Cat's Claw: Benefits, Properties?
Elderberry & cats claw
Name (s) town (s): Cat's Claw Latin name: Uncaria tomentosa, Uncaria guianensis
Climbing vine in the rain forests of the Amazon to Peru, cat's claw is known to relieve pain and inflammation boost the immune system. You do not have any clinical evidence on the efficacy of the treatment and there are no studies to determine the type of preparation (plant extracts, solid or liquid ...) nor the dosage that would give the best results. The following information is based on tradition and current clinical use.
The tribes of the Amazon rainforest of Peru consider the cat's claw a sacred plant, and the action attribute on the mind and body. In the eyes of ethnobotanical, its state usually indicates that the plant has medicinal properties. For over 2000 years, the American Indians used the bark of cat's claw as an immune stimulant, contraceptive, anti-inflammatory and cure for cancer.
Only in 1974, scientists have begun to take an interest and, in the nineties, the plant has gained popularity in Europe and North America. Europeans prefer to use the species Uncaria guianensis while the North American Uncaria tomentosa. To meet the demand, the zest of both species was collected in large quantities in South America. In 1999, the Peruvian authorities have established a system of permits for harvesting techniques, in order to preserve the plant. The name "Cat's Claw" comes from the curved spines of which is equipped with the creeper.
In an essay published in 2001, for four weeks, 45 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were subjected to a treatment with an extract of Uncaria guianensis (30 subjects) or placebo (15 subjects). The results indicate that the extract was significantly more effective than placebo in relieving the pain associated with the movement, but not at rest.
In 2002 he conducted another study published in 40 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and is in therapy with sulfasalazine and hydroxychloroquine is. For 24 weeks, one group received the extract with cat's claw and a placebo in addition to the drug. After this period, the researchers found a decrease of 53% of painful joints in patients who had been given the extract, compared with 24% of those who took the placebo. During 28 weeks, the 37 remaining patients who took the extract. The researchers observed a decrease in the number of painful and swollen joints in those who took placebo during the first phase.
The cat's claw anti-inflammatory action is attributed to its antioxidant properties. It is believed that it is through this antioxidant that is able to inhibit the processes caused by inflammation.
For reasons that still elude researchers, the Amazon seems to be a real nursery with species having a stimulating effect on the immune system. In a summary of research on the immunoregulatory properties of some plants in Peru, the author provides a list of at least six, including cat's claw, that could really improve the performance of the human immune system.
Tests in vitro and in vivo studies have revealed that some of the alkaloids nell'artiglio cat ensure to stimulate and regulate the production of lymphocytes in the body. The research also found that a standardized extract of the plant can protect cell DNA from some attacks and even repair some damage, if necessary, an effect that was observed during a study of 12 healthy volunteers. It has thus been observed in in vitro tests, the extract of cat's claw may induce apoptosis of cancer cells.
In 2001, it was administered for two months a standardized extract of cat's claw in volunteers who had just been vaccinated against pneumococcal infection. The researchers found significantly higher immune activity in these subjects than in the subjects of a control group (vaccinated persons not subject to the administration of the cat's claw).
Ingredients: standardized elderberry extract, standardized extract of cat's claw, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide.
Usage: 1 capsule 2-3 times daily or as directed by a doctor.
Auto-immune diseases: in the case of auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis or lupus, experts advise not to take cat's claw to avoid stimulating the immune system that, in these diseases, takes issue with the 'body that is supposed to protect.
Children: usually, herbalists advise against the use of cat's claw in children under three years.
Lactation: Although the cat's claw has been traditionally given to women who had recently given birth, experts do not recommend its use to women during lactation.
Arterial hypotension: the authors warn against the properties of the so-called hypotensive 'cat's claw. The only studies that show hypotensive activity of the plant were carried out with a preparation of an Asian species (Uncaria rhynchophylla), belonging to the same botanical genus cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis). It seems that the substances to which this is attributable hypotensive effect are found only in negligible quantities nell'artiglio cat, which is why traditional herbalists have never mentioned this to make this system.
Pregnancy: Typically, herbalists recommend that pregnant women should avoid cat's claw because it is used as a contraceptive and abortifacient.
Transplantation of organs or skin: Devil's claw may counteract the effect of drugs prescribed to patients in order to inhibit immune reactions which might result in the rejection process.
Side effects: gastrointestinal disturbances often lighter passengers.
Interactions with herbs or supplements: None known.
Immunosuppressants: The cat's claw may counteract the effect of the drugs prescribed to transplant patients or people suffering from autoimmune diseases, in order to inhibit immune reactions that may lead to rejection or destruction of the tissues.
Caution: Do not give to children under 18, pregnant or breastfeeding, and persons subject to medical therapy. Adhere to the recommended doses. Keep out of reach of children. Store in a cool, dry place.