Origin and Production

In the late 1990s, a team of researchers who later formed Optigenex, Inc., the developer of AC-11, journeyed into the Amazon rainforest to research botanically-based traditional medicines and their historical usage. Out of more than 100 plants studied, the researchers found one, Uncaria tomentosa, a wild vine, that stood out for its extraordinary biological activity. As prepared and used for thousands of years by the native population, a crude extract of the plant was renowned for its healing and restorative properties.

Extensive laboratory research subsequently isolated and identified unique water-soluble components in the extract that were created during the crude processing. The researchers classified these components as carboxy alkyl esters (CAEs™). Their further research established the scientific link between the CAEs and the previously unexplained power of this traditional medicine. The discoveries led to the development of a refined, pharmaceutically-based manufacturing process that enhanced the safety, purity and effectiveness of the extract. Collectively, these breakthroughs formed the basis of eight U.S. patents that today distinguish AC-11 from all other commercially-available health products.


Uncaria tomentosa is harvested by Optigenex in an eco-friendly manner under authority of the Brazilian Institute of Environmental and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA). The methods employed during harvest ensure sustainability and preservation of the natural balance in the rainforest by protecting the root structures of the existing plants so that they will regenerate quickly. Moreover, harvesting is performed manually in a manner that does not disturb the pristine surrounding environment. All work in the region is conducted in cooperation within the Floravida Institutes (Brazil) guidelines for biodiversity conservation, environmental education and local community cooperation.