Uncaria rhynchophylla (not to be confused with Uncaria Tomentosa) is a traditional chinese medicine and Japanese medicine that is used for the treatment of hypertension, convulsive disorders (epilepsy), and for various head ailments such as headache or dizziness. It contains a variety of alkaloid structures, most notably the one named after it (Rhynchophylline) and a potent drug-like alkaloid with the acronym of GME (Geissoschizine methyl ether). It is a component of the popular japanese medicinal formula known as Yokukansan, where it alongside glycyrrhiza uralensis (licorice) seem to mediate the neuroprotective effects.
One of the most recognized benefits is for relieving various types of headache. A review  of the clinical application of Uncaria rhynchophylla showed that the herb is effective for migraine, headache caused by hypertension, vascular headache, and nitroglycerin induced headache.
According to a report in 2011 , a pilot clinical study conducted by researchers at the Hong Kong Baptist University, revealed that Parkinson’s disease patients who had received the Chinese medicine treatment containing Uncaria rhynchophylla, showed improved communication skills and reduced non-motor symptoms, compared with control group.
Other clinical research also demonstrated the beneficial effects of products containing Uncaria rhynchophylla for treating stroke, prosopalgia and dementia.
The Chinese investigators suggested that gou teng may ease PD symptoms by helping rid brain cells of an accumulation of a protein called alpha-synuclein. Too much of this compound may be to blame for the nerve cell degeneration. The drugs currently used to treat Parkinson’s don’t reduce or eliminate alpha-synuclein accumulations.