Cat's Claw's use as a nootropic has been growing in popularity as evidence points to its functional attributes for brain and body health.
Traditionally used in South America for wound repair, digestive disorders, joint pain and arthritis, two plant species of cat’s claw are of particular interest in healthcare. Uncaria tomentosa is the most widely used species of cat’s claw (CC) here in the United States. Europeans predominantly use Uncaria guianensis.
This woody vine can be found in the wild in tropical areas of Central and South America. Appropriately named for its claw shaped thorns. It has been commonly used in folk remedies for hundreds of years. Ashanica Indians use the tomentosa variety for its life giving properties to help with bone pain and as a cleanse for kidneys. It’s the inner bark of the vine or root that holds the health properties.
Cat’s claw use has been reported to aid a multitude of conditions to decrease symptoms of cancer, asthma, abscesses, fever, rheumatism, hemorrhage, wounds, weakness and even childbirth.
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CAT’S CLAW BENEFITS
- Anti Inflammatory
- Boost Immunity
- Anti Cancer
- Improve Hearing Loss
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Decrease Inflammation With Cat's Claw
As an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, cat’s claw produces incredible results as an agent to help ward off effects from negative environmental factors like pollutants and assists our bodies ability to stave off disease by promoting cellular health.
CC is an antioxidant that scavenges free radicals and is a strong inhibitor of TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor-alpha) production. TNF-a is a pro-inflammatory cytokine responsible for unwanted inflammation. CC ability to act as a potent anti-inflammatory relates to its modulation of the immune system via suppression of TNF-a . Other strong, natural anti-inflammatories and neuroprotectants include bacopa, alpha GPC and algal DHA.
Increase Immunity With Cat's Claw Supplements
Cat's claw contributes to DNA repair and immune function. WBC (white blood cell) count was found to be significantly elevated in a human study when given 440mg of cat’s claw extract daily. WBC are responsible for fighting off infection and disease by attacking bacteria, viruses and germs. A low WBC count can help to detect unknown infections and undiagnosed medical conditions.
CC is used in China and Korea as an antipyretic (fever reducer), anticonvulsant and antihypertensive (lower BP) given its properties for helping the immune system .
Improve Hearing Loss By Ingesting Cat's Claw
Anyone who experiences loud music on a regular basis is at risk for hearing loss due to acoustic over-exposure. All you ravers and party goers out there listen up. You may want to protect your hearing for the long haul.
Evidence for carboxy alkyl esters (CAE) contained within the Uncaria tomentosa CC, suggests that augmented recovery of sensorineural function after noise injury is possible. CAE is cytoprotective (protects cells from harmful agents) in nature and appears to generalize to otoprotection (hearing/inner ear) from acoustic over-exposure (loud music) .
Anti Cancer Properties Of Cat's Claw
Oxindole alkaloids (OA) contained within CC were shown to have a high correlation with antiproliferative (arresting growth) activity of cancer. CC extracts were active against Lewis Lung (lung tumor) carcinoma, cervical carcinoma and colon adenocarcinoma.
OA was especially effective at inhibiting proliferation of cervical carcinoma, breast carcinoma, and lung carcinoma. Peruvian’s have been using CC to treat urinary tract cancers in women for years.
In vivo results for Lewis Lung carcinoma showed significant inhibition of tumor growth when provided 5 and .5mg for 3 weeks . Arresting cancer cell proliferation is key in undermining cancer’s ability to spread throughout the body. Although not a cure for cancer, these preventative measures could go a long way in assisting those with greater predisposition for malignancies.
CAT'S CLAW PROFESSIONAL RECOMMENDATION
200-400 mg of cat’s claw taken daily is effective for most people. Start with the lower dose as usual to see how your body will react. Increase as you see necessary. You can typically ingest around 400mg daily without any potential adverse effects.
Human doses given to adult males at 5mg/kg of body weight showed no signs of toxicity after 4 weeks . The average adult male weighs 88kg. Thus no toxicity was shown for doses at 440mg daily.
Doses in animals have been as high as 160mg/kg of body weight for 4 weeks without showing any acute or chronic signs of symptomatic toxicity. To put that into perspective the average adult female weighs 75kg. That amounts to 12,000mg daily. Don’t worry, you don’t need that much.
SIDE EFFECTS OF CAT'S CLAW
Avoid taking cat’s claw pre and post surgery. Caution should be taken if considering using with children as research to verify safety for kids is lacking.
CC may interact with protease inhibitors. Evidence for effects while on immunosuppressant drugs is also lacking.
Adverse reactions are rare. Some have reported incidences of GI aka digestive complaints consisting of stomachache, nausea and diarrhea. Increased risk of bleeding is possible while taking anticoagulant drugs.
Renal effects and neuropathy have been reported but evidence is conflicting on causal factors. So if you’re on any of the aforementioned drugs/therapies, don’t take CC. If you begin to experience any of these symptoms stop taking CC.
RECAP OF CAT'S CLAW
Cat’s claw has strong evidence supporting its use as a(n)…
- Protectant from air pollutants
- Promoter of cellular health
- Antioxidant scavenging free radicals
- Recover hearing loss
- Antiproliferative; arresting growth of cancer
Where Can I Buy Cat's Claw Supplements Online?
You can buy cat's claw in the supplements aisle of your favorite local health foods store, otherwise you can purchase from online retailers like Amazon.
Looking for more than just another nootropic stack? Try Momental MIND, a daily blend of nootropics containing; cat's claw, grass-fed beef collagen protein, organic greens, and healthy fats from MCTs, algal DHA, and phosphatidylserine that are perfect for on-the-go, lean lifestyles. Our organic greens blend includes dandelion, spirulina, alfalfa leaf, wheatgrass, barley grass, oat grass, broccoli, cabbage, parsley, kale, chlorella, kelp, dulse, and broccoli sprouts.