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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

aka Catsclaw, Uña de Gato
(Uncaria tomentosa)

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Not to be taken by anyone using any type of hormonal medication, insulin, vaccines, or blood thinning medications.

CONTRAINDICATED: Not to be used by anyone with organ or tissue transplants (increases chance that new tissue will be recognized as an invader), autoimmune diseases, muscular sclerosis, tuberculosis, pregnancy, anyone breastfeeding. Not give to children under the age of 2.

CONTAINS: Quinovic acid glycosides, oxindole alkaloids (isopteropodine, pteropodine, isomitraphylline, isorynchophylline, rynchophylline), proanthocyanidins, polyphenols, triterpenes, plant sterols (beta-sisterol, stigmasteral, carnpesterol).

PART USED: Inner bark of vine (traditionally, the bark of the root was used).

Woody, thorny vine, found growing in trees, native to rainforests of South America, particularly Peru. Leaves are opposite, pointed, ovate with uneven margins; curved thorns arise from each leaf axil.

Alterative, anti-inflammatory, immune system booster (by prolonging life of lymphocytes), antioxidant. Believed to decrease platelet aggregation responsible for cardio-vascular problems such as blood clots, thrombosis, strokes; also to lower blood pressure.
Has been used for AIDS, cancer, viral infections, Crohn's disease, genital herpes, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, asthma, diabetes, menstrual problems, PMS, depression, acne, hemorrhoids, gout, swellings, arthritis, gastritis, ulcers, inflammatory bowel conditions. Also as a preventative for those with a tendency to infection. There is no scientific evidence that it is effective in any of these conditions.
In South America it has been used as a Folk Medicine for intestinal problems, ulcers, arthritis, wounds; the traditional medicine being the bark of the root, but today the inner bark of the vine is used.

!All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully!
For the VERY YOUNG and VERY OLD, doses must be mild to begin in order to assess tolerance; possibility of diarrhea. If combining other herbs, the amount of Cat's Claw should be reduced.
DECOCTION = 1 tsp bark to 1 cup water, boiled 10 to 15 minutes, then allowed to cool, then strained; 1 cup taken 3 times daily.
TINCTURE = 1 to 2 ml, once or twice daily.
DRY EXTRACT = 20 to 60 mg daily.

©2000 & 2005 by Ernestina Parziale, CH