Cat’s Claw is a common name referring to two closely related large woody vines also known by their latin names Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guisanensis. Both of these vines get their names from the unique claw like thorns used to grow along the side of trees. Cat’s Claw is indigenous to South and Central America, but its uses have spread worldwide.
For more than 2000 years tribes of Peru have made used of both species of this vine for their healing abilities. These tribes have long used the bark for bone pain, kidney cleansing, inflammation, fever and intestinal problems. Today, the Asháninkas, a group of people from Peru, are the largest producers of the herb and the world’s leading producers¹.
Cat’s claw has been found to have several healing properties. Cat’s Claw is a powerful immune system stimulant. It helps to relax smooth muscles including the intestines and acts to dilate blood vessels, while acting as a diuretic (which helps the body remove excess water)². Cat’s Claw is also renowned for alleviating inflammation, and is thusly used to reduce the pain of rheumatism.
Klaus Keplinger an Austrian ethnologist is largely responsible for bringing Cat’s Claw into the spotlight. His research in the 1970’s and 80’s led to its use in Austria and Germany. Patents in the US soon followed for several of Cat’s Claw’s immune-enhancing alkaloids. Alkaloids unique to tomentosa have been found to stimulate the immune system by enhancing the process that white blood cells use to destroy invaders known as phagocytosis³. Researchers in France, Germany, Spain, Peru, canada and Japan confirmed Keplinger’s conclusions.
Cat’s Claw has shown a strong ability to improve the bodies health and has many uses which have stretched back for 1000’s of years. As a strong immune stimulant among other excellent properties, it is not hard to imagine the great importance this healing herb served to the peoples of South America. If you’re interested in the healing powers of Cat’s Claw, Potion.world offers an excellent Cat’s Claw Tea sourced directly from Peru.
1.Undefined, U. U. (2008). Desk reference to natures medicine (pp. 90-91) (S. Foster & R. L. Johnson, Authors). Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.
2.Medical Center, University of Maryland (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2017.
3.A preliminary analysis by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2017.