Cat's Claw ( Uncaria tomentosa ) is conventionally grown in Peru
AKA vilacora , una de gato, Uncaria tomentosa vilacora, una de gato
Cautions please be aware that herbs, although natural can interact with certain medications, and that they may be ill advised to use under certain health conditions. Please consult a qualified health practitioner for cautions pertinent to you. Pregnant women should avoid taking it until. Those who are allergic to coffee or gardenias may also experience negative effects from uncaria tomentosa.
No therapeutic claim is made or intended for this product. Information is for educational purposes only.
Further interesting reading...
Cat's Claw Bark was reputed to be a super drug in the Andean region of South America. Modern chemistry has revealed the presence of oxyindole alkaloids which may, in fact, aid the immune system. Cats claw's glycosides may be responsible for the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions of this herb. That is, Cats Claw Bark does appear to assist immune function, reduce inflammations and help in the healing of minor injuries. Cat's Claw ranked among the top 10 herbs sold in American natural food stores in the late 1990s. The bark is boiled for 15 minutes to make a thick decoction, drunk 2 or 3 cups a day.
The Asháninka use Cat's Claw bark to treat asthma, inflammations of the urinary tract, to recover from childbirth, as a kidney cleanser, to cure deep wounds, for arthritis, rheumatism and bone pain, to control inflammation and gastric ulcers, and to support the bodies immune system in it's fight against cancer. Indigenous tribes in Piura use Cat's Claw to treat tumors, inflammations, rheumatism and gastric ulcers. Indian tribes in Columbia use the vine to treat gonorrhea and dysentery. Other Peruvian indigenous tribes use Cat's Claw to treat diabetes, urinary tract cancer in women, cirrhosis, gastritis, rheumatism, inflammations and tumors. The Cashibo tribe of eastern Peru believes that Cat's Claw 'normalizes the body' and have used it since ancient times to treat fevers, abscesses and to cleanse the system. Keplinger's work in the 1970's and 1980's led to several extracts of cat's claw bark being sold in Austria and Germany as prescription medicines, four U.S. patents describing the alkaloid extraction methods and the immunostimulating actions of these alkaloids found in Cat's Claw, and fueled worldwide interest in the medicinal properties of this valuable vine of the rainforest.
In May of 1994, the World Health Organization sponsored the First International Conference on Cat's Claw in Geneva Switzerland. At the conference, Cat's Claw received official recognition as a medicinal plant and it was pointed out that not since quinine was discovered in the bark of a Peruvian tree in the 17th century, has any other rainforest plant ever prompted such worldwide attention. The most attention to date has been on the oxindole alkaloids found in the bark and roots of Cat's Claw which have been documented to stimulate the immune system. Studies indicate at least six of these oxindole alkaloids can increase immune function by up to 50% in relatively small amounts. This has led to its use around the world to support the treatment of cancer and AIDS as well as other diseases which negatively impact the immunological system. In addition to it's immunostimulating activity for cancer patients, other anti-cancerous properties have been documented on the alkaloids as well as other constituents in Cat's Claw. Five of the oxindole alkaloids have been clinically documented with anti-leukemic properties, and various root and bark extracts have demonstrated anti-tumorous and antimutagenic properties. Reports on observatory trials with cancer patients taking Cat's Claw in conjunction with traditional cancer therapies like chemotherapy and radiation reported fewer side effects to the traditional therapies like hair loss, weight loss, nausea, secondary infections and skin problems.
Another significant area of study on Cat's Claw has focused on its anti-inflammatory properties. While plant sterols like Beta-sitosterol, acids and other antioxidants found in Cat's Claw account for some of these properties, new and novel phytochemicals called quinovic acid glycosides were found in the bark and roots and documented to be the most potent anti-inflammatory constituents found in the plant. These studies indicated that Cat's Claw and some of its constituents could inhibit inflammation from 46% to up 69% in various in vivo and in vitro tests. This validated its long history of indigenous use for arthritis and rheumatism as well as other types of inflammation associated with various stomach disorders and ulcers where it was clinically shown to be effective. This same group of chemicals also demonstrated in vitro antiviral properties in another study. According to Dr. James Howenstine, MD. in an article dated April 17, 2005: "It is now realized that Lyme Disease can mimic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinsons disease, multiple sclerosis, Bells Palsy, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, neuritis, psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia, chronic fatigue, heart failure, angina, irregular heart rhythms, fibromyalgia, dermatitis, autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma and lupus, eye inflammatory reactions, sudden deafness, SIDS, ADD and hyperactivity, chronic pain and many other conditions." Preliminary findings show that Samento (Cat's Claw) is very helpful in treating these conditions.
Anthropologists and archaeologists have learned that this Native American herb, dried uncaria tomentosa, was once used by the Asháninka tribe of Peru as a treatment for various gastro-intestinal disorders as well as a contraceptive. Some recent clinical research on Cat's Claw Bark suggest that it may be effective for a wide range of conditions; uncaria tomentosa has anti-oxidant as well as anti-bacterial properties; ground Cat's Claw Bark may also be useful as an anti-inflammatory as well.