CAT’S CLAW (UNCARIA TOMENTOSA)
Cat’s Claw is a tropical woody vine that grows in the rainforests and jungles of Peru. Some cultures refer to the plant as the ” Miracle Herb from the Rain Forest “. This vine gets its name from the small thorns at the base of the leaves, which looks like a cat’s claw. These claws enable the vine to attach itself around trees climbing to heights up to 100 feet.
The active substances in Cat’s Claw are alkaloids, tannins and several other phytochemicals such as oxinole alkaloids, triterpines, glycosides, and sterols. These phytochemicals have adaptogenic, anti-tumor, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the alkaloids have been proven to boost the immune system. The major alkaloid rhynchophylline has anti-hypertensive effects.
Claims and Common Uses:
- Helps the body fight off infections by boosting the body’s immune system
- Protects against degenerative diseases
- May reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation, reducing heart rate and controlling cholesterol
- The extract from the bark is used in combination with AZT in the treatment of AIDS
- Used in the treatment and prevention of arthritis and rheumatism, as well as , chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, PMS, lupus, and prostrate conditions
- Used in the treatment of cancer, acne, diverticulitis, parasites, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins
- Aids in the treatment of digestive disorders such as ulcers, gastritis, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and conditions involving chronic inflammation (cleanses the intestinal tract)
- Used in the treatment of herpes simplex infections
- Observed positive immunological signs in AIDS patients
- Acts as a powerful antioxidant
Part Used: Inner bark and roots (the root has less activity than the inner bark)
When purchasing Cat’s Claw be sure you are selecting Uncaria tomentosa and not Uncaria guianensis. (The ideal species is Uncaria tomentosa.)
Preparations: Available in highly concentrated liquid, powdered, and standardized extracts, capsules and tea
- It is usually suggested that the herb be taken approximately 30 minutes after meals.
- Many treatments combine the herb with different plants and natural products to increase the absorption and bioavailability.
Side Effects and Warnings of Cat’s Claw:
- Not recommended for people who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant
- Not recommended for organ transplant recipients, it may stimulate the immune response and cause a rejection of the organ or tissue