Local Herbalist Endorses Healing Plant With ‘Astounding Qualities’


Caithness Courier, Scotland, UK

November 28, 2001


A Caithness herbalist is adding his endorsement to the healing properties of a rare plant harvested 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 which can reach over 100 feet 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 from his herbal practice at Quarryside, Murkle. “It’s the first time that we’ve had doctors saying that something from the plant kingdom is better than what they have in their pharmacies.”

Cat’s claw has been used for the past 2000 years by shamans from the Ashaninka tribe in Peru to treat diabetes, rheumatism and some types of cancer as well as to control gastric ulcers and heal deep wounds.

It first came to the attention of western researchers and scientists in the mid 1960’s and was accorded official recognition as medicinal plant by the World Health Organization in 1994.

Used to stimulate the immune system, it 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. This makes it far more effective in treating patients with range of chronic conditions from rheumatoid arthritis to lupus and asthma to HIV.

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 huge buzz of excitement as more and more people see the results it can have. It’s a quite astounding story.”

He reports very encouraging results from patients he has treated over the past year with Samento for a variety of ailments.

Mr. Lamb, a qualified phytotherapist as well as medical herbalist, said the current anthrax scare has underlined the importance of having a strong immune system.

He was introduced to cat’s claw by Tim Eaton, a missionary pilot whose travels took him to the Peruvian rainforest from where he started importing the plant to the USA in the mid-90’s.

Mr. Eaton currently heads the US corporation which distributes the plant and other herbal products.

Patients of Mr. Lamb have been treated with cat’s claw for the past seven years.

He was however unaware of the rare variety until a year ago when he attended a conference in Bulgaria. Since then he has built up a dossier on Samento and its restorative properties.

“I think you’re going to hear a huge amount about it – its impact is going to be quite staggering” Mr. Lamb predicts. “It has some astounding qualities that I don’t fully understand. I think only the Shaman Indians fully understand what is going on, but it has the ability to promote harmony in the body and make inroads on long-lasting diseases, many of which have been viewed as intractable.

“It’s early days but all the signs are this could be the plant of our age.”

Mr. Lamb is to attend a conference on Samento in London on Friday which is being addressed by two of the Western Wolrd’s leading authorities on the plant, American Dr. Jerry Schlesser and Professor Henk Oswald, from Holland.