Cats Claw

(Last Updated On: May 9, 2019)

Discover Some Amazing Benefits Of Cats Claw

cats claw nootropic

Cats Claw is a popular medicinal herb commonly used in traditional medicines.

First used by the ancient Incas, it has a long history of use with its reported benefits including the treatment of joint disorders, boosting immunity and treating viral infections.

This article looks into these claims and compares key results from some scientific studies to try and find out exactly what it can do for you.

What Is Cats Claw

Cats Claw is a natural perennial vine type plant native to the Amazon forest areas of South America.

Its latin name is Uncaria with two popular species being Uncaria Tomentosa and Uncaria Guianensis. Both have various medicinal properties that can be seen by looking at their chemical structure.

The most commonly used form is Uncaria Tomentosa its widely used in various supplements, taking various forms including teas, tinctures, liquid extracts, as well as capsules.

It takes its name from its long thorns on the stems that do kind of resemble the shape of a Cats claw. 

Most extracts that are found in supplements are taken from the bark of the plant. There is a watery sap inside the plant that has an astringent taste.

Its traditional uses dates back centuries with various tribal cultures using it to treat numbers health problems.

Peruvian tribes for instance use it to treat ulcers, inflammation, and urinary tract infections. Others use it to treat wounds, and cleanse the blood and kidneys. 

There are also documented cases of it being used to help women recover after childbirth.

It also has spiritual uses too, with some cultures using it to remove any conflictions between the body and the spirit.

cats claw bark

The Benefits Of Cats Claw

Science has shown that the plant does indeed contain some powerful anti fungal, anti inflammatory and anti bacterial properties.

It has also demonstrated that it can help restore an impaired immune system

Uses Of Cats Claw


cats claw arthritis

Its reported anti inflammatory benefits have encouraged its use as a treatment for various forms of arthritis. Studies have shown that it can help reduce the symptoms of both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis . Its anti inflammatory effects coming from a compound called POA (Pentacylic Oxindolic Alkaloid)

One study saw test subjects who had osteoarthritis given 100mg freeze dried cats claw daily for 4 weeks. A control group was at the same time given a harmless placebo.

After the test period, it was discovered that the group taking the Cats Claw saw a marked reduction in pain and improvements in their condition.

A similar study looked at its effect on rheumatoid arthritis. Test patients were given 20mg of its claw extract 3 times per day for 24 weeks, a comparable group received a harness placebo.

After the test period, the group receiving the cats claw all reported noticeable improvements in their condition, with reduced join pain the most noticeable effect.

These studies are encouraging without any doubt, it must be said however that there is no sign that taking Cats Claw will actually stop joint damage from worsening.

Immune System

There have been a few studies that have confirmed the claimed immune system boosting effects fo cats claw. 

One key study saw noticeable increases in patients white blood cell counts after they ere given 700mg of cats claw daily for 2 months. 

Similar results were also recorded in this study when test subjects received Cats Claw daily for 6 weeks.

Researchers do believe that this immunity boosting effects is linked to its anti inflammatory benefits

Anti Cancer

There are reports of tests and trials that have shown that Cats Claw may be toxic to some types of cancer cells. 

One study followed its effect on breast cancer cells and discovered that it restricted the growth of these cells, whats more it didn’t have the same impact on healthy cells that was caused by chemotherapy.

Anther study looked at its potential for treating Leukemia. No less than fore alkaloids present in the extract showed the potential to inhibit the production of human leukaemia cells

A quite recent study also showed that Cats Claw has the ability to help boost quality of life in cancer patients and may reduce any cancer relate fatigue.

Findings like these are amazing, but we must exercise caution, despite the potential shown by these trials, there must be a lot more research on the extract before it can become an established cancer treatment.

cats claw dna

Boosts DNA

Another side of conventional chemotherapy is the damage that it can do to our healthy cells and DNA. 

It has been shown that Cats Claw, when taken as a water soluble extract can help reduce the cellular DNA damage. 

Test subjects who received the extract also saw an increase in their white blood cells, which helped to boost their overall immunity to infections.

Cats Claw has also been suggested as a viable treatment for lyme disease, and as a tool to help reducing blood pressure, which can help prevent strokes and heart attacks.

It does this by blocking calcium build up in the atrial walls, this blows the arteries to remain flexible and dilated, allowing for improved healthy blood flow

Safe Doses Of Cats Claw.

There are no clinically recognised doses for taking cats claw, industry experts do suggest that capsules contain up to 350mg are safe, when taking in tincture form a dose of 4ml is thought to be suitable.

These does will vary according to the manufacturer and the method of taking. 

To be on the safe side, following instructions and never exceeding any recommendations is important.

If you are taking any long term medication, its wise to consult with your doctor before taking anything containing Cats Claw ( actually this is good advice for any supplement).

This is to check for and avoid any potential  drug interactions.

cats claw side effects

Cats Claw Side Effects

The amount of testing isn’t that great yet to fully ascertain the total safety of this supplement. 

In the short term it appears to be completely safe, although it does have some interactions to be aware of.

It can increase the effects of blood clotting medications ( like warfarin) so it should not be taken if you are on these forms of medications.

Also if you are due to have surgery you must stop cats claw at least two weeks before to minimise any potential issues with bleeding. 

It does also contain quite high levels of Tannins, which can in some users cause headaches, stomach upsets and sickness. These are only likely however, if the dose is over recommended amounts.

To avid the chance of these or any problems, always look for a pure form of Cats Claw, preferably buy from certified manufacturers who use organic extracts certified under USDA guidelines.

My Final Thoughts About Cats Claw

It does indeed have some great potential, for the purpose of boosting brain function, its the anti inflammatory effects that come into play most, by reducing cellular inflammation and helping to boost essential blood flow, there is no doubt that brain cells are healthier and function better when taking it.

That said it does lack testing to back up all its claims, Bottom line, if you have no long term health conditions or are taking other long term medications I would say that its definitely worth taking .

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The information in this website is for advice and guidance only. It is based on my own intensive research into nootropics and my personal experiences with certain products. It is not intended to replace professional medical advice, or to diagnose or treat any health conditions. All rights reserved.