What Is Cat’s Claw Used For

what is cat's claw used for 1

What Is Cat's Claw Used For

CAT’S CLAW Overview InformationCat’s claw is a plant. Two species of cat’s claw, Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis, are of primary interest for use as medicine. Uncaria tomentosa is most commonly used in the U.S., and Uncaria guianensis is typically used in Europe. Medicine is made from the root and bark. Cat’s claw was ranked as the seventh most popular herb in U.S. sales in 1997. Be careful not to confuse cat’s claw with cat’s foot. Cat’s claw is most commonly used for improving symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also used for various digestive system disorders including swelling and pain (inflammation) of the large intestine (diverticulitis), inflammation of the lower bowel (colitis), inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis), stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids, and leaky bowel syndrome. Some people use cat’s claw for viral infections including shingles (caused by herpeszoster), cold sores (caused by herpes simplex), and AIDS (caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)). Cat’s claw is also used for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), wound healing, parasites, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, hay fever, cancer (especially urinary tract cancer), a particular type of brain cancer called glioblastoma, gonorrhea, dysentery, birth control, bone pains, and “cleansing” the kidneys.How does it work?Cat’s claw contains chemicals that might stimulate the immune system, kill cancer cells, and fight viruses.
what is cat's claw used for 1

What Is Cat's Claw Used For

Cat’s claw is a woody vine indigenous to the Amazon rainforest and other tropical areas of South and Central America. Cat’s claw is said to treat a range of disorders, including cancer. The current evidence from preclinical data suggesting anticancer activity is not confirmed by clinical trials. Two clinical trials investigating the role of cat’s claw in alleviating the adverse effects of chemotherapy are not conclusive. Adverse effects are mostly gastrointestinal problems associated with high doses. Interactions with immunosuppressants and anticoagulants might theoretically occur. Cat’s claw or ‘Uña de Gato’ is a thick woody vine classified in the Rubiaceae family. For medicinal purposes, the stem bark or root from the species Uncaria tomentosa and U. guianensis are most commonly used. These have traditionally been used for allergies, asthma, wound healing, viral infections, fevers, arthritis, gastric ulcers, rheumatism, inflammation, contraception and menstrual irregularities.Uncaria tomentosa and U. guianensis contain over 60 different biologically active compounds that could be complementary and/or synergic in their actions. Despite some positive preclinical data, there are no clinical trials investigating cat’s claw as a direct anticancer agent. There is not enough evidence for other outcomes. Only two clinical trials investigated the role of cat’s claw in alleviating the adverse effects of chemotherapy. While in the first trial cat’s claw was not effective in reducing the most prevalent adverse effects, the second trial reported reduce neutropenia caused by chemotherapy. One small uncontrolled trial suggests improvement of quality of life and fatigue but no effects on biochemical and inflammatory markers or tumour response. Cat’s claw seems well tolerated at normal clinical doses but larger doses have been reported to cause some abdominal pain or gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhoea. Historically cat’s claw has been used as an immunostimulant as well as for its antifertility effects. It can also reduce platelet aggregation and could theoretically be an anticoagulant.Read about the regulation, supervision and reimbursement of herbal medicine at NAFKAMs website CAM Regulation.
what is cat's claw used for 2

What Is Cat's Claw Used For

Cat’s claw is a plant. Two species of cat’s claw, Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis, are of primary interest for use as medicine. Uncaria tomentosa is most commonly used in the U.S., and Uncaria guianensis is typically used in Europe. Medicine is made from the root and bark. Cat’s claw was ranked as the seventh most popular herb in U.S. sales in 1997. Be careful not to confuse cat’s claw with cat’s foot. Cat’s claw is most commonly used for improving symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also used for various digestive system disorders including swelling and pain (inflammation) of the large intestine (diverticulitis), inflammation of the lower bowel (colitis), inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis), stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids, and leaky bowel syndrome. Some people use cat’s claw for viral infections including shingles (caused by herpeszoster), cold sores (caused by herpes simplex), and AIDS (caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)). Cat’s claw is also used for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), wound healing, parasites, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, hay fever, cancer (especially urinary tract cancer), a particular type of brain cancer called glioblastoma, gonorrhea, dysentery, birth control, bone pains, and “cleansing” the kidneys.How does it work?Cat’s claw contains chemicals that might stimulate the immune system, kill cancer cells, and fight viruses.
what is cat's claw used for 3

What Is Cat's Claw Used For

Cat’s claw is a plant. Two species of cat’s claw, Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis, are of primary interest for use as medicine. Uncaria tomentosa is most commonly used in the U.S., and Uncaria guianensis is typically used in Europe. Medicine is made from the root and bark. Cat’s claw was ranked as the seventh most popular herb in U.S. sales in 1997. Be careful not to confuse cat’s claw with cat’s foot. Cat’s claw is most commonly used for improving symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also used for various digestive system disorders including swelling and pain (inflammation) of the large intestine (diverticulitis), inflammation of the lower bowel (colitis), inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis), stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids, and leaky bowel syndrome. Some people use cat’s claw for viral infections including shingles (caused by herpeszoster), cold sores (caused by herpes simplex), and AIDS (caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)). Cat’s claw is also used for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), wound healing, parasites, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, hay fever, cancer (especially urinary tract cancer), a particular type of brain cancer called glioblastoma, gonorrhea, dysentery, birth control, bone pains, and “cleansing” the kidneys.
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What Is Cat's Claw Used For

In the 20th century, a German natural scientist named Arturo Brell is responsible for making cat’s claw become popular. In 1926, he moved from Munich to Pozuzo, which is a small town founded by German colonists in the Peruvian rain forest. Once in Pozuzo, Brell used cat’s claw to treat his own rheumatic pain. Later on, he used cat’s claw to treat a fellow colonist, Luis Schuler, who had terminal lung cancer. After other various failed approaches, Schuler started drinking cat’s claw root tea three times a day to treat his cancer. It’s said that he improved dramatically, and after a year, he was cancer-free.
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What Is Cat's Claw Used For

Reducing pain from a kind of arthritis called osteoarthritis. Taking a specific freeze-dried cat’s claw extract (Uncaria guianensis) by mouth appears to relieve knee pain related to physical activity within one week of treatment, but it does not decrease pain at rest or decrease knee swelling. Taking a specific combination supplement (Reparagen) containing cat’s claw (Vincaria) and maca (RNI 249) for 8 weeks seems to reduce pain and stiffness, improve function, and reduce the need to use rescue medication as well as taking glucosamine sulfate. Improving symptoms of a kind of arthritis called rheumatoid arthritis (RA) when used with regular rheumatoid arthritis medications. Taking a specific cat’s claw extract (Uncaria tomentosa) that contains chemicals called pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids but is free of other chemicals called tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids appears to improve symptoms of RA somewhat. Taken by mouth in combination with sulfasalazine or hydroxychloroquine for 24 weeks, cat’s claw seems to reduce the number of painful and swollen joints.
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What Is Cat's Claw Used For

Studies of cat’s claw as a treatment for hypertension indicate that it may be helpful in naturally reducing high blood pressure. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a variety of cat’s claw (Uncaria rhynchophylla) has been used to lower blood pressure as well as improve various neurological symptoms. Cat’s claw has also been shown to inhibit platelet aggregation and blood clot formation. This means that cat’s claw could likely be helpful in warding off heart attacks and strokes by not only decreasing blood pressure and increasing circulation, but by also inhibiting the formation of plaque and blood clots in the arteries, heart and brain. 
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What Is Cat's Claw Used For

Multiples studies have confirmed using cat’s claw to naturally improve both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. In a 2001 study, 45 subjects suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee either took 100 milligrams per day of freeze-dried cat’s claw or a placebo for four weeks. Researchers found that “pain associated with 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. 
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Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Cat’s claw might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking cat’s claw along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking cat’s claw, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver. Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.

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