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Cat’s Claw, also known as Uncaria tomentosa, is a woody vine native to the Amazon rainforest. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine due to its potential health benefits. In this article, we will explore the science behind Cat’s Claw, its traditional uses, and its emerging popularity as a dietary supplement. Whether you are seeking immune support, joint health, or other potential benefits, Cat’s Claw supplement may offer a natural solution. Join us as we explore the benefits of Cat’s Claw.
What Is Cat’s Claw?
Cat’s Claw, scientifically known as Uncaria tomentosa, is a woody vine native to the Amazon rainforest and other parts of Central and South America. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine due to its potential health benefits. Cat’s Claw is known for its unique claw-shaped thorns, which give the plant its name. The inner bark and roots of the vine contain bioactive compounds, such as alkaloids, flavonoids, and tannins, which are believed to contribute to its therapeutic properties.
In traditional medicine, Cat’s Claw has been used to support immune function and promote overall well-being. It is often recognized for its potential anti-inflammatory effects, which may help reduce inflammation in the body. Additionally, Cat’s Claw is known for its antioxidant properties, which can help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
Research suggests that Cat’s Claw may have potential benefits for joint health by supporting a healthy inflammatory response. It may also have antimicrobial properties, aiding in the defense against certain pathogens.
What are the Benefits of Cat’s Claw?
- Immune System Support: Cat’s Claw is believed to support a healthy immune system, potentially enhancing the body’s natural defense mechanisms.
- Anti-inflammatory Effects: Cat’s Claw may help reduce inflammation in the body, which is associated with various health conditions. It may support a healthy inflammatory response.
- Antioxidant Protection: Cat’s Claw contains antioxidants that help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. This can contribute to overall well-being and healthy aging.
- Joint Health Support: Some studies suggest that Cat’s Claw may have benefits for joint health by promoting a healthy inflammatory response and potentially reducing discomfort.
- Potential Antimicrobial Activity: Cat’s Claw has been investigated for its antimicrobial properties, which may aid in fighting certain pathogens and supporting overall immune health.
- Digestive Health: Cat’s Claw has been traditionally used to support digestive health and promote gastrointestinal well-being.
- Alzheimer’s: Researchers found that Cat’s Claw can prevent amyloid and Tau proteins from clumping together into plaques and tangles, and can even break down existing ones. They identified specific compounds in Cat’s Claw, called proanthocyanidins, as being responsible for this effect and found that they cross the blood-brain barrier. [PMC6365538]
Is Cat’s Claw Safe?
Cat’s Claw, is derived from a tropical vine and is generally considered safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts. Commonly used for various health benefits, this supplement is well-tolerated and adverse effects are rare. It’s important to note that while it is safe for many, it may not be suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding people, or those with certain medical conditions. Choosing high-quality Cat’s Claw from reputable sources further ensures safety and efficacy.
Medication Interactions with Cat’s Claw
- Anticoagulant and Antiplatelet Drugs: Cat’s Claw may have mild blood-thinning effects. Combining it with medications like warfarin, aspirin, or clopidogrel may increase the risk of bleeding. It is important to monitor blood clotting parameters and work closely with a healthcare professional when using Cat’s Claw alongside these medications. Severity: Mild to Moderate.
- Immunosuppressant Drugs: Cat’s Claw may have immune-stimulating effects. Combining it with medications that suppress the immune system, such as corticosteroids or drugs used in organ transplantation, may reduce the effectiveness of these medications. Close monitoring and guidance from a healthcare professional are essential.
- Blood Pressure Medications: Cat’s Claw may potentially lower blood pressure. Combining it with antihypertensive medications may enhance the blood pressure-lowering effects, potentially leading to excessively low blood pressure. Regular monitoring and adjustment of medication dosages may be necessary.
- Diabetes Medications: Cat’s Claw may affect blood sugar levels. When combined with diabetes medications, it may enhance the blood sugar-lowering effects, potentially leading to hypoglycemia. Monitoring blood sugar levels closely and working with a healthcare professional are iportant.
Supplement Interactions with Cat’s Claw
- Immune-Boosting Supplements: Cat’s Claw has immune-stimulating properties, and combining it with other immune-boosting supplements may enhance immune system activity. It is advisable to use caution and consult with a healthcare professional when combining Cat’s Claw with other immune-boosting supplements.
- Anticoagulant Supplements: Cat’s Claw may have mild blood-thinning effects. Combining it with other supplements that have anticoagulant properties, such as fish oil or high-dose vitamin E, may increase the risk of bleeding. It is important to monitor blood clotting parameters and work closely with a healthcare professional when using Cat’s Claw alongside anticoagulant supplements.
- Herbal Supplements with Similar Effects: Some herbal supplements, such as turmeric, ginger, or garlic, may have similar anti-inflammatory or immune-stimulating effects as Cat’s Claw. Combining these supplements with Cat’s Claw may enhance these effects, so it’s advisable to use caution and consult with a healthcare professional when combining them.
- Supplements Affecting Blood Pressure: Cat’s Claw may potentially lower blood pressure. Combining it with other supplements that have blood pressure-lowering effects, such as coenzyme Q10 or omega-3 fatty acids, may enhance the blood pressure-lowering effects. Regular monitoring and adjustment of supplement dosages may be necessary.
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Cats Claw is a traditionally used dietary supplement that has been clinically studied to provide potential joint, cardiovascular, immune and gastrointestinal support.*
- Traditionally used in Peru for over 2, 000 years.
- May support joint, cardiovascular, immune and gastrointestinal function*
- May provide antioxidant protection for gut health*
- Made with hypoallergenic, vegan ingredients
Cats claw, also known as Uncaria tomentosa, has been used traditionally in Peru for over 2, 000 years. Alkaloids, phenols, sterols and glycosides comprise some of the naturally occurring constituents of this herb. The effects of these compounds are far-reaching and include support for joint function, gastric and intestinal health, cellular protection and immune activity. In a 52-week, randomized, double blind trial, cats claw extract promoted joint comfort in volunteers. A 4-week study also suggests that cats claw has the ability to promote joint comfort, in part by maintaining healthy prostaglandin metabolism. Other mechanisms of action that may account for these effects include protecting from oxidative stress and supporting healthy cytokine production. Studies involving cultured gastric epithelial cells suggest that cats claw may provide important antioxidant protection for gut health. Cats claw alkaloids have been specifically associated with enhancing immune system cell function, including phagocytosis and macrophage activity. Cardiovascular support properties include support for healthy vascular and platelet function. Preliminary evidence suggests that cats claw may provide protective support for healthy breast cell function. Cats claw may be contraindicated for individuals who are taking blood thinning or antihypertensive medications due to a potential synergistic effect.*
Take 1–6 capsules per day, in divided doses, with meals
Serving Size: One Vegetarian Capsule
Amount Per Serving
Cats Claw Extract … 450mg
(uncaria tomentosa)(inner vine bark)
(standardized to contain 3% oxindole alkaloids)
To Sum It Up
Cat’s Claw supplement holds promise as a natural health aid with a long history of traditional use. From immune support to joint health, Cat’s Claw has gained recognition for its potential benefits. While research is ongoing, many individuals have experienced positive results with Cat’s Claw supplementation.
This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice
Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.