Cats claw properties
CHARACTERISTICS OF CATS CLAW
Common English name: Cat's claw, cats claw, vilcacora
Common name in other languages:
- Spanish / Español: Uña de gato, chocó, damento, garabato, bejuco de gato, paz y justicia
- Catalan / Català: Uncaria tomentosa, ungla de gat
- Galician / Galego: Unha-de-gato
- Portuguese / Português: Unha-de-gato
- Italian / Italiano: Unghia di gatto
- French / Français: Liane du Pérou, griffe de cha
- German / Deutsch:Katzenkralle
- Polish/ Polski: Czepota puszysta
- Русский / Russian: Ункария опушённая
Scientific name:, Uncaria guianensis (Aubl.) Gmel.
Description of cat's claw
Illustration of cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa). Courtesy of ©Dibujosparapintar.com
Perennial tropical vine of the Rubiaceae family that can reach up to 30 m.
Woody stems with curved spines in the form of nails (hence the name of the plant).
Leaves ovated up to 17 cm in length, petiolated, with white hairiness underside.
Yellowish white flowers, gathered in axillary clusters up to 2 cm in length.
Components of cat's claw
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF CAT'S CLAW
Traditional use of cat's claw
Traditionally this plant has been widely used, especially by the Peruvian Ashaninca tribe, in the form of decoctions to treat cancer, tumors, joint pains caused by rheumatic diseases, respiratory problems, ulcers and degenerative diseases.
It appears that their oxindole alkaloids could have effects on immunity and the quinovic acid has antiviral properties.
The bark of this plant is sold as usual in the traditional markets of many Central and South American countries. Currently it is also possible to find this plant in parapharmacies and herbalists from other parts of the world.
Traditional Uses of cat's claw for cancer
As mentioned above, this plant from South America is known mainly because of its traditional use to help fight cancer.
Is it recommended to take cat's claw in cancers?
Do not take any treatment with plants, supplements or other therapies, without the consent and knowledge of the oncologist.
Cat's claw may be a useful plant in some cases of cancer but may also be contraindicated in others. Not in all types of cancer is important to increase immunity.
Cat's claw enhances immunity and cancer
From the year 1970 began the first scientific research on the healing properties of cat's claw. Since then, numerous studies have been conducted in which the main virtue of this plant is its ability to increase defenses and prevent the development of cancerous tumors.
The major responsible for its ability to increase defenses is the alkaloid isopteropodine along with other oxindolic alkaloids (isomitraphylline, mitraphylline, allepteropodine) and clorogenic acid. What these alkaloids do is to stimulate the ability of white blood cells to destroy microorganisms or foreign elements in the bloodstream.
The cleansing activity of the cat's claw is due to the increase of the immunity and the natural defenses to eliminate substances potentially dangerous for the organism (pollution, environmental chemical substances, toxins in food, etc.).
The role of acids, especially quinovic acid, as well as rutin, epicatechins or beta-sitosterol could be responsible for these properties.
Cat claw to increase defenses
Used as a plant to increase the body's defenses, the cat's claw is in the same line of other natural remedies that increase immunity, such as echinacea (Echinacea spp), ginger (Zingiber officinale), narrow-leaved paperbark (Melaleuca alternifolia) or goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) All of them could be considered natural antibiotics.
- Herpes: These same properties make it suitable for the treatment of herpes, whose function would be to prevent latent viruses from this disease from being activated again. It has been found to be especially interesting in terms of genital herpes and herpes zoster. (A couple of cups daily of the decoction for 20 minutes of a teaspoon of dry plant per cup of water) (Take supplements of this plant according to the conditions of the leaflet)
Dosage: How do you take the cat's claw?
The cat's claw can be taken:
Other uses of the medicinal plant cat's claw
Cat's claw improves circulation
The alkaloid rhynchophylline has fluidifying properties of the blood since it diminishes the capacity of coagulation of the blood. This property can be very useful in those cases where there is a poor blood circulation due to its thickening. The use of supplements of this plant is adequate in anomalies of the circulatory system as:
Latest research on cat's claw
- Research is under way on the use of this plant in the treatment of Alzheimer's without conclusive data on them.
- The use of this plant may be of interest in reducing gastrointestinal side effects resulting from the usual administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Preparations with cat's claw for external use
- Pain remedy: The anti-inflammatory properties of the cat's claw are used externally in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis or osteoarthritis. (Decoction of its bark, apply to the painful area)
Is cat's claw dangerous?
The use of this plant in animals induces uterine contractions and can cause abortions. As a precaution, it should not be used in pregnant women. In fact in many regions of Peru it is used for this purpose. It is also not recommended for use with lactating women.
This plant should not be used with patients who have undergone organ transplants or skin grafts. Its use is counterproductive in people who are taking medicines that inhibit the immune system, that is to say, those that are prescribed to prevent rejections in transplants.
Too high doses can cause diarrhea. Because of its tannin content, the use of the fresh plant can produce intestinal irritation or diarrhea in sensitive people. However, continued use of the herb tends to regularize bowel movements.
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.