There’s a miracle herb named Cat’s Claw from the Peruvian rainforest has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, AIDS, degenerative diseases — and even premature aging.
Cat’s Claw, also known at Uña de Gato, is a tropical vine belonging to the coffee family that grows in the Amazon rainforest throughout Peru. The vine has curved, hook-like thorns that resemble the claws of a cat, thus the name.
Since the Inca civilization, South Americans have been using the powerful medicinal properties found inside the plant’s bark to treat infections, arthritis, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Today, Cat’s Claw is one of the best-selling herbs in the United States, for good reason. The inner bark of this “miracle herb” contains 7 different alkaloids, concentrated tannins, and several phytochemicals.
Cat’s Claw has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of disease as an:
• Anti-tumor – inhibits and combats the development of cancer;
• Anti-inflammatory – reduces or inhibits inflammation that leads to arthritis and other degenerative diseases;
• Anti-viral – treats viral infections such as HIV/AIDS
• Antioxidant – terminates chain reactions that damage cells by removing free radical intermediates; inhibits other oxidation
reactions that cause cancer, degenerative diseases, and premature aging;
• Anti-microbial – inhibits the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, or protozoans that strain the body’s immune system;
• Adaptogenic – rejuvenates and inhibits premature aging by building the body’s resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety, and fatigue.
Many published studies by researchers in Austria, Spain, France, Japan, Germany, Peru, and the United States confirm the extraordinary medicinal uses of cat’s claw.
For example, one of the seven alkaloids found in cat’s claw, called Isopteropodin (Isomer A), contains a potent antioxidant that inhibits healthy cells from becoming cancerous. Procyanidolic oligomers — which are complexes of flavonoids/polyphenols that protect cells from destructive forces — have also been found in cat’s claw. These inhibit the development and proliferation of tumors.
In addition, “five of the alkaloids have been clinically documented with anti-leukemic, anti-tumorous, and anti-cancerous properties. Italian researchers reported in a 2001 laboratory study that cat’s claw directly inhibited the growth of a human breast cancer cell line by 90%.” Separate studies found that cat’s claw, “exerts a direct anti-proliferative activity specifically on the MCF7 breast cancer cell line,” which reduces cancerous cell growth in that area.
Scientific reports dating as far back as the 1970s show that, “cancer patients taking cat’s claw in conjunction with such traditional cancer therapies, as chemotherapy and radiation, had fewer side effects … such as hair loss, weight loss, nausea, secondary infections, and skin problems.”
Cat’s claw is also considered to be a remarkably potent inhibitor of TNF (tumor necrosis factor). TNF is a cytokine (cell-signaling protein molecule) which causes cell death and tumorigenesis — a process by which normal cells are transformed into cancer cells.
Cat’s claw was also discovered as an anti-inflammatory in part because it reduces systemic inflammation through the suppression of TNF. It also contains quinovic acid glycosides plant chemicals that have extremely powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Several studies indicated that, “cat’s claw inhibits inflammation from 46% up to 89%. These results validate its long history of indigenous use for arthritis and rheumatism, as well as for other types of inflammatory stomach and bowel disorders.”
In addition to benefits that it provides for the treatment of cancer and arthritis, the miracle herb, cat’s claw has been highly regarded as an immune system booster and as an anti-viral that has been used in the treatment of AIDS.
Many of these studies published from the late 1970s to early 1990s confirmed that the immunostimulating alkaloids in cat’s claw increased immune function by up to 50%.
According to Michael Lam, MD, MPH, a specialist in nutritional and anti-aging medicine, “the alkaloids in cat’s claw have a pronounced effect on the ability of white blood cells to engulf and digest harmful microorganisms and foreign matter.” Cat’s claw increases the production of leukocytes and specifically T4 lymphocytes, which blocks the advance of many viral illnesses, such as AIDS. It also contains phagocytes which destroy viruses and other disease-causing organisms.
According to Dr. Satya Ambrose, N.D., cat’s claw “enhances overall immunity while increasing stamina and energy in patients who suffer from physical and mental exhaustion due to an overactive or stressful lifestyle.” Cat’s claw may be used as a preventative measure in people whose lifestyle is filled with constant stress and flight-or-fight responses that cause disease and premature aging.
Cat’s claw can be taken as a capsule, tea, or tinctured extract. Dosages vary depending on desired effect. For example, the recommended dosage for osteoarthritis is 100 mg capsules per day and 250 – 350 mg capsules per day for immune support. Check with your doctor or naturopath for recommended doses in treating cancer, AIDS, and other health conditions.