Cat’s Claw - Immune System Booster

Cat's Claw

Cat’s Claw, or Una de Gato, is an enormous liana or woody vine that grows along the Equator in the Peruvian highlands and reaches as much as 30 metres in length. Known as Uncaria tomentosa it has sharp, hook-like claws, with which it supports itself on other trees and plants. Both the inner bark and the root can be used for herbal preparations, with very rapid regeneration of plant growth.


Cat’s Claw, both in bark and root form, contains a number of oxindole alkaloids which are extremely immunoactive, as well as an array of other therapeutic substances including quinovic acid glycosides, triterpines, polyphenols, and proanthocyanidins. Several of these have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. With such a bewildering collection of actives it is not surprising that Cat’s Claw has been welcomed by so many different groups, by arthritis and rheumatism sufferers, as well as by people struggling with digestive tract disorders, allergies and hay fever, shingles, chronic fatigue, menstrual irregularities and a low immune defence. In the main it is the anti-inflammatory, immune-stimulating and anti-oxidant properties which have been most vigorously researched both in the United States and in European universities and clinics.


Cat’s Claw can be used generally when wishing to strengthen the immune system or specifically for a special therapeutic purpose. It is often suggested alongside other remedies to enhance their effect.


It is important to use Cat’s Claw on a regular basis and to keep a high level of intake at least during the first couple of months. This gives time for the immuno-active benefits to become established. The recommended level is 1500mg per day of pure bark, or its equivalent in extracted and concentrated forms, but this can be increased under the appropriate direction. Cat’s Claw is also available in tea-bag form, but it is important to be sure that the level of extract per bag is making a therapeutic contribution. Ideally find a supplier with over 1500mg of Cat’s Claw.


Cat’s Claw should be avoided during pregnancy and by lactating mothers. It is also contradicted prior to transplant surgery as the increase in the immunoactive profile may prove to be unhelpful.

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