Cat’s claw is one of the first herbs I ever bought and it’s been consistently in my herb draw for almost 7 years, find out why in this article.
Cat’s claw is a woody vine that grows wild in the Amazon rainforest and other tropical areas of Central and South America. It has been used as a sacred plant of healing for over 2000 years with the roots and bark are used in herbal medicine.
I believe everyone should have this in their herb collection. In my opinion, It’s one of the most powerful yet safe and inexpensive herbs in the world. In 2011 my mum called me and said she couldn’t walk. Her knee was swollen and doctors told her she had arthritis. I remember feeling a bit emotional and saying to her, we’ll sort it. I ordered her 2 herbs, Cat’s Claw and MSM, and within 2 weeks she was telling me she is jogging up stairs.
I also see the benefits. Personally, I don’t get ill, but what I do get is signs that I’m about to get ill. For example, I can feel a cold coming as I start to get some sniffles. At that moment, I'll stop eating and drink some herbs. One of those herbs will be cat's claw and I promise you, by the next morning, I'm back to normal. Any one who is around me will attest to this.
So I’ve seen it work, the only downside is that very few high quality clinical trials for the vast number of benefits, so we’ll focus on 3 known benefits and briefly touch on others too.
Whenever you hear the word ITIS at the end of a disease, think inflammation. Inflammation of the bronchi is bronchitis, inflammation of the joints is arthritis. Anti-inflammatory foods and herbs can be used to help whenever you hear ITIS and Cat’s claw is one of the most anti-inflammatory herbs that I've come across and it’s fast acting. In 2002, the Journal of Rheumatology published a randomised double-blind study of cat’s claw for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The study found that the supplement reduced joint swelling and pain by more than 50 percent compared to placebo.
In another study of 45 patients with osteoarthritis, one week of cat’s claw reduced pain associated with activity compared to placebo.
Catching a viral infection such as the flu can mean a reduced immune system. And the flu itself can weaken the body’s strength and increase inflammation, that’s why I used cat’s claw straight away because it’s anti-inflammatory but it also boosts the immune system.
Two studies showed that Cat’s Claw significantly elevated the infection fighting white blood cell count in adult men who supplemented with this herb for 6 months.
The benefit on the immune system can help those with both an underactive and overactive immune system. This is because, depending on what’s needed an overactive immune responses can be contained, whilst a weak immune system that allows disease to advance undeterred is strengthened by supplementation with Cat’s Claw.
Researchers also noted a repair in DNA – both single and double strand breaks
Cat’s claw can cleanse the digestive tract and may help treat inflammatory gut disorders. It’s said to be helpful detoxification of the intestinal tract, whilst replenishing the friendly bacteria in the intestines. Some of the gut digestive disorders it said to potentially help with include
It is also used to treat a wide range of other digestive disorders including; Crohn’s disease
Inflammation of the gut is also caused by toxic free radicals (peroxynitrite).
Cat’s claw not only acts as a powerful antioxidant against free radicals but also reduces cell death caused by gut bacterial toxins
There are other benefits too it may help protect of red blood cells, it may inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, it potentially can have positive effects in the treatment of type 1 diabetes, Cat's claw also has antioxidant properties, helping the body eliminate free radicals that damage cells and it may help with blood pressure. Some benefits have evidence supporting it, others may just be marketing claims. Always do your research.
How do I take cat’s claw
I have cat’s claw in powder format and in bark format. Cat’s claw is very bitter, you can add some to your smoothies or make it as tea.It’s good to start with a small amount, you can tell the amount by how bitter the drink is, after which you can increase.
Always consult an expert before trying out herbs. Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should avoid using cat’s claw. If taking an anti-hypertensive medication or blood thinner do not use cat's claw, staying safe is wealth.