Scientific: Uncaria tomentosa, Uncaria guianensis [WikiPedia]
Appearance: Cat’s claw is a woody vine that grows wild in the Amazon rainforest and other tropical areas of Central and South America. Its thorns resemble a cat’s claws.
Composition: Cats Claw has many phytochemical elements that consist of oxidole alkaloids, quinovic acid glycosides, antioxidants, plant sterols and carboxyl alkyl esters. All of these are thought to have, in varying degrees, an action that can be attributed to the many benefits of Cats Claw.
Parts Used: The bark and root of cat’s claw are used to make liquid extracts, capsules, tablets, and tea.
Common Uses: Using cat’s claw for health dates back to the Inca civilization. Its historical uses have included for contraception, inflammation, cancer, and viral infections, and to stimulate the immune system. Today, 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.
Alternatives and Adjuncts:
Topic Specific References:
- Cat’s Claw – Herbs for Dogs and Cats (OttawaValley)
- Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis) are independent of their alkaloid content. (PubMED)
- Morphoanatomical studies of Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis bark and leaves. (PubMED)
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.