Review of antiviral and immunomodulating properties of plants of the Peruvian rainforest with a particular emphasis on Una de Gato and Sangre de Grado

Altern Med Rev. 2001 Dec;6(6):567-79.


Viral diseases, including emerging and chronic viruses, are an increasing worldwide health concern. As a consequence, the discovery of new antiviral agents from plants has assumed more urgency than in the past. A number of native Amazonian medicines of plant origin are known to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity, although only a few have been studied for their antiviral properties and immunomodulating effects. Those most studied include: Sangre de Grado (drago) (Croton lechleri) in the Euphorbiaceae family and Una de Gato (Uncaria tomentosa) in the Rubiaceae family. This article reviews the chemical composition, pharmacological properties, state of current research, clinical use, and potential antiviral and immunomodulating activity of these and other plants from the Peruvian Amazon.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Formation / drug effects
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cat's Claw / chemistry*
  • Croton / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects
  • Peru
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Virus Diseases / drug therapy*


  • Antiviral Agents