Cat’s claw is one of nature’s most potent anti-inflammatory superfoods. Peruvians call it the “life giving vine” because of its many health benefits and the fact that it’s a vine that grows around local trees. It’s referred to as cat’s claw because of the claw-like thorns protruding from the vine that the plant uses to grip with as it grows.
This woody vine can be found throughout tropical jungles of Southern and Central America. Spain also has a potent genus of cat’s claw called uňa de gato that’s used by many distributors. There are many other variations such as species found in China, but lab testing on the extent of their health benefits haven’t been performed on those species as yet.
The inner bark of the vine and attached root is harvested from the plant, dried, and then either crushed or processed down for use in teas and tinctures. Cat’s claw has 30 known health-boosting components including 17 alkaloids, several glycosides, tannins, flavonoids, sterols, and others yet to be discovered. Continue reading to learn more about the health benefits offered by this wonderful plant.
Top 5 Cat’s Claw Supplements
|#1||Pure Encapsulations Cat’s Claw||More Info|
|#2||Source Naturals Cat’s Claw||More Info|
|#3||Nature’s Way Cat’s Claw||More Info|
|#4||Nature’s Answer Cat Claw Inner Bark||More Info|
|#5||Starwest Botanicals Cat’s Claw Powder||More Info|
Cat’s Claw Health Benefits
1.Powerful, Wide-Ranging Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant
Inflammation is a process that our bodies are constantly fighting. If inflammation weren’t a factor in human and animal biology, aging and death wouldn’t exist. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and many types of cancer are all a result of uncontrolled inflammation. Antioxidants help aid several anti-inflammation processes in the body by binding with oxidizing free radicals and shuttling them out via the digestive tract.
A study on the two most popular and potent forms of cat’s claw, Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianesis, confirmed cat’s claw is a potent performer in ridding the body of free radicals and thus reducing inflammation. Uncaria guianesis was found to be a better antioxidant, though by a slim margin. Several powerful oxindole and pentacyclic alkaloids, and a variety of flavonoids make cat’s claw a more effective antioxidant than many fruits and vegetables.
2.Natural Arthritis Treatment
Cat’s claw has been shown to be a wonderfully effective treatment for both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. Early osteoarthritis studies like this one, and more randomized double-blind recent studies on rheumatoid arthritis like this found patients experiencing significant reduction or complete remission of pain from their condition during activities.
The drawback is that cat’s claw hasn’t been deemed a cure for the condition, as the study participants still experienced pain at night or during rest, particularly in the knee area. So, cat’s claw may not help with the pain resulting from arthritis 24/7 but it can help with the most debilitating type of pain – that experienced when trying to move around and/or exercise.
3.Suppresses Cancer and Reduces Treatment Symptoms
The most convincing evidence that cat’s claw can help prevent cancer is in the areas of breast cancer and leukemia. Due to this limited, yet promising research, experts agree that this powerful superfood can help prevent and potentially destroy multiple types of cancer, as studies have shown it induces apoptosis (cancer cell death) in both breast tissue and the blood-producing cells contained in bone marrow that cause leukemia when damaged.
On the cancer treatment side, it’s been proved that cat’s claw can help repair chemotherapy-induced DNA damage. Additionally, white blood cell counts increased markedly in people taking cat’s claw while undergoing cancer treatment. This is helpful because people undergoing chemotherapy typically have trouble fighting off infection because of reduced immune system function due to low white blood cells.
For this same reason, the superfood can also be beneficial to people suffering from aids, as lowered white blood cells are a major factor in their increased susceptibility to infections of all kinds.
4.Relieves Crohn’s and other Digestive Disorders
One of the most painful and debilitating of all digestive malfunctions is Crohn’s disease. It’s a condition that leads to inflammation throughout the digestive tract and causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, loss of energy, nutritient malabsorption, and can lead to the need for the full or partial removal of the intestines and bowel.
Cat’s claw from Uncaria tomentosa has shown itself a worthy treatment for people suffering from this and other digestive conditions resulting from inflammation such as leaky gut. A dose of 250 mg per day is all that’s needed to experience digestive relief from cat’s claw.
Cat’s Claw Recommended Dosage
Dosages for cat’s claw range from 100 to 1000 mg per day, depending on the formulation and intended purpose. Read and follow label instructions, or ask your doctor if you have any concerns, or if you experience side effects while taking it.
Cat’s Claw Warnings & Side Effects
If you have any known allergies to plants belonging to the Rubiaceae family, cat’s claw is almost 100% likely to cause allergic reactions.
Check labels carefully to ensure the cat’s claw species in the supplements you buy are either Uncaria tomentosa, Uncaria guianensis or the Spanish variant uňa de gato: The three most popular forms of this supplement sold around the world. Members of these cat’s claw genus’ are the most potent, containing the health-boosting phytonutrients mentioned already.
Avoid any supplement touting catclaw acacia, catclaw mesquite, Greg’s catclaw, or any references to plants in the Senegalia greggi family. This form of cat’s claw has no nutritional health benefits and in fact is known to be poisonous in moderate doses.
A single documented case of a Parkinson’s patient taking cat’s claw indicated that the supplement might worsen rather than improve the disease. After the patient stopped taking cat’s claw, his condition quickly improved. Cat’s claw isn’t recommended for pregnant or nursing women, nor should it be given to children unless recommended by your doctor.
It’s important to talk with your doctor if you’re taking prescription medications. Unfortunately, this superfood does interact with a lot of common medications such as high blood pressure and immune-suppressing drugs.
Potential Side Effects
In a select few cases, people have reported dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea after taking cat’s claw. These side effects are rare, and in the case of nausea and diarrhea, symptoms will subside quickly in healthy individuals. If you feel dizzy after taking cat’s claw, or side effects persist, stop taking it and talk with your doctor.
Cat’s claw is a known blood thinner. If you’re planning to undergo surgery or receive dental treatment, stop taking cat’s claw two weeks prior to avoid bleeding complications.
Cat’s Claw Supplement Reviews
#1.Pure Encapsulations Cat’s Claw
Pure Encapsulations is one of a select few hypoallergenic forms of cat’s claw available. If you suffer from allergies to common binders and fillers like gluten, magnesium stearate, egg, nuts, talcum powder, soy, shellfish, dairy, shellacs, or artificial colors or flavors, you already understand the value of purchasing non-hypoallergenic supplements. Pure Encapsulation’s per dose cost is triple that of other 485mg varieties, but you also get the peace of mind knowing you’re only putting one ingredient in your body.
#2.Source Naturals Cat’s Claw
This cat’s claw supplement from Source Naturals offers perhaps the best value if you prefer to take your supplements in capsule form rather than a liquid tincture, and you don’t have any allergies to common binders and fillers used in allergy-causing supplements. Each bottle comes with 120 capsules containing a large 1000mg dose of cat’s claw. If you’re currently dealing with a severe chronic inflammatory condition like arthritis, Fibromyalgia, IBS, etc., this is one of the most potent forms of cat’s claw available in capsule form. One to three of these per day is all you’ll need to start feeling immediate relief from whatever ails you.
#3.Nature’s Way Cat’s Claw
Nature’s Way is far and above one of the best superfood supplement manufacturer’s out there. This two-pack of easy-to-swallow 485mg capsules is all you need to start realizing the benefits cat’s claw has to offer to your health. Each capsule contains certified non-GMO cat’s claw bark, with a guaranteed 0.3% alkaloid content. Choose this option if you’re sensitive to large doses of cat’s claw, or if you’re assessing your tolerance.
#4.Nature’s Answer Cat Claw Inner Bark
You can’t beat the potency of a tincture if you’re trying to get the fastest benefits from cat’s claw bark possible. This 1000mg/serving, alcohol-free concentrate from Nature’s Answer is just what the doctor ordered for people with a wide range of health issues including gut issues, asthma, diabetes, chronic fatigue, and many others. Though it’s infused with ginger to help with taste, I’d recommend dosing right from the dropper into your mouth and chasing it with water or some other beverage – it has a powerful taste!
#5.Starwest Botanicals Cat’s Claw Powder
This loose ground Peruvian powder from Starwest is perfect for frugal types who want as much cat’s claw bark as they can get, for the lowest price possible. You can purchase empty capsules and fill them yourself, or simply add a ¼ teaspoon or more dose to your favorite beverages, smoothies, and recipes. This powder mixes well, is slightly gritty and has very little, if any discernible taste. With an entire pound of this product and such small serving sizes, this will definitely give you the most mileage of all the products listed so far.
Cat’s claw is regarded by many as a top antioxidant when used daily. Antioxidants slow the aging process and help to prevent heart disease and strokes – in addition to many other health risks. Cat’s claw is perfectly harmless provided you don’t experience undesirable side effects (which don’t subside within a few days of taking it), have Parkinson’s, or are taking medications cat’s claw is known to interact with.
The fact this natural food can treat a host of issues ranging from early onset arthritis, digestive conditions of all kinds, and help with the complications brought on by chemotherapy and AIDS, there’s no telling how many health issues this superfood can help treat and even prevent.
Perhaps cat’s claw can help you too!