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8 Reasons To LOVE Cats Claw

Jess Lewis |

Cats Claw gets its name because of its curved hook-like thorns. This is a plant that has been used for thousands of years in South and Central America, and here’s why!

Cat’s claw is known for its medicinal properties and it is used for a multitude of reasons ranging from speeding up the healing of wounds, boosting the immune system, and even for reversing gastrointestinal disorders. It contains over 60 different biologically active compounds that could be complementary and/or synergic in their actions

Cat’s claw has many nicknames, such as, Samento, Liane du Pérou, Paraguayo, Garabato, Uña de Gato and the “life-giving vine of Peru.”

It is the roots and the bark of Cats Claw that is used, within it is an extraordinary blend of properties, such as alkaloids and glycosides.

Cats Claw has been used for 100’s of years to help ease conditions such as stomach ulcers, asthma, inflammation, and arthritis. The ancient Incan civilization also used cat’s claw for viral immune system stimulation and for infections. In this article, I cover eight of the amazing discoveries about cat’s claw and you will see why its dubbed ‘Miracle of the Rainforest’


The Amazing Health Benefits of Cats Claw

Boosts Immune Function

Cat’s claw helps to boost the immune system by increasing the white blood cell count in the body. This then stimulates antioxidant activity. Cats Claw can help stop the advancement of diseases, whilst assisting in eliminate bacterial infections and other pathogens. A study in 2000 found that Cat’s Claw significantly increased the infection-fighting white blood cell count. Researchers also discovered that the herb was able to repair DNA, both single and double strand breaks.

In another study in 2001, adults were supplemented with Cats Claw for two months before receiving the pneumonia vaccination. The researchers discovered that Cats Claw showed ‘significant immune enhancement” with the subjects that had taken Cats Claw, compared to the control group that hadn’t.

These two remarkable discoveries came with no signs of any toxicity.

Treats Arthritis

Many studies have concluded that cat’s claw is a great way to alleviate symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In 2001 study, researches took 45 subjects suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee and gave them 100 milligrams per day of freeze-dried cat’s claw or a placebo over four weeks.

They discovered that “pain associated with the activity, medical and patient assessment scores were all significantly reduced with benefits occurring within the first week of therapy.”  Knee pain at rest or at night and knee circumference were not significantly reduced by cat’s claw during the short trial, but results led researchers to conclude that cat’s claw is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis with no significant side effects.

Another study published in the Journal of Rheumatology looked at the effects of cat’s claw on patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) currently taking conventional RA medicines. The study was double-blind and carried out over 24 weeks of treatment with cat’s claw extract. The results showed a reduction of the number of painful joints compared with the placebo. The extract was obtained from a specific strain of cat’s claw that contains pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids, which are compounds that appear to be immune system modulators.

Heals Wounds Quickly

One of the great things about Cats Claw is that it contains Quinovic acid glycoside can help with inflammation in the body, whilst improving the healing of wounds, preventing them from being infected. Quinovic acid glycoside is also known to help treat Urinary tract infections.

Fights Off Herpes

When it comes to herpes, Cats Claw appears to have a positive impact on the immune system. The herpes virus can lay dormant within a person’s immune system for a life, every now and again appearing and causing blisters that burst and turn into painful open sores or ulcers before healing.

In 2011 a study was published in Food and Chemical Toxicology looking at the effects of different formations of Uncaria tomentosa on herpes in vitro and found they showed antimutagenic and antiherpetic activities. The herpes-fighting capability of cat’s claw is linked with its polyphenols working in harmony with its oxindole alkaloids or quinovic acid glycosides.

Lowers High Blood Pressure

Cat’s claw’s capacity to enhance blood pressure has been credited to an alkaloid; hirsutine. This beneficial alkaloid directly works at the calcium channels of the heart and blood vessels as a calcium channel blocker.

Calcium channel blockers are known to lower blood pressure by preventing calcium from penetrating the cells of the heart and blood vessel walls. Calcium channel blockers also expand and loosen the blood vessels; this helps blood flow in a healthy and effortless way.


May Fight Cancer

Scientific study in carried out in 2001 suggests that cat’s claw help destroyed tumour and cancer cells. The in vivo study exhibited that the bark of cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) blocked the advancment of human breast cancer cell line MCF7 by having antimutagenic and antiproliferative effects on the cancer cells.

Cat’s claw has also indicated its capacity to fight against leukemia. A study published in the British Journal of Haematology in 2006 examined the antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of five extremely purified oxindole alkaloids of Uncaria tomentosa. These were; isopteropodine, pteropodine, isomitraphylline, uncarine F and mitraphylline. Out of the five alkaloids, four of them prevented the proliferation of human leukemia cells in the lab.

The researchers discovered that cat’s claw pteropodine and uncarine F both were especially effective. These alkaloids were most vigorous in both preventing the growth of leukemia cells, and also prompting the cells to go through cell death or apoptosis. This research suggests that these alkaloids have a great potential to not only prevent cancer from advancing, but also executing the cancer cells themselves.

In 2015 a study discovered that cat’s claw may be especially helpful to patients with advanced cancer by bettering their quality of life and decreasing tiredness.

Reduces Adverse Effects of Chemo

Chemotherapy is a routine conventional cancer treatment with many adverse side effects; damage to the DNA of healthy cells is one of them.

A study in 2012 concluded that Ut is an effective adjuvant treatment for breast cancer. The clinical trial discovered that Cats Claw is effective in the recovery from neutropenia induced by chemotherapy. Cats Claw is also able to restore cellular DNA. They concluded it is a safe and effective adjuvant treatment in reducing adverse chemotherapy effects.

In vivo studies have shown that water-soluble extracts of cat’s claw (C-Med-100) can boost DNA repair, mitogenic response and leukocyte recovery after DNA has been damaged due to chemotherapy.

A 2001 study looked at the effects of using a water-soluble cat’s claw extract (250 and 350 milligrams per day) for eight weeks on adult volunteers who had already been treated with chemotherapy. The results were absolutely amazing and showed a momentous decrease in DNA damage and an increase in DNA repair. This was in both cat’s claw supplement groups compared to the non-supplement group. The supplement groups also had an increase in white blood cell proliferation, which is also a huge finding since chemotherapy commonly reduces white blood cell counts and increases infection risk.

Researchers in a study in 2006 wanted to assess the capability of a water-soluble cat’s claw extract to increase DNA repair in human skin. Using skin cultures, researchers found that the extract preserved human skin cells from death brought on by ultraviolet radiation. Cats Claw did this by expanding the ability of skin cells to repair the DNA damage caused by ultraviolet light. Researchers concluded that cat’s claw extract should be contemplated for use as a natural suncream.


Helps With Intestinal Health

As published in Organic Facts, People that suffer from IBS, leaky gut, and other digestive system diseases such as ulcers and infections might find cat’s claw exceptionally helpful, as it works to cleanse the digestive tract and ensure good maintenance of gut flora.

Helps Provide Relieve With Diseases Related to Inflammation

Cats Claw subdues TNF-alpha synthesis, and as a result, helps to alleviate symptoms related to low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and other inflammatory diseases. In 2002 40 participants with rheumatoid arthritis took part 53% of participants given cat’s claw in phase A reported a significant reduction in the number of painful joints compared to only 24% of participants who started on placebo tablets.

And in another study in 2001 concluded that Cat’s Claw is an effective treatment for Osteoarthritis


Who Shouldn’t Use Cats Claw

People with allergies to plants belonging to the Rubiaceae family should avoid using Cats Claw. In people with this allergy, it can cause reactions like itchy eyes, mild irritation, or even through simple physical contact or if ingested.

Avoid cats claw if you are pregnant or lactating. Also, women who are also trying to get pregnant should avoid using cats claw because it can be used as birth control.

Hemophilia A and Hemophilia B: Cat’s claw may impede blood clotting and advance the possibility of bruising or bleeding. If you have surgery scheduled, it’s recommended to stop taking cat’s claw at least two weeks prior to surgery. Cats claw can make it difficult for blood pressure to be controlled

Cats Claw stimulates the immune system to become overactive, which can aggravate the symptoms of Lupus and multiple sclerosis. Anyone with these conditions should avoid cat’s claw

If you have Parkinson’s disease, you also avoid using Cats Claw. In 2008, there was one case report of a man with Parkinson’s getting worse after taking cat’s claw, and improving after he stopped taking it.

Unless you have conditions that clash with cat’s claw, it can be an amazing supplement to take as many people around the world are starting to discover.

Jess Lewis


DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to replace medical advice; it is for research purposes only. Please see your doctor if you have any health concerns. Most people will greatly benefit from the use of cat’s claw but if you suffer from health issues mentioned above, then it’s better to avoid Cat’s Claw altogether. Cat’s claw should only be used as a supplement in addition to a healthy lifestyle. Cats claw shouldn’t be considered as the main solution to your health issues.


Boosts Immune System

Enhanced DNA repair, immune function and reduced toxicity of C-MED-100, a novel aqueous extract from Uncaria tomentosa.
Sheng Y1Bryngelsson CPero RW.
Persistent response to pneumococcal vaccine in individuals supplemented with a novel water soluble extract of Uncaria tomentosa, C-Med-100.
Lamm S1Sheng YPero RW.



James E. Williams, OMD
Antimutagenic and antiherpetic activities of different preparations from Uncaria tomentosa (cat’s claw)
Thiago Caon a , Samuel Kaiser d , Clarissa Feltrin a , Annelise de Carvalho a , Thaís Cristine Marques Sincero a,c , George González Ortega d , Cláudia Maria Oliveira Simões a,b,⇑


Randomized double-blind trial of an extract from the pentacyclic alkaloid-chemotype of uncaria tomentosa for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Mur E1Hartig FEibl GSchirmer M.
Efficacy and safety of freeze-dried cat’s claw in osteoarthritis of the knee: mechanisms of action of the species Uncaria guianensis.
Piscoya J1Rodriguez ZBustamante SAOkuhama NNMiller MJSandoval M.
Efficacy and safety of freeze-dried cat’s claw in osteoarthritis of the knee: mechanisms of action of the species Uncaria guianensis.
Piscoya J1Rodriguez ZBustamante SAOkuhama NNMiller MJSandoval M.



Biological Basis for the Use of Botanicals in Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Salahuddin AhmedJeremy AnuntiyoCharles J. Malemud, and Tariq M. Haqqi*




Uncaria tomentosa—Adjuvant Treatment for Breast Cancer: Clinical Trial

Maria do Carmo Santos Araújo, 1 , 2 Iria Luiza Farias, 1 , 2 Jessie Gutierres, 1 Sergio L. Dalmora, 3 , 4 Nélia Flores, 2Julia Farias, 1 Ivana de Cruz, 5 Juarez Chiesa, 2 Vera Maria Morsch, 1 and Maria Rosa Chitolina Schetinger 1 ,



Oxindole alkaloids from Uncaria tomentosa induce apoptosis in proliferating, G0/G1-arrested and bcl-2-expressing acute lymphoblastic leukaemia cells.

Bacher N1Tiefenthaler MSturm SStuppner HAusserlechner MJKofler RKonwalinka G.



The antiproliferative effects of Uncaria tomentosa extracts and fractions on the growth of breast cancer cell line.

Riva L1Coradini DDi Fronzo GDe Feo VDe Tommasi NDe Simone FPizza C.



Uncaria tomentosa (cat’s claw) improves quality of life in patients with advanced solid tumors.

de Paula LC1Fonseca FPerazzo FCruz FMCubero DTrufelli DCMartins SPSanti PXda Silva EADel Giglio A.



DNA Repair

DNA repair enhancement of aqueous extracts of Uncaria tomentosa in a human volunteer study.

Sheng Y1Li LHolmgren KPero RW.




Antimutagenic and antiherpetic activities of different preparations from Uncaria tomentosa (cat’s claw).

Caon T1Kaiser S2Feltrin C1de Carvalho A1Sincero TC3Ortega GG2Simões CM4.


A water soluble extract from Uncaria tomentosa (Cat’s Claw) is a potent enhancer of DNA repair in primary organ cultures of human skin.

Mammone T1Akesson CGan DGiampapa VPero RW.



Lowers Blood Pressure

Ca2+ channel blocking effects of hirsutine, an indole alkaloid from Uncaria genus, in the isolated rat aorta.

Yano S1Horiuchi HHorie SAimi NSakai SWatanabe K.








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