Evaluating Cat??™s Claw Herbal Supplement
About Cat??™s Claw
Cats claw, also known as una de gato (its Spanish name), is a high-climbing, woody vine that grows profusely in the upper Amazon regions of Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, and other South American countries. At the base of the plants leaves are two curved thorns that resemble the claws of a cat (hence its name); these allow the vine to climb up trees and other vegetation into the forest canopy. The herbs botanical name, Uncaria, is from the Latin uncus, for “hook.”
Two species of cats claw are harvested for medicinal purposes, Uncaria guianensis, used mainly in Europe, and Uncaria tomentosa, commonly imported into the United States. Among the herbal practitioners of South America, the two species are considered interchangeable.
Cat??™s claw has a long history of use as a folk medicine by native peoples to treat intestinal complaints, asthma, wounds, cancer, tumors, arthritis, inflammations, diabetes, and irregularities of the menstrual cycle, fevers, ulcers, dysentery, and rheumatism. They have also utilized the herb as a kidney cleanser, blood cleanser, and contraceptive.
The manufacturer for this supplement is Changsha Kanglong Co.Ltd. The address to order this product from is:
NO2405 dushidongjia, Xiongju, Mawangdui North Road, Changsha, Hunan, China410016, Changsha, Hunan, China 410016
To prepare the tea, boil 1 g (0.4 oz) of the bark in 1 cup of water for 10??“15 minutes. Strain the mixture before drinking. A suggested dose is one cup of tea three times daily.
Tincture dosage: 1??“2 ml up to two times daily. Children over two years of age and adults over 65 should begin use with mild doses and increase strength gradually if needed.
European studies have reported low toxicity in the use of cats claw, even when taken in large doses. The only noted side effect was diarrhea. In 2001, however, one case study was reported from South America of a patient with lupus developing kidney failure after taking cats claw extracts.
Cats claw should not be combined with hormonal drugs, insulin, or vaccines. It may also cause the immune system to reject foreign cells. Persons who have received organ or tissue transplants should not use this herb. The dosage may need to be reduced when taken with other herbs.
Cats claw has also been reported to potentiate, or intensify, the effects of antihypertensive (medications given to control high blood pressure). Persons taking such drugs should use cats claw only on the advice of a physician.
Many tinctures contain high levels of alcohol and should be avoided when driving or operating heavy machinery.
Cats claw cannot be recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Historically, cats claw has been used to prevent pregnancy and to induce abortion. Women who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant should not take cats claw. Many tinctures contain high levels of alcohol, and should be avoided during pregnancy.
Prices begin at $6.00 for capsules and $6.00 per ounce for liquids.
Cats claws role in improving the immune system in cancer patients has been recently reported. Many of the alkaloids in cats claw have demonstrated immunostimulant properties in the laboratory. The University Of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center performed a human studies literature review of cats claw and found three studies relevant to cancer. The evidence for the efficacy of cats claw was inconclusive due to the small study population.
Researchers have also discovered substances in cats claw that have antitumor, ant leukemic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and diuretic properties
Cats Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) water extracts, essentially free of oxindole alkaloids, have been shown to possess a broad spectrum of biological activity including DNA repair enhancement and anti-inflammatory properties. These two biological mechanisms are key molecular targets to develop treatments that protect skin exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun. Because C-Med-100, a Cats Claw water extract, is the only documented natural source of components that can up-regulate simultaneously both DNA repair and anti-inflammation, its ability to modulate DNA repair in human skin organ cultures was undertaken. For this purpose skin cultures were treated with or without 5 mg/ml C-Med-100, irradiated with 0-100 mJ/cm2 UVB, and microscopically analyzed for necrosis as well as the level of pyrimidine dimers using immunofluorescent TT-dimer antibody staining. The data clearly demonstrated that co-incubation with C-Med-100 reduced skin cell death from UV exposure, and this protection was accounted for by a concomitant increase in DNA repair. Based on these results, it was concluded that C-Med-100 was a natural plant extract worthy of further consideration as a sunscreen product.
Cats claw protects cells against oxidative stress and negated the activation of NF-kappa B. It also provides a mechanistic evidence for the widely held belief that cats claw is an effective anti-inflammatory agent.
Though little published data exists, no serious side effects have been reported, and cats claw is considered low in toxicity. However cat??™s claw may block platelets from forming clots, so concurrent use with other blood thinning drugs, such as aspirin, is not recommended.
On the label of Cat??™s Claw it claims:
Cat??™s Claw supports the bodys immune system.
Cats Claw can balance the hormonal system.
Cats Claw is used to treat gastrointestinal disorders.
Cats Claw is an effective antioxidant.
Cats Claw??™s total alkaloids exert a beneficial effect on memory impairment.
Cat??™s Claw is an effective treatment for joint disorders.
Cats Claw extracts exert a direct anti-proliferative activity on certain types of breast cancer.
Cats claw is a remarkably potent inhibitor of TNF alpha production, the primary mechanism for cats claw anti-inflammatory action.
The front of the bottle does not any artwork that would imply the use of this product.
Background and Historical Use of Cat??™s Claw
Originally found in Peru, the use of cats claw (_Uncaria tomentosa_) has been said to date back to the Inca civilization, possibly as far back as 2,000 years. It has been used for birth control, as an anti-inflammatory, an immunostimulant, for cancer, and as an antiviral. The Peruvian Ashaninka priests considered cats claw (_Uncaria tomentosa_) to have great powers and life-giving properties and therefore used it to ward off disease.
My conclusion to this paper is that I feel that Cat??™s claw is a very good product for inflammation as long as you read the label and take accordingly.
I have learned a lot about this herbal supplement and would recommend this to others for use. Hopefully you have learned something about this product also.