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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Darby Smith 's avatar  Darby Smith 17/03/2015 08:45

Thanks SandraB! I just checked their website now and Raintree Formulas is manufacturing the original range of Raintree products. Now, I can resume taking cat's claw capsules.

Emma 's avatar  Emma 17/03/2015 07:46

I discovered Cat's Claw back in 2009.
My ankles were extremely swollen for two years due to an injury/heel
spurs and I was not able to stand/walk without excruciating pain. At
the same time, I was dealing with an auto immune disorder, IBS. All
the prescription drugs were doing nothing for me...just covering
things up and creating numerous other health problems.

I did some research on the internet
about natural herbs, fruits & vegetables that are
anti-inflammatory. I drank a mixture of fresh prickly pear juice
(cactus fruit) and fresh watermelon juice, at least 3 times a day,
during the entire summer season AND took Cat's Claw 500 mg per
capsule by Solaray. By the end of summer, I was walking again!...and
the inflammation due to IBS was gone! It even got rid of some raised
circle marking on the area around my knees (I suspect it might have
been Granuloma annulare after looking at pictures on internet, but
I'm not certain)that appeared after I returned from my ten month stay
in Florida in 2002. The markings never hurt and had same color as my
skin, but it still worried me. I asked my doctors about it, they
didn't have an answer....well those markings are even gone & have
not returned and its now 2015!

Also, if I feel I'm coming down with a
cold or something, I take Cat's Claw...its stops the virus on its
track. I always have a bottle of capsules around just in case I
need it : )

Also, if I feel I'm coming down with a cold or something, I take Cat's Claw...its stops the virus on its track. I always have a bottle of capsules around just in case I
need it : )

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.

18 people liked this.
epifania paniza 's avatar  epifania paniza 12/06/2011 12:00

as an alternative medicine practitioner and researcher, i used catsclaw on every types of diseases especially  cancer and it never failed me. cancerous tumor softens and begins to shrink in a matter of 3 weeks. this can be seen in x-ray or can be palpable when touch. i combined catsclaw with bee pollen granules consuming 3 tbps mixed with food in a day while i give  3 catsclaw  500 mg caps 3 times a day in empty stomach. of course healing takes place when following the nutritional therapy prescribed.

12 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!!

9 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.

7 people liked this.
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