Nutritional Supplements Library
What is cat's claw?
Cat's Claw is a tropical vine (climbing plant) that grows in rainforest and jungle areas in South America and Asia. Some cultures refer to the plant as the "Sacred Herb of the Rain Forest". It's name is derived from hook-like thorns that resemble the claws of a cat. It can grow up to 30m tall, climbing by means of these thorns. The leaves are in opposite pairs or whorls of two, with a smooth margin. Traditionally it has been used to treat gout, inflammation, and swelling. Cat's Claw appears to give the immune system a boost, accounting for its popularity in the treatment of AIDS, cancer, viral diseases, and other infections.
At this point, however, there's little hard evidence that it has a major impact. This herb also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, making it a candidate for treatment of arthritis, gastritis, ulcers, and inflammatory bowel disorders. It is a popular folk medicine for intestinal complaints, ulcers, arthritis, and wounds, and has been used (in large doses) as a contraceptive.
What is the effective dosage of cat's claw supplementation?
Cat's claw is available as a supplement in many different forms. These include: dried cut-and-sifted root and stem, powdered root and stem, capsules, tinctures, tablets, and extracts standardized for total alkaloid content. For proper dosage, follow manufacturer's recommendation found on the package. The alkaloids in cat's claw are released from tannins by stomach acid, so it should be taken with at least ? cup of water to prevent absorption in the mouth. Some naturopaths suggest adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or one teaspoon of vinegar to increase the acidity of the solution and release even more alkaloids; this is unnecessary if the tincture has a vinegar, rather than alcohol, base.
What are the benefits of cat's claw supplementation?
• It Prevents infections.
• It alleviates intestinal/gastric ulcers.
• It Relieves arthritis pain (rheumatoid arthritis).
• It Stimulates/modulates the immune system.
• It also exhibits antioxidant property.
What are the side effects of cat's claw supplementation?
Cat's claw is not fully evaluated to be safe herb. More clinical research is required to establish it's all properties. The American Herbal Products Association, the national trade association of the herbal industry, has given cat's claw a safety rating of class 4 (lack of data).
• Consult a physician before using cat's-claw, if your are pregnant or breast feeding women. Cat's claw should not be taken by children under 3 years of age.