Cats Claw (Una de Gato)
Cat’s Claw for the Mind and Body
If you haven’t heard of this before, then you are probably wondering what in the world is Cat’s Claw? This herb is famous for its health benefits, and it has recently become popular because of its general medicinal properties.
So, What in the World Is Cat’s Claw?
This plant is found in Central and South America. Its curious name comes from the shape of its thorns. Cat’s Claw grows in the Amazon rainforest and/or in tropical areas of the Americas.
There are 2 types of Cat’s Claw: Uncaria tormentosa and Uncaria guianensis. However, U. Tormentosa is the most commercial type and the one used for medicinal purposes.
Let’s Talk Cat’s Claws!
Now that you’re curious about this wonderful plant, you should be even more driven to try it thanks to its amazing properties. There is no wonder the Incas started using this natural medicine thousands of years ago.
Here’s what we know is in Cat’s Claw:
- The bark and roots are full of oxindole alkaloids, more accurately at least 17 of these, which have been accredited with medicinal properties.
- The glycosides, proanthocyanidins and beta sitosterol found in Cat’s Claw provide anti-viral and immune support to our bodies.
- Cat’s Claw also contains the alkaloids rhynchophylline, hirsutine, and mitraphylline. All of these help blood flow and lower blood pressure.
But, What Does This Mean For My Health?
Since this plant is full of helpful components, it is only expected that they all aid your health somehow. Yet, you’ll be surprised when you see what Cat’s Claw can really do for your body.
Here are some of the most common results of introducing this plant to your daily life:
- Arthritis: Cat’s Claw has been proven to improve both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Using U. Tormentosa along with arthritis medications significantly reduces inflammation and joint pain.
- HIV: because this plant is anti-viral properties due to Krallendon found in it, along with AIDS/HIV medicine, Cat’s Claw can improve the lifestyle of HIV+ individuals.
- Digestive System: the glycosides present in this herb make it a superior medicine for inflammatory conditions of the gastric system, such as gastritis, ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, and even Chron’s disease.
- Immune System: the alkaloid Isopteropodin (Isomer A) in Cat’s Claw is believed to be the most active immune booster. While this alkaloid also provides antioxidant properties and gets rid of free radicals, it increases the immune system response to viruses and other suppressors.
- Cancer: the antimutagenic and antiproliferative properties in this plant prevent the growth of certain cancer cells such as human breast cancer cell MCF7.
Five alkaloids found in Cat’s Claw, isopteropodine, pteropodine, isomitraphylline, uncarine F and mitraphylline have shown to inhibit the proliferation of human leukemia.
- Blood Pressure: traditionally, this herb has been used to lower blood pressure, as it has specific alkaloids that aid blood flow and prevent blood clot formation.
- Skin: the use of Cat’s Claw on the skin prevents sun damage from UV light and helps DNA repair.
All these effects will make your overall health better, but Cat’s Claw is also great for your brain health….
….What About My Brain?
Because of its high amount of alkaloids and antioxidant properties, Cat’s Claw will help your cognitive health in a lot of different ways.
Here’s how you can make your brain better with this plant:
- Neuroprotection: because it is highly antioxidant, Cat’s Claw will protect your brain from free radicals and reduce the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
- Energy: by aiding blood flow, and providing pain relief, this herb can boost your energy and reduce fatigue levels. It also reduces inflammation and muscle pain, allowing recovery time to be faster and better for you.
- Depression: alkaloids pteropodine and isopteropodine in Cat’s Claw have a stimulating effect on neurotransmitters 5-HT(2), which are key in treating depression.
- Memory: this plant boosts the Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) in our brains, which promotes our hippocampus to do a process called neurogenesis—essential for leaning and memory.
- Mood: by improving production of BDNF, Cat’s Claw is also preventing mood disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
- Anxiety: by boosting Tryptophan levels in our brains, serotonin is in turn increased, producing a calming effect on our bodies.
- Cerebral Circulation: by increasing blood flow, Cat’s Claw reduces the risk of stroke and pressure on our brains.
Isn’t this enough? It certainly is! Cat’s Claw is a great addition to our lives and to our brains, providing more support and benefits than we thought possible.
How To Take—And Not Take—Cat’s Claw:
As with most natural remedies, there are many ways in which you can take Cat’s Claw and introduce it to your daily life.
Here are some common doses:
- For immune support, take 1 gram daily of Cat’s Claw powder or tablet.
- For arthritis, 3-5 grams daily are recommended.
- For the digestive system, also 3-5 grams are recommended.
If consuming the root, 1 gram two to three times a day is a normal dose. If using the root extract, 20 to 30 mg is recommended. You will usually find Cat’s Claw in tablets or tinctures that you can add to your water or juice.
As with everything new, be careful when adding this herb to your diet. Some side effects include dizziness, headache, diarrhea, and an upset stomach. It is important to consult with an expert if you feel sick; start off with a low dose, and increase when you notice results.
I’ll Do It For My Health!
Cat’s Claw is another great addition to your daily life. It is a great addition to your healthy lifestyle and should be added if you have any sort of chronic illness.
If you are feeling stressed, anxious, or need help focusing, this plant will boost your abilities greatly. Use it too when you think you are getting a virus of some sort, as it will prevent any new disease. And of course, use it if you feel muscle pain, or if you are undergoing a treatment that affects your bones.
What do you think? Ready for some Cat’s Claw in your life?