Cat's claw is a sprawling creeper that grows along the Amazon. It gets it's name from the claw-like spines on its woody stems - spines that resemble cat's claws. Cat's claw includes two plants Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guinaensis. Extracts are mainly made from the root peel of U. tomentosa. It has been used in South American traditional medicine for centuries to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and relieve stomach upset.
The active substances in cat's claw include alkaloids, catechins, polyphenols and tannins. All of these substances have strong antioxidant effects.
Cat's calw extracts may have immune-boosting, antiviral and anticancer effects.
Most studies have focused on the immune-boosting and joint and bone-health preserving properties of cat litter.
Several studies have confirmed that it can improve osteoporosis and arthritis in people with arthritis.
Despite its popular use, cat's claw has not been found to cause any liver damage and may even have liver-protective properties due to its antioxidant properties.
The most commonly used dose of cat's claw in studies is 250-350 mg (ethalonic extract) once day. The WHO recommends 20-350 mg of ethanolic extract per day, equivalent to 300-500 mg in capsules.
Cat's claw extract should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding as there is not enough information on this.
Before starting any dietary supplementation, consult a doctor, especially if you have a medical condition and are taking medication for it.
It can interact mostly with blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering drugs, anticoagulants and cancer drugs.
Because of its high tannin content, it can cause nausea, stomach ache and vomiting in higher doses.