8) cm, rounded to subcordate at base, acute at apex, glabrous, with 5—6 pairs of lateral nerves, raised below and with hairy domatia. Flowers in heads on horizontal plagiotropic branches; heads (3.5—)4—5 cm in diameter (across corollas), receptacle densely hairy, interfloral bracteoles absent; pedicel up to 3 mm long, hypanthium 1—2 mm in diameter, densely yellow-brown hairy; calyx 3—4.5 mm long, with 5 trigonal, 1—2 mm long lobes, finely pubescent, persistent; corolla hypocrateriform with 8—10(—12) mm long tube, exterior sparsely to densely pubescent, and 5 oblong, 2—3 mm long lobes, exterior densely yellow-brown sericeous, quickly falling off from the heads; stamens 5, adnate to the corolla; ovary inferior, style exserted 5—7 mm, stigma obovoid to clavate, ca. 2 mm. Fruiting head (50—)60—80 mm in diameter, fruitlets (capsules) 14—18 mm long, sparsely pubescent and crowned by the calyx, many seeded; fruit stalks up to 20 mm long. Seeds very tiny, silvery-grey.

Herb Effects

Used as an astringent and as styptic (plant)


PROSEA (Plant Resources of South-East Asia) Foundation



Medicinal Use

An infusion of fresh leaves is given against diarrhoea, dysentery andinflamed gums, and as a gargle for sore throats. It is applied externally against sciatica and lumbago, in lotions for burns and in a paste for scurf.



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