Peruvian Jungle Tea


Do you prefer your tea Hot, or Cold?

Shaman Tea

     The question of whether you like your tea hot or cold may depend on your current location.  The Northern hemisphere is rotating into Winter, while here, South of the equator, Springtime is giving way to the sunny and warm days of Summer.

     A beverage I like to make every so often is something I nicknamed “Shaman Tea.”  On my first visit to Peru in 2003, I traveled to Iquitos, and then up the Amazon River about forty-five minutes, into the Peruvian rainforest.  On a guided tour to a neighboring village from the lodge, our group visited a shaman who showed us the various plants, and roots he boiled to make medicines. I was able to try a small sample; it was fermented, but very smooth, better than any shot of Jim Beam or Jack Daniels.  My tea however, is not fermented, but it is natural, using plants from the jungles of Peru.

Cats Claw and Lemon Grass

     I like to blend cymbopogon citratus – Hierba Luisa – (Lemon Grass), and uncaria tomentosa – Una de Gato – (Cats Claw) together.  Una de Gato alone has a slightly bitter after taste, but blended with the lemon flavor of Hierba Luisa it tastes much better.  There are many health benefits from both plants but, please read over Possible Interactions  before taking cats claw and  consult your physician if you have any health difficulties, pregnant or nursing.   

Cats Claw Plant looks like the claw of a cat…

Properties:  Cats Claw can be used for the treatment of cancer, cure tumors, numerous bowl and intestinal disorders, organic depression, autoimmune booster, even treat HIV/Aids Virus.  Uncoria tomentosa contains six alkaloids, four of which are immune-stimulating.  The alkaloid, known as rynchophylline may be useful in preventing strokes and lowering blood pressure, increase of circulation, and inhibiting both the formation of plaque on the arterial walls, and blood clots in the brain, heart and arteries.  Visit for more information.

Lemon Grass has many medicinal properties such as helping with arthritis aches and pains, stress and stomach pains.  It’s high in anti-oxidants, and can also be used to alleviate menstrual cramps too.  Hierba Luisa is a popular seasoning for fish and poultry as well.  And the scent of lemon, wafting in the kitchen smells so good too.  Visit KimmyKoKonut’s blog for another article and recipe for Hierba Luisa.

RECIPE: Boil a hand full of Lemon Grass, and Cats Claw in about three liters of water for several minutes.  Add sugar either during or after boiling to desired sweetness. (Alternative to sugar could be natural Stevia leaves, which grow in Peru and Boliva, or use some of both.) You can also add a touch of lime juice to the mix. Strain. Then break out your favorite mug, and sip it Hot.  Or, let it cool, for a refreshing treat on a Summer day.

Authors note: Cats Claw is a natural diuretic, and will defiantly flush out your kidneys.  In other words, it’s not a good bedtime drink if you value your sleep. 🙂

…Picture of Cats Claw Plant taken from the internet.

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