Cat's Claw - What is it & How to use

What is it?

  • Cat’s claw is a woody vine that grows wild in the Amazon rainforest and other tropical areas of Central and South America. Its thorns resemble a cat’s claws.
  • The two most common species are U. tomentosa and U. guianensis. Most commercial preparations of cat’s claw contain U. tomentosa.
  • Using cat’s claw for health dates back to the Inca civilization. Its historical uses have included for contraception, inflammation, cancer, and viral infections, and to stimulate the immune system.
  • Today, cat’s claw is used as a dietary supplement for a variety of health conditions including viral infections (such as herpes and HIV), Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, arthritis, diverticulitis, peptic ulcers, colitis, gastritis, hemorrhoids, parasites, and leaky bowel syndrome.
  • The bark and root of cat’s claw are used to make liquid extracts, capsules, tablets, and tea.
  • There’s no conclusive scientific evidence based on studies in people that supports using cat’s claw for any health purpose.

Safety Concerns

  • Few side effects have been reported for cat’s claw when taken in small amounts.
  • Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should avoid using cat’s claw because of its past use for preventing and aborting pregnancy.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.