A vine that is also known as Una de Gato, Cat’s Claw is used as a traditional cure for a wide array of health concerns in Peru, specifically for arthritis, digestive problems, and asthma. It is also used to manage cancer and for the treatment of wounds. Through word of mouth, the benefits of the herb have reached the United States and other western countries where it is now among the best-selling medicinal plants.
Studies have been done by scientists in many countries including Austria, Germany, England, and Peru since the ,70s. These studies are done to learn more about the potent healing qualities of the herb that is the first rainforest plant to attract worldwide attention and curiosity since the discovery of quinine in the 17th century.
Uses and Benefits
Supports the Immune System
Many studies are specifically focused on the various oxindole alkaloids that can be found in the roots and bark of the herb, which are said to hold the secrets to the herb’s medicinal properties. For one, the alkaloids can stimulate the immune system.
Isomer A said to be the most active alkaloid, can increase the body’s immune response and serve as an antioxidant that drives away free radicals. Compounds in the herb help fight bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that trigger various types of immune system disorders.
Fights Cancer Cells
Extracts from the herb help curb the proliferation of MCF7, a cell line responsible for breast cancer. This finding led to the use of the herb as an adjunctive treatment for AIDS, other types of cancer and immune system diseases. The presence of beta sitosterol and proanthocyanidins likewise protects the body by providing anti-inflammatory and anti-viral support.
These alkaloids also help enhance memory and are considered powerful deterrents against TNF-alpha production. In addition, results of a study done on human volunteers revealed that those who took the herb for eight weeks exhibited marked improvement in DNA repair.
Help in Eradicating Inflammatory Diseases
Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, the herb helps relieve gout, asthma and other similar disorders. This is mainly because of its immunomodulation capability that suppresses TNF-alpha synthesis.
Help in the Treatment of Intestinal Problems
The herb provides support for the body’s immune and intestinal systems and helps in cleansing the whole intestinal tract. This cleansing process primarily benefits people who are suffering from various bowel and stomach disorders such as Crohn’s disease, colitis, leaky bowel syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Cat’s Claw Benefits to the Immune System
Combining Cat’s Claw with other types of herbs that have similar healing qualities like Echinacea may:
- Help treat arthritis, rheumatism, and other inflammatory disorders
- Promote faster healing of wounds
- Inhibit the formation of cancerous cells
- Help treat gastric ulcers and other intestinal problems
- Help get rid of chronic pain
- Help control intestinal inflammation, colitis, leaky bowel syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, ulcer, and intestinal inflammation
- Help combat fungal and viral infections like Candida and herpes.