Cat's claw benefits

Uncaria tomentosa

Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a medicinal plant that grows in the Amazonian rainforest and other tropical areas in Central and South America. The use of the herb dates back to the Inca civilization. Indigenous cultures of South America used cat’s claw for inflammation, cancer, viral infections, ulcers, and to stimulate the immune system, It gets its name from its thorns, which resemble the claws of cats.

Cat's claw picture

1) Can Help with Chemotherapy

In rats who received chemotherapy, cat’s claw increased white blood cell count and helped repair damaged DNA

In a study of 40 breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, 300 mg cat’s claw extract prevented a decrease in white blood cells (neutropenia) and repaired DNA damage .

However, in another study of 43 colorectal cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, 300 mg of cat’s claw extract did not affect white or red blood cell counts

Cat’s claw also stimulates the growth of progenitor cells in mice, which can replace damaged cells and reduce the damaging effects of chemotherapy.

2) Helps Treat Arthritis

Cat’s claw’s anti-inflammatory effects have been commonly used to treat both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The different compounds in cat’s claw act together to achieve these effects

Mitraphylline blocks the release of inflammatory molecules such as IL-1, IL-4, and IL-17, and TNF-alpha

Other pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids cause the release of a currently unidentified immune regulating factor that reduces arthritic joint pain 

Quinic acid decreases inflammatory molecules like NF-κB

Cat’s claw extract (Vincaria) increased IGF-1 levels in human cartilage cells, which might help to maintain cartilage health and prevent cartilage breakdown

Cat’s claw blocks IL-1β and other inflammatory molecules that suppress IGF-1 production

In one study of 40 rheumatoid arthritis patients, cat’s claw combined with conventional arthritis treatments (sulfasalazine/hydroxychloroquine) reduced tender and painful joints 

In another study of 45 patients with osteoarthritis, one week of cat’s claw reduced pain associated with activity compared to placebo

3) Helps with Stomach and Gut Inflammation

Cat’s claw can cleanse the digestive tract and may help treat inflammatory gut disorders including

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Colitis
  • Gastritis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Leaky gut

Cat’s claw protected against stomach inflammation in rats and prevented TNF-α production and cell death

Bacterial toxins also cause the release of inflammatory molecules like NF-κB and TNF-α. Cat’s claw blocks the release of these inflammatory molecules

Inflammation of the gut is also caused by toxic free radicals (peroxynitrite). Cat’s claw not only acts as a powerful antioxidant against free radicals but also reduces cell death caused by gut bacterial toxins

4) May Help with High Blood Pressure

Cat’s claw inhibits platelet aggregation and blood clot formation, decreasing overall blood pressure and increasing circulation. It also inhibits the formation of plaques and blood clots in the heart, brain, and blood vessels

Cat’s claw contains a compound called hirsutine that reduces blood pressure

Hirsutine acts as a calcium channel blocker in the heart and blood vessels, which slows down heart rate and relaxes the blood vessels

5) Fights the Herpes Virus

Cat’s claw prevented immune cells from being infected with Dengue Virus and reduced inflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha and IFN-alpha

The extracts prevented the spread of the herpes virus by preventing it from attaching to cells

In a study of 31 volunteers with cold sores (herpes labialis), cat’s claw was more effective in reducing symptoms such as swelling, skin reddening, and pain compared to prescription antiviral drug Acyclovir

6) Can Protect Against Type 1 Diabetes

Cat’s claw has positive effects in the treatment of diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disorder, where the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin

Cat’s claw reduced blood sugar levels and inflammation and prevented diabetes in mice given whose insulin-releasing cells were damaged

7) May Help Fight Cancer

Cat’s claw extracts inhibited the growth of and increased programmed cell death in leukemia cells

Cat’s claw directly inhibited the growth of human breast cancer cells  

8) Boosts the Immune System

Cat’s claw enhances the immune system by increasing the levels of key immune cells (T helper and B cells) and the activity of granulocytes

9) Protects Red Blood Cells

Cat’s claw protected red blood cells (RBCs) from damage due to toxins and reduced oxidative stress

Cat’s claw prevented cell death and oxidative stress in RBCs exposed to pesticides

10) Is Anti-inflammatory

Procyanidins and other polyphenols in cat’s claw scavenge and remove oxidative radicals in cell studies Cat’s claw also prevented the production of the inflammatory cytokine TNF-α and prevented programmed cell death in cell studies

Side Effects and Precautions

Cat’s claw is generally considered safe and effective as a complement to chemotherapy

Pregnant women should avoid using cat’s claw because of the herb’s potential to cause abortion

When cat’s claw was used in combination with some HIV treatments like protease inhibitors (atazanavir, ritonavir, and saquinavir), it increased their toxicity

May Worsen Autoimmune Diseases

Cat’s claw enhances the immune response by increasing the activities of immune cells

Enhancing the immune system can increase the symptoms of autoimmune disorders

May Increase Bleeding

Clotting is essential for preventing blood loss and allowing tissue repair

Cat’s claw decreased molecules that activate clotting (IL-1α, 1β, 4, 17, and TNF-α)

This may increase the risk of bruising or bleeding


Cat's claw picture Arrow picture Cat's claw bottle 
Cat's claw 30 capsules - $17.00 Take one capsule a day. With or without food. Go to cart