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Cats Claw (Uncaria Tomentosa)

Cats Claw Benefits

Cats Claw is a vine commonly known as Una de Gato and is used traditionally in Peruvian medicine for the treatment of a wide range of health problems, particularly digestive complaints and arthritis and to treat wounds, stomach problems, cancer, and more. It has only recently caught the attention of western herbalists and researchers. Today, mainly by word of mouth, it has become one of the best selling herbs in the USA.

Since the 1970s, studies and research have been carried out by scientists in Peru, Germany, Austria, England and other countries, to find out more about the powerful healing properties of Cat's Claw. Today, mainly by word of mouth, it has become one of the best selling herbs in the USA. Not since quinine was discovered in the bark of a Peruvian tree during the seventeenth century had any other rainforest plant ever prompted worldwide attention.

The most attention was given to the oxindole alkaloids found in the bark and roots of Cats Claw, which have been documented to stimulate the immune system. It is these seven different alkaloids that are credited with having a variety of different medicinal and healing properties. The most immunologically active alkaloid is believed to be Isopteropodin (Isomer A), which increases the immune response in the body and act as antioxidants to rid the body of free radicals. Compounds found in Cat's Claw may also work to kill viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms that cause disease, and they work to inhibit healthy cells from becoming cancerous.

It has been suggested that Cat's claw extracts exert a direct anti-proliferative activity on MCF7 (a breast cancer cell line). This has led to its use as a adjunctive treatment for cancer and AIDS as well as other diseases that negatively impact the immunological system. In addition, the presence of glycosides, proanthocyanidins and beta sitosterol help provide anti-viral and anti-inflammatory support for the body. These alkaloids also exert a beneficial effect on memory. Cat's claw is considered a remarkably potent inhibitor of TNF-alpha production.

This herb's anti-inflammatory properties may help to relieve arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory problems. The primary mechanism for Cat's claw anti-inflammatory actions appears to be immunomodulation via suppression of TNF-alpha synthesis.

Cat's Claw may help create support for the intestinal and immune systems of the body, and may also creates intestinal support with its ability to cleanse the entire intestinal tract. This cleansing helps create support for people experiencing different stomach and bowel disorders, including: colitis, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and leaky bowel syndrome.

In addition, in one study, human volunteers who took Cat's claw for 8 weeks showed improved DNA repair.

Cat's Claw can often be found combined with other 'immune' herbs with similar healing properties such as Echinacea and may:

  • reduce pain and inflammation of rheumatism, arthritis and other types of inflammatory problems.
  • have anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties that inhibits cancerous cell formation.
  • promote the healing of wounds.
  • be useful for treatment of gastric ulcers and intestinal complaints
  • help to relieve chronic pain.
  • enhance immunity by stimulating the immune system.
  • help people experiencing stomach and bowel disorders, including colitis, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky bowel syndrome, gastritis and duodenal ulcers, intestinal inflammation.
  • help fight both viral and fungal infections such as Herpes and Candida



Cats Claw Herb Notes / Side Effects

Latin Names

Uncaria tomentosa

Common Names

Cat's Claw, Una de Gato, paraguayo, garabato, garbato casha, samento, toron, tambor huasca, una huasca, una de gavilan, hawk’s claw

Suggested Properties

Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antioxidant, antitumorous, antiviral, cytostatic, depurative, diuretic, hypotensive, immunostimulant, vermifuge

Indicated for

AIDS, arthritis, balancing intestinal flora, bone pain, bowel disorders, bursitis, cancer, candida, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, colitis, Crohn's disease, digestive complaints, duodenal ulcers, fungal infections, gastric ulcers, gastritis, gout, herpes, immune system deficiencies, improving DNA repair, inflammatory problems, intestinal complaints, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney cleanser, leaky bowel syndrome, osteoarthritis, parasites, stimulating the immune system, stomach problems, viral infections, urinary tract inflammation, wounds.

Cat's claw should not be used by pregnant or lactating women. No reports of toxicity or serious adverse effects. Diarrhea may occur when taken in high doses.

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Has Cats Claw worked for you?

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William Armstrong 's avatar  William Armstrong 14/03/2014 22:50

Cats claw & tea is great also good with oatmeal bananas

jheck81 's avatar  jheck81 08/03/2014 07:01

We give this to our son for Lyme's and he had 2 co- infections as well. He is only 6 but he takes 5 to 9 drops a day along with many other tinctures. He also takes parsley with it to help detoxify. Without it he had herxe reaction. We use nutrimedix which can be found on amazon or their website. He is also on banderol, lakoto, and houttuynia. Taken with parsley or burbur depending spoon the week. We see a holistic doctor and they have him on a schedule and we have high hopes of getting rid of it not just putting it to sleep. Serra peptase which helps many with Lynne's and pain. We were able to do a hair analysis and find he was sufficient in key minerals and overloaded with metals and parasites which is common with Lyme's. We are all taking herbs in teas but our boys are on a strict schedule since we know their results.Magnesium iis one of the things if he doesn't get it his pain quickly returns. Orother son was diagnosed but it did not invade his body as fast pie to the same degree, he is not on as much of a routine. He was 3 when we found out. It is best to go to a holistic doctor when dealing with Lyme's for me because I was fairly new to the herbal way of thinking but also knowing how dibilitating it can be scared me knowing how young they are. We are also giving our animals cats claw in case they brought it into our home. Its Scarry how many people are finding out the have lyme.

Elizabethbode 's avatar  Elizabethbode 02/10/2010 01:55

Cat claw has helped me. i am very very happy with my results. i take 2 tablets a day and my rh factoe has gone down to 23 it was 41 i feel great too no aches or pains.

14 people liked this.
Josephdellabella 's avatar  Josephdellabella 05/12/2010 23:25

Cat's Claw is awesome!! i love to make a tea from cats claw, pau darco and fresh vanilla beans! yum! keeps me healthy!!

8 people liked this.
Grammorr 's avatar  Grammorr 30/03/2011 16:39

what is best form and dosage for overall health and complaints? i have hep-c.

3 people liked this.
Sierra 's avatar  Sierra 28/02/2011 12:50

Cat's Claw seems to be helping me heal my bladder, recently diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitic, taking down inflammation. I still do many other things to keep my ph alkaline, lots of greens, minerals, but Cat's Claw's alkaloids help with this also.

3 people liked this.
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