Cat's Claw

Shop Cat's Claw Forms and Sizes of Bulk Herbs Below

Common Name:
Cat's Claw, Una de gato, Life-giving Vine of Peru, Hawk's claw

Botanical Name:  Uncaria tomentosa

Note:  Uncaria tomentosa is not the same
as Uncaria rhynchophylla twig & thorn (Uncaria sinensis; Ramulus)
or Uncaria guinanensis, they are three different species.

Cat's Claw Benefits and Information

The Ultimate Guide to Cat’s Claw: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

Cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a powerful medicinal plant used for centuries in traditional medicine. Known for its distinctive hooked thorns resembling a cat's claw, this vine is primarily found in the Amazon rainforest and other tropical areas of South America. Its potential health benefits range from boosting the immune system to anti-inflammatory properties, making it a sought-after remedy in natural health circles.

Understanding Cat’s Claw: The Botanical Marvel

Cat’s claw, or “uña de gato” in Spanish, is a woody vine that has gained attention for its impressive therapeutic potential. It thrives in the tropical jungles of Peru and other South American countries, where it climbs up trees, reaching heights of up to 30 meters.

Botanical Characteristics

  • Scientific Name: Uncaria tomentosa
  • Family: Rubiaceae
  • Common Names: Cat’s claw, uña de gato
  • Part Used: Bark, roots

Comprehensive Benefits of Cat’s Claw

Immune System Booster

Cat's claw is renowned for its ability to enhance the immune system. Its active compounds, including alkaloids and glycosides, stimulate the immune response, potentially increasing the body's defenses against infections and diseases.

Key Benefits:

  • Increased white blood cell activity: Helps in fighting off infections.
  • Antioxidant properties: Neutralizes free radicals, reducing oxidative stress.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

This potent herb is highly regarded for its anti-inflammatory effects. It is traditionally used to reduce inflammation, which can help alleviate conditions such as arthritis, gastritis, and other inflammatory disorders.

Key Benefits:

  • Reduces joint inflammation: Eases symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • Gastroprotective effects: May help in managing inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

How Cat's Claw Benefits Lyme Disease Patients

Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a herbal remedy with notable potential for supporting Lyme disease patients. Its benefits are primarily due to its immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

Immune System Enhancement

Cat’s claw helps stimulate the immune system, which is crucial for Lyme disease patients who often experience compromised immunity. The herb's alkaloids and other compounds enhance white blood cell function, improving the body's ability to fight off infections, including the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Lyme disease is often accompanied by significant inflammation, particularly in the joints and nervous system. Cat's claw’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce this inflammation, alleviating symptoms such as joint pain and swelling. The herb inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, thus potentially mitigating chronic inflammation associated with Lyme disease.

Antimicrobial Action

Preliminary studies suggest that cat's claw may possess antimicrobial effects against a variety of pathogens, including Borrelia burgdorferi. This action can be particularly beneficial in managing Lyme disease by potentially reducing the bacterial load and aiding in symptom relief.

Neuroprotective Benefits

Lyme disease can affect the nervous system, leading to neurological symptoms. Cat’s claw contains antioxidants that protect neurons from damage and may improve cognitive function, offering relief from symptoms like brain fog and memory issues commonly experienced by Lyme disease patients.

Use cat’s claw to make a tea, decoction, or tincture.
Powdered cat’s claw can be used to make your own fresh filler-free cat’s claw capsules.

Cat's Claw Taste:  Bitter

Cat's Claw Properties:
  Cold, Astringent, Neutral 

Cat' Claw Naturally Occurring Components: 
Alkaloids, Glycosides, Lipids, Phytosterols, Triterpen Saponins, Flavanols, Beta-Sitosterol, Catechin,
Epicatechin, Hirsutine, Loganic Acid, Rutin, Akuammigine, Quercitrin, Stigmsterol, Quinovic, Ursolic Acid, Chlorogenic Acid, Corynoxeine,
Indole Alkaloids, Palmitic Acid, Lyaloside, Daucosterol, Hirsuteine, Mitraphyline, Quinovic, Isopteropodine, Proanthocyanidians

Cat's Claw Precautions: Women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant,
or nursing infants should not take cat's claw. It is extremely dangerous for the fetus!  
Cat's claw stimulates the immune system; therefore, anyone who has
a condition which affects the immune system should avoid cat's claw. 
Cat's claw should be avoided in the two weeks both before and after
a surgical procedure, or by anyone suffering from a bleeding disorder.  
There is also the possibility that cat's claw may interact with other medications.
If you are already taking oral contraceptives, anti-fungal medication
like ketoconazole, allergy medications such as fexofenadine,
cholesterol medications such as lovastatin or certain cancer medications,
you should avoid cat's claw.  Cat's claw should not be used by individuals
with skin grafts, tuberculosis or by those receiving organ transplants. 

Herbs That Combine With Cat's Claw

Turmeric     Maca Root    


  • Cat's Claw Powder Benefits of Cat's Claw Powder 
Chart on common benefits
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    Starwest Botanicals

    Cat's Claw - Powder Form 1 lb. - Starwest Botanicals

    Herbal Information for Cat's Claw in Powder Form Uncaria tomentosa, commonly known as Cat's Claw, is a woody vine native to the Amazon rainforest and other tropical areas of South and Central America. It's recognized for its distinctive hook-like tho…

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