Cat’s Claw: A Miracle Herb from the Rain Forest of Peru!

Cat’s claw is a new botanical nutrient that is being called by many people as the “Miracle Herb from the Rain Forest of Peru”. The discovery of this herb has been continually pulling increasingly more interest among the proponents of the natural health care. Even though this herb is virtually not known in the United States until now, the valuable effects of this Peruvian herb which is also commonly known as “una de gato” in Spanish and “cat’s claw” in English, have greatly encouraged some clinical studies since 1970s at research facilities in Austria, Peru, Germany, England, Hungary, and Italy.

Cat’s claw is basically a high-climbing woody vine that thrives abundantly in the upper Amazon corners of Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, and other South American nations. At the base of it, there dwelt a two curved thorns that bear a resemblance to that of the claws of a cat, hence the name “cat’s claw” is given to it. Functionally, these thorns allow the vine to climb up trees and other plant life into the forest canopy. The cat’s claw’s botanical name “Uncaria” is then derived from the Latin uncus, which stands for “hook”.

Since the studies conducted in different parts of the world about the potential of cat’s claw for medicine, have suggested that the herb itself may be valuable in the treatment of arthritis, bursitis, allergies, diabetes, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome herpes, organic depression, cancer, stomach disorders and intestines, as well as menstrual irregularities, many experts have largely noted that there is basically two species of cat’s claw that are harvested for medicinal purposes.

Speaking of such species of cat’s claw, there noted is the Uncaria quianensis, which is applied mainly in Europe, and the Uncaria tomentosa, which is typically imported into the United States. These two species of cat’s claw is in fact considered as identical among the many herbal practitioners in South America.

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For so many years, the people in the Amazon regions of places to which the cat’s claw is indigenous have applied cat’s claw to treat a wide range of health complaints. Such ailments include arthritis, cancer, and stomach and liver disorders. Cat’s claw is also valuable as a treatment for skin conditions and even contraception.

Traditionally, cat’s claw is used as a decoction or a crude extract that is largely prepared by the process of boiling the inner bark of the stem and some parts of the cat’s claw’s roots. And with the advent of science, cat’s claw is found out to be valuable for its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. With those findings, there are certain evidences which show that cat’s claw may have antiviral and cancer-fighting potential as well.

Generally, cat’s claw is identified by some clinical studies as having properties like adaptogenic, anti-micobial, and antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor. For those main properties of cat’s claw, many studies have speculated that the herb has even the potential for treating serious illnesses like the HIV, and for that reason, the cat’s claw becomes the top-selling herb in the United States. However, there is really no strong back up for such claim since very few well-designed clinical trials have been done with human subjects on cat’s claw.

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