also known as the Healing Vine of Peru and, has become very popular because of the many therapeutic benefits it offers for relieving arthritis, allergies, menstrual irregularities, ulcers, and a variety of gastrointestinal disorders.
While cat's claw is not the most well-known medicinal herb, it is considered a valuable medicinal resource and is a highly protected plant in Peru, where it grows naturally. Presently, very little scientific research has been dedicated to testing the merits of cat's claw, but many cultures native to the South American rain forest areas have used this herb for hundreds of years. However, some recent studies report that cat's claw may indeed have favorable effects primarily in its ability to boost the body's immune system. With growing concern about the spread of HIV, studies on cat's claw have increased during recent years.
The active chemical compounds found in cat's claw are alkaloids, tannins, and several other phytochemicals. The alkaloids in cat's claw give it the ability to boost the immune system.
The major alkaloid rhynchophylline also exhibits anti-hypertensive properties and may help to reduce the occurrence of stroke and heart attack by lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation, reducing heart rate, and controlling cholesterol levels.
Many treatments and herbal supplements combine cat's claw with different plants and natural products to increase the absorption and bioavailability whereby increasing its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer effects. For quite some time, cat's claw has been used medicinally as a treatment for gastrointestinal ailments.
Additional homeopathic uses of cat's claw include treatments for Crohn's disease, gastric ulcers and tumors, parasites, colitis, gastritis, diverticulitis, and leaky bowel syndrome.
Through its ability to stimulate the immune system, this herb may also improve the body's response to viral and respiratory infections.
Cat's claw is considered by many, largely because of its immune-building properties, to be every bit as important as more popular herbs such as Echinacea, goldenseal, Pau D'Arco, garlic, and Siberian ginseng.