Pata De Vaca

Last Editorial Review: 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Bauhinia forficata, Cow's Foot, Patte de Vache, Pied de Vache, Sabot de Vache.


Pata de vaca is a tree. The leaves are used to make medicine.

People take pata de vaca by mouth for diabetes and as an antioxidant.

How does it work?

Pata de vaca might lower blood sugar levels. Pata de vaca might also reduce cancer growth, lower cholesterol levels, or work like an antioxidant.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Diabetes. Early research shows that drinking tea containing 3 grams of pata de vaca daily for 8 weeks does not improve blood sugar levels or insulin levels in people with diabetes.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pata de vaca for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

It isn't known if pata de vaca is safe or what the possible side effects might be.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of pata de vaca during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Pata de vaca might lower blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels closely. If you have diabetes, it's best to check with your healthcare provider before starting pata de vaca.

Surgery: Pata de vaca might affect blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using pata de vaca at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Pata da vaca might lower blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking pata de vaca along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.


The appropriate dose of pata de vaca depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for pata de vaca. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Russo EM, Reichelt AA, De Sa JR, et al. Clinical trial of Myrcia uniflora and Bauhinia forficata leaf extracts in normal and diabetic patients. Braz J Med Biol Res 1990;23(1):11-20. View abstract.

Zucchi, O. L., Moreira, S., de Jesus, E. F., Neto, H. S., and Salvador, M. J. Characterization of hypoglycemiant plants by total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. Biol Trace Elem Res 2005;103(3):277-290. View abstract.