Cat's Claw may well be one of the most wondrous herbs of the Peruvian Rain Forest.
In Peru and other Spanish speaking coun-tries, the common name for Uncaria tomentosa is "una de Gato". In English it is translated as "Cat's Claw".
It has been used for hundreds of years, perhaps thousands, by the native Ashaninka Indians for treatment of a wide range of health problems associated with the immune and digestive systems.
As a result of extensive research at Institutes and Universities in Peru, Austria, Germany, England, Hungary and Italy, there is evidence to suggest that Uncaria tomentosa may be beneficial in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, bursitis, rheumatism, genital herpes and herpes zoster, allergies, ulcers, systemic candidiasis, PMS and irregularities of the female cycle, environmental toxin poisoning, numerous bowel and intestinal disorders, organic depression and those infected with the HIV virus.
Dr. Brent W. Davis D.C., who worked with cat's claw for a number of years refers to this herb as "the opener of the way." Because of its remarkable ability to cleanse the entire intestinal tract, he has used it successfully to help patients suffering from Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, leaky bowel syndrome, colitis, hemorrhoids, fistulas, gastritis, ulcers, parasites and intestinal flora imbalance.
Possibly the most exciting news of this herb came about in 1989 when a research scientist, by the name of Dr. Klaus Keplinger, successfully isolated six oxindole alkaloids from the root of Uncaria tomentosa. In his 10 page technical patent he states that all but two of the alkaloids "are suitable for the unspecific stimulation of the immunologic system."
According to his patent, the most immuno-logically active alkaloid is Isopteropodine. Isopteropodine (referred to as Isomer A) and, to a lesser extent, three of the other alkaloids have been shown in laboratory testing to have a pronounced enhancement effect on phaocytosis (the ability of the white blood cells and macrophages to attack, engulf and digest harmful microorganisms, foreign matter and debris).
According to research conducted at the Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Rynchophyiline, one of the remaining two alkaloids, which does not have immuno-stimulating properties, does have the ability to inhibit platelet aggregation and thrombosis. This, of course, suggests that this alkaloid may be quite useful in the prevention of stroke and reducing the risk of heart attack by lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation and inhibiting both the formation of plaque on the arterial walls and the formation of blood clots in the vessels of the brain, heart and arteries.
In an article titled "A New World Class Herb for A.K. Practice," Dr. Davis talks of Uncaria tomentosa's ability to break through severe intestinal derangements that no other available product could touch.
Dr. Richard Gerben M.D., in his book entitled "Vibrational Healing" states, "the herb shows great promise
for the treatment of arthritis when taken internally, either by making a tea or taking capsules of the herb."
He suggests that this herb can be beneficial for individuals who suffer from painful joints and cannot take
conventional medicines because of unpleasant side effects. He emphasizes that it might be helpful in reducing
the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy associated with cancer treatment.
In the words of Dr. Bret Davis, "Uncaria tomentosa is a world class herb which has the power to arrest and
reverse deep-seated pathology. "