Cats Claw

(Uncaria tomentosa)

Cat’s claw is a vine that grows high up in the canopy of the rain forests of the Andes Mountains in South America, particularly in Peru. It gets it’s name form the claw like thorns which protrude from its woody stem. The root bark is used as medicine.

Cat’s claw has been reportedly used by indigenous peoples in the Andes to treat inflammation, rheumatism, gastric ulcers, tumours, dysentery, and as birth control. Cat’s claw is popular in South American folk medicine for treating intestinal complaints, gastric ulcers, arthritis, and to promote wound healing.

What it does

Cats claw contains oxyindole alkaloids which have immune stimulating action and increase the ability of white blood cells to attack and destroy harmful bacteria and viruses. It also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and potential cancer fighting properties. Several polyphenols found in cat’s claw exert a strong antioxidant / free radical scavenging activity. Its alkaloids have been shown to inhibit platelet aggregation and thrombosis as well as lowering heart rate and blood cholesterol.

Potential Uses

Immune support Osteo arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Tired all the time. Common Cold
Flu Cardio vascular disease

Other information

Cats claw is often used for general immune support and for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.


Cats claw should not be taken when pregnant or breastfeeding.

Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using cats claw.

If you are taking anti-hypertensive drugs, anti-diabetics or immune stimulants, check with your doctor before taking cats claw.

At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with cats claw.


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