The Press and Journal, Scotland, UK, November 26, 2001
By Iain Grant
A CAITHNESS herbalist has joined practitioners around the world in hailing the healing properties of a rare plant harvest in the Amazonian rain forest.
Since its recent introduction to Europe, Samento has earned rave reviews from a number of experienced practitioners for its track record in helping patients with a variety of chronic conditions.
Brian Lamb shares the enthusiasm for the variety of Cat’s Claw, whose name derives from the hook-like thorns that sprout from woody vines that can reach over 100ft high.
Mr. Lamb believes Samento’s restorative potential for damaged immune systems can make it the plant of the 21st century.
“It is a really exciting development. he said yesterday from his herbal practice at Quarryside, Murkle.
“It’s the first time that we’ve had MDs saying that something from the plant kingdom is better than what they have in their pharmacies.”
Cat’s Claw has been used for 2,000 years by shamans from the Ashaninka tribe in Peru to threat diabetes, rheumatism and some types of cancer, as well as to control gastric ulcers and cure deep wounds.
It first came to the attention of western researchers and scientists in the mid-60’s and the World Health Organization accorded it official recognition as a medicinal plant in 1994.
The plant, used to stimulate the immune systems, was the first rainforest plant to attract such worldwide interest since the discovery of quinine in the 17th century.
While it remains a popular potion in herbal medicine, it is the relatively recent availability in Europe of the rare strain of cat’s claw that has caused the new wave of excitement.
Unlike common cat’s claw, Samento modulates, rather than stimulates, the immune system.
Bulgaria was among the first European country where Samento took root, with many clinics using it within weeks of it becoming available in January.
A major breakthrough came in July when the plant was cleared in Hungary to be sold as an approved over-the-counter medication.
Mr. Lamb said, “There’s a huge buzz of excitement as more and more people see the results it can have. It’s a quite astounding story.”
He reports encouraging results from patients he has treated with Samento over the past year for various ailments.
Mr. Lamb, a qualified physiotherapist as well as medical herbalist, added that the current anthrax scare has underlined the importance of having a strong immune system.
He is to attend a conference on Samento in London on Friday.