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


Used This Herb? How Would You Rate It?

Current User Rating 7.8/10 Based On 264 Votes


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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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.
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.

5 people liked this.
Shdixx 's avatar  Shdixx 14/03/2011 00:23

I prefer herbal tinctures and have used the cat's claw tincture several times over the years. I have used it as a part of a anti-candida protocol with good overall results. I have also used it for helping to cleanse the intestinal tract. It has been quite effective with problems of constipation as long as adequate water is taken also. Recently, I got a touch of food poisoning and the result was pretty bad stomach cramps for several hours. Within about 30 minutes or so of taking the cat's claw tincture (on an empty stomach so it can go right to work), I had about 70% improvement with full improvement in just a few hours. I keep it in my pantry all the time and would not want to be without it.

4 people liked this.
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