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Cat's Claw - Uncaria tomentosa. Una de Gato, Cat's Claw

Cat’s Claw

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Biological Name: Uncaria tomentosaCat's Claw

Other Names: Una de Gato, Cat’s Claw

Elements Applied: Root bark is commonly applied in herbal medicine

Active Components:  Oxyindole alkaloids are responsible for the majority of cat’s claw’s positive effects, especially with regard to immunity improvement. Other components, like glycosides, and alkaloids, may also take effect when it comes to inflammations and antioxidant activity.

Cat’s claw has gained especial popularity in North America, and can be applied for HIV and cancer. However, the evidence concerning its effectiveness in these diseases is not sufficient.

History: Cat’s claw has been traditionally applied by Andes local residents for treating dysentery, tumors, ulcers, rheumatic conditions, and inflammations. It was also applied as a childbirth promoter. In South America the herb was used for wounds, arthritis, gastric ulcers, and bowel complaints.

Used For: The list of conditions in which Cat’s Claw is used includes minor injuries, inflammations, immunity disorders.

Additional Info: Cat’s Claw can be found in the mountainous forests of the Andes, located in South America, especially in Peru. The medicinally potent element is root bark.

Preparation and Intake: To make a home remedy from cat’s claw, take a gram of root bark for a cup of water, boil it up, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Cool the result down and filter it, then take at a dose of one cup thrice a day. In form of tincture the root can be used at a dose of 1-2 ml twice a day, while dry herb extract is used in a quantity of 20-60 mg a day.

Safety: There have been no reports concerning serious side effects of Cat’s Claw on the body. Cat’s claw should be avoided in case of tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune diseases. In Europe the practice of mixing the herb with vaccines, insulin, and hormonal medicines is discarded. Cat’s claw should be used with extreme care by nursing or pregnant women, until its complete safety for the body is proven.