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cat's claw-2 Cat's Claw Benefits|cat's claw flower:vine Cat's Claw Benefits|person holding arm with redness around Cat's Claw Benefits|person holding their stomach hemp|cat's claw|cat's claw Cat's Claw Benefits

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Cat’s Claw: A Remarkable Herb With Immune Stimulating Properties

Named after a curving appendage that looks strikingly like an extended cat’s claw, this herbal wonder has been a staple of traditional medicine in South America for centuries. Cat’s claw benefits include alleviating gastrointestinal conditions, recovering from injuries, and it can be used as a tonic for the immune system.

cat's claw flower:vine What Is Cat's Claw?


The cat’s claw herb is a creeping vine that is native to the rainforests of South and Central America. The plant is easily identified by curving hook-like appendages that give the herb its name. These hooks are used to grip the trees upon which this vine rest and they look just the claws of a cat.

Cat’s claw also goes by “miracle herb of the rainforest” which alludes to its portentous medical value to the locals in the region.

Local herbalists apply cat’s claw for treating conditions of the digestive system. Since the 1970s, extensive medical research on this herbal treatment has uncovered more benefits ranging from an especially potent antioxidant to an anti-inflammatory compound.

Health Benefits of Cat’s Claw


person holding arm with redness around Reduces Inflammation


The active organic ingredient in cat’s claw is called pentacyclic oxindole alkaloid it has been studied for its extensive anti-inflammatory properties. While inflammation is an important part of keeping the body safe from infection, prolonged inflammation can be very bad for overall health. In cases of chronic inflammation, it is necessary to reduce the inflammatory response to improve health and protect the body from harm.

The significant alkaloid found in cat’s claw interrupts the production of bodily chemicals that promote the inflammatory reaction. 1 In conditions of rheumatoid arthritis, pentacyclic oxindole alkaloid contributed to a reduction of pain in tender joints. 2

Stimulates Immune Function


Throughout the Amazon River and surrounding regions local peoples have applied cat’s claw topically to improve the recovery times to cuts and injuries. There is a good reason to believe that it is the high antioxidant properties in cat’s claws that lends this regenerative capacity to poultices and other treatments.

Other studies have demonstrated the capacity for cat’s claw to improve specific markers of the immune system. In addition to defending against infections. this can also boost the recovery process. 3

Cytoprotective


Combined with the potent anti-inflammatory functions, cat’s claw is also equipped with free radical scavenging compounds making it an effective antioxidant. These two potent biological properties work to improve the protection of cells from toxins, infections, and oxidative stress.

Cellular protection, or cytoprotection, involves the production and maintenance of mucus that keeps the delicate cells safe from a variety of harmful agents. In the stomach, cytoprotection is crucial for preventing and repairing gastric ulcers. Cat’s claw tea has been found very effective in addressing and preventing these painful condition. 4

person holding their stomach Gastrointestinal Health


One of the most prominent benefits of cat’s claw herb is its capacity to soothe and improve the digestive system. Cat’s claw tea has been regarded as the “cure-all” solution to just about any digestive condition in the book including leaky bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, fistulas, ulcers, parasites, gastritis and intestinal flora imbalance. 5

Cat’s Claw Supplementation


The active ingredients and health benefits of this important herb are found primarily in the root bark. There are several ways these substances appear on the market today including in a capsule or powdered form. Cat’s claw can also be found in a dried herb form suitable for making a cat’s claw tea.

Risks and Precautions


Cat’s claw is generally safe for a healthy individual and the most common side effect is diarrhea . There are some important guidelines to keep in mind while taking cat’s claw.

Since cat’s claw can jumpstart the immune system, those undergoing transplants are not advised to take this herb. Even though it can be very helpful for inflammatory conditions, Cat’s claw can adversely affect those caused by autoimmune conditions.

Lastly, not enough is known about how this potent herbal medication can affect a pregnant mother or young child. Only use as directed by a qualified medical professional experienced in your conditions. 6

Final Notes and Cat's Claw Tea


Cat’s claw tea, frequently considered a nootropic, has been part of the regular diets in South America for many centuries. This is not so much for its flavor as for its extensive health benefits. Try adding a small amount of honey for sweetener or add some spices like cinnamon, thyme, or ginger to bring out a bold flavor.

Photo credits: PATCHAYABURANCHANTRA/shutterstock.com, Shaynepplstockphoto/shutterstock.com, BlurryMe/shutterstock.com, Foto2rich/shutterstock.com

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