Today research facilities in several European countries have determined that this plant, scientifically known as uncaria tomentosa or more commonly as "cat's claw," contains a wealth of beneficial phytochemical compounds including: alkaloids, proanthocyanidins, polyphenols, triterpines, and plant sterols. Because of these compounds, cat's claw is rapidly becoming known as a powerful cellular reconstitutor, displaying significant anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. In fact, cat's claw seems to have so many therapeutic applications that it far surpasses such well known herbs as: Pau d'Arco; echinacea; golden seal; astragulas; artemisia annua; Siberian and Panax ginseng; maitake; reishi; shiitake mushrooms; caprylic and lauric acids; grapefruit seed extract; and shark cartilage.
According to the available research and experience of doctors working in Peru, Germany, Austria, and the United States, cat's claw may be helpful in the treatment of: cancer; arthritis; bursitis; rheumatism; all forms of herpes; allergies; asthma; systemic candidiasis; acne; diabetes; lupus; prostatitis; chronic fatigue syndrome; PMS; irregularities of the female cycle; environmental toxin poisoning; organic depression; and those infected with the HIV virus.
Evidence also suggests that cat's claw may be effective in the treatment of numerous stomach and bowel disorders including: Crohn's disease; ulcers; gastritis; colitis; diverticulosis; leaky bowel syndrome; hemorrhoids; fistulas; parasites; and intestinal flora imbalance.
The most exciting research to date has been the work of Dr. Klaus Keplinger, an Austrian scientist who has obtained two United States patents for isolating the alkaloids responsible for enhancing phagocytosis. This has resulted in the development of a pharmaceutical which is now being used in Austria and Germany to combat the progression of cancer and AIDS. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical is not available in the United States, but the herb is available both in tea and in capsule form.
Traditionally in Peru, a decoction is made by boiling the bark and/or root for about an hour and then drinking four or more cups of tea per day. When using capsules, three to six grams per day is considered therapeutic. However, as much as 20 grams per day might be used for several weeks at a time to treat very advanced stages of pathology.
Recently, I spoke with Dr. Satya Ambrose, ND, the co-founder of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. She has been using the bark in capsule form with some of her patients for the past several months. She told me that she has had excellent result with Crohn's disease, ulcers, asthma, and fibromyalgia. Within the last year, I have personally heard of other successes with lupus, lung cancer, prostatitis, and one patient who was able to reverse and overcome Kaposi's sarcoma, a rare form of skin cancer associated with AIDS.
In closing, I would like to share some personal experiences in using the bark of uncaria tomentosa. Over the last year I, along with my wife, children, friends, and associates have found the herb to be effective at knocking out the flu, clearing up sinus, ear, and upper respiratory infections, canker sores, lower back pain associated with arthritis, and eliminating the tired, sore muscles associated with heavy physical work and exercise. I was even able to clear up a case of athlete's foot by putting the powdered bark between the infected toes, and my daughter's conjunctivitis by putting drops of the tea in her eyes several times over the course of two days.
Because of my research and first hand experience in using this wondrous and remarkable herb, I have come to believe that cat's claw is an effective natural remedy for many of today's serious health problems.
22 Deer Lane (11284)
Parker, CO 80134
phone/fax (303) 840-7812
About the author: Phillip Steinberg is a graduate of the Nutritionists Institute of America and has been an owner/operator of several health and natural product stores. He has also lectured and conducted workshops in alternative healing methods including acupressure and polarity therapy.