Cat’s Claw Benefits. These alkaloids were most potent in both inhibiting the growth of human leukemia cells from and inducing the cells to undergo programmed cell death or apoptosis. (6). As with osteoarthritis, cat’s claw is thought to reduce inflammation in your body, easing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms as a result (6). Cat’s claw is also called the “life-giving vine of Peru.” Its use for health purposes actually dates back to the ancient Inca civilization in Peru. Cat’s claw is a tropical woody vine whose bark has been harvested for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes. Cat's claw contains a unique compound known as pentacyclic oxindolic alkaloid (POA) that is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects, which makes it attractive as a possible treatment for arthritis. Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a tropical vine which can grow up to 98 feet (30 meters) tall. • Promotes good immune function: Cat’s claw increases the white blood cell count in the body which then stimulates antioxidant action. However, WHO says that an average daily dose is 20–350 mg of dried stem bark for extracts or 300–500 mg for capsules, taken in 2–3 separate doses throughout the day (21). There have been several areas of interest in the research related to Cat's Claw, most notably the effects on the immune system and the inflammatory pathways in the human body. A 2011 study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology looked at the effects of different preparations of Uncaria tomentosa on herpes in vitro and found they exhibited antimutagenic and antiherpetic activities. A 2006 study published in the British Journal of Haematology was the first to investigate the antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of five highly purified oxindole alkaloids of Uncaria tomentosa, including isopteropodine, pteropodine, isomitraphylline, uncarine F and mitraphylline. 11 Best Sugar Substitutes (the Healthiest Natural Sweeteners), Detox Your Liver: Try My 6-Step Liver Cleanse. The part used medicinally is the inner bark of the vine or root. Cat’s claw appears to have few side effects but presently very little scientific research has been done on the benefits and possible side effects of this herb. Known to cure arthritis. With strict editorial sourcing guidelines, we only link to academic research institutions, reputable media sites and, when research is available, medically peer-reviewed studies. Once in Pozuzo, Brell used cat’s claw to treat his own rheumatic pain. (11). Look out for brands that have been independently tested by companies such as ConsumerLab.com, USP, or NSF International. I’ve previously written about cat’s claw as one of the best antiviral herbs to boost the immune system and fight infection. (9). Studies also show that cat’s claw may be able to fight cancer, repair DNA and improve our disease-fighting white blood cells. All of these properties help make cat’s claw a benefit-rich herb, and that’s not all it can do for you. If you’re allergic to other plants in the Rubiaceae family, then you may be more likely to have an allergic reactions to cat’s claw. Cat's claw has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in treating arthritis. Because safety and dosage guidelines have not been established, it may be best to consult with your doctor before taking cat’s claw. Cat’s claw may support your immune system, possibly helping fight infections more effectively. 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