Cats Claw Information & Purchase
Also Known As:
Griffe Du Chat, Liane du Pérou, Life-Giving Vine of Peru, Samento, Uña De Gato.
CAUTION: See separate listing for Cat's Foot.
Uncaria guianensis; Uncaria tomentosa. Family: Rubiaceae.
People Use This For:
Orally, cat's claw is used for diverticulitis, peptic ulcers, colitis, gastritis, hemorrhoids, parasites, Alzheimer's disease, and leaky bowel syndrome. Cat's claw is also used orally for viral infections including herpes zoster, herpes simplex, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is also used orally for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), wound healing, arthritis, asthma, allergic rhinitis, cancer (especially urinary tract cancer), glioblastoma, gonorrhea, dysentery, birth control, bone pains, and "cleansing" the kidneys.
POSSIBLY SAFE ...when used orally, short-term. A specific freeze-dried aqueous extract seems to be safe when used for up to four weeks. Another extract of cat's claw, free of tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids, seems to be safe when used for up to 24 weeks.
PREGNANCY: POSSIBLY UNSAFE ...when used orally. There is concern that cat's claw might be unsafe based on its use as a contraceptive; avoid using.
LACTATION: Insufficient reliable information available; avoid using.
Osteoarthritis. Taking a specific freeze-dried cat's claw extract (Uncaria guianensis) orally appears to relieve knee pain related to physical activity within one week of treatment, but it does not decrease pain at rest or decrease knee swelling.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Taking a specific cat's claw extract (Uncaria tomentosa) orally, containing pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids but free of tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids, appears to modestly improve symptoms of RA. Taken orally in combination with sulfasalazine or hydroxychloroquine for 24 weeks, cat's claw seems to reduce the number of painful and swollen joints.
There is insufficient reliable information available about the effectiveness of cat's claw for its other uses.
Mechanism of Action:
The applicable part of cat's claw is the root and bark. The major alkaloid of cat's claw is rhynchophylline. There is some evidence that it might have cardiovascular effects including dilating peripheral blood vessels, lowering heart rate, and possibly lowering blood cholesterol. Rhynchophylline might also inhibit sympathetic nervous system activity.
Cat's claw is thought to work for osteoarthritis due to anti-inflammatory effects. It seems to inhibit the production of prostaglandin E2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). There is interest in using cat's claw for rheumatoid arthritis. The pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids found in cat's claw seem to have immunomodulatory effects, enhancing phagocytosis and increasing lymphocyte activity. However, these effects appear to be antagonized by the tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids also found in cat's claw.
Cat's claw stimulates production of colony-stimulating factors, interleukin-1 (IL-1) and IL-6, and increase myelopoiesis in animal models. Cat's claw increases several white blood cells, including B and T lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, and granulocytes in animal models. But cat's claw does not seem to change the proportion of these cells. Cat's claw does not seem to increase precursors to the cells, suggesting that it prolongs white blood cell survival, rather than increasing cell production . Cat's claw also seems to increase recovery from doxorubicin-induced leukopenia in animal models.
There is also interest in cat's claw for cancer and viral infections because some of its constituents seem to have antioxidant, immunostimulant, and antiviral effects. These constituents include quinovic acid alkaloids and the alkaloids pteropodine and isopteropodine. Extracts of cat's claw also might have antimutagenic activity. There is preliminary evidence that cat's claw extracts can induce tumor cell death (apoptosis), and inhibit proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cells. However, cat's claw does not appear to be cytotoxic to normal cells. Cat's claw may also exert antiestrogenic effects, although the mechanism is not yet completely understood.
Some cat's claw alkaloids may have a beneficial effect on memory loss caused by cholinergic dysfunction. These alkaloids seem to enhance central cholinergic transmission by increasing acetylcholine levels or by affecting dopaminergic systems that can enhance cholinergic function. Another constituent, uncarine E, might also affect the glutamateric system, which might also play a critical role in memory and cognition.
Orally, cat's claw can cause headache, dizziness, and vomiting.
Interactions with Herbs & Supplements:
HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS WITH HYPOTENSIVE EFFECTS: Cat's claw is thought to have hypotensive effects. Theoretically, combining cat's claw with other herbs or supplements with hypotensive effects might increase the risk of hypotension. Some of these herbs and supplements include andrographis, casein peptides, cat's claw, coenzyme Q-10, fish oil, L-arginine, lycium, stinging nettle, theanine, and others.
Interactions with Drugs:
ANTIHYPERTENSIVE DRUGS Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Since cat's claw may lower blood pressure, exercise caution when using cat's claw with antihypertensive drugs.
CYTOCHROME P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) SUBSTRATES Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination. There's preliminary evidence that cat's claw can inhibit cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) enzymes. Theoretically, cat's claw might increase levels of drugs metabolized by CYP3A4; however, so far, this interaction has not been reported in humans. Some drugs metabolized by CYP3A4 include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and numerous others. Use cat's claw cautiously or avoid in patients taking these drugs.
IMMUNOSUPPRESSANTS Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination. Theoretically, cat's claw may interfere with immunosuppressant therapy due to immunostimulating activity. It stimulates phagocytosis and increases respiratory cellular activity and the mobility of leukocytes. Immunosuppressant drugs include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), and other corticosteroids (glucocorticoids).
Interactions with Foods:
Interactions with Lab Tests:
WHITE BLOOD CELLS (WBCs): Cat's claw increases several WBCs including B and T lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, and granulocytes in animal models. But cat's claw does not seem to change the proportion of these cells. Cat's claw does not seem to increase precursors to the cells, suggesting that it prolongs white blood cell survival, rather than increasing cell production. Theoretically, cat's claw might increase WBCs in patients who take it, however, this effect has not been demonstrated in humans.
Interactions with Diseases or Conditions:
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: There is some concern that cat's claw might adversely affect patients with autoimmune disorders because of its immune stimulating effects. Avoid using in patients with multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or other autoimmune disorders without the advice of a healthcare professional.
HYPOTENSION: Cat's claw might reduce blood pressure and exacerbate hypotension.
LEUKEMIA: Preliminary evidence suggests that cat's claw might prolong survival time of childhood leukemia cells in vitro. Theoretically, taking cat's claw might worsen disease activity in patients who have leukemia. Advise patients with leukemia not to take cat's claw.
SURGERY: Cat's claw might affect blood pressure. Theoretically, cat's claw might interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgical procedures. Tell patients to discontinue cat's claw at least 2 weeks before elective surgical procedures.
ORAL: For osteoarthritis of the knee, 100 mg daily of a specific freeze-dried aqueous cat's claw extract has been used. For rheumatoid arthritis, 60 mg daily in three divided doses of a specific cat's claw extract (free of tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids) has been used.
Cat's claw was ranked as the seventh most popular herb in US sales in 1997. Two species of cat's claw are of primary interest for medicinal use: Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis. Uncaria tomentosa is most commonly used in the US, and Uncaria guianensis is typically used in Europe.
General Certificate Of Analysis (COA) less manufacture date and batch number provided for different product strengths if the link is not available or manufacture date and batch number is required use the email us box to request Certificate Of Analysis (COA) emailed. Any questions about product or wholesale pricing for twenty five kilos or more. Please be sure to use product ID, Trade Name and Scientific Name.
- Specification Sheet Cats Claw Powder
- Specification Sheet Cats Claw Powder Extract 4:1
- Specification Sheet Cats Claw Powder Extract 3%
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"These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."