Cat's Claw - Uses and Benefits
Cat's Claw Plant Description
Cat's Claw is a tropical vine that grows in rainforest and jungle areas in South America and Asia. Some cultures refer to the plant as the "Sacred Herb of the Rain Forest". This vine gets its name from the small thorns at the base of the leaves, which looks like a cat's claw. These claws enable the vine to attach itself around trees climbing to a heights up to 100 feet.
Uses and Benefits of Cat's Claw
Cat's Claw root and/or inner bark is a medicinal herb used primarily for it's anti-inflammatory actions. Some of the uses of Cat's claw are described below:
Some other Attributed Properties of Cat's Claw include:
There are no known scientific reports on the pediatric use of cat's claw. Therefore, it is not currently recommended for children.
Side Effects of Cat's Claw
There are no recorded side effects from the use of cat's claw. However, very few people have been treated with cat's claw in scientific research studies. Some cat's claw products say that they should not be used by pregnant or breast feeding women, and used only in children if recommended by a health care professional. Use cat's claw with caution if you are prone to bleeding disorders or if you are taking drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Consult a health care professional immediately if you experience side effects. It should also be avoided by people with immune disorders like multiple sclerosis.
In one in vitro study, cat's claw inhibited activity of the 3A4 isozyme of cytochrome P450, a common drug metabolizing enzyme. This has not been validated in vivo, and no drug interactions have been reported.
The current popularity of cat's claw is based primarily on traditional use, anecdotes, and preliminary in vitro and animal studies. Although cat's claw has been suggested for many different types of diseases, but more deep studies are needed before it can be recommended as a treatment option for any health condition. Remember that tinctures can contain large amounts of alcohol and may cause nausea or vomiting if taken with the drugs disulfiram or metronidazole.
Extracts and chemical constituents have active pharmacologic properties in vitro and in animal experiments that warrant clinical investigation, but there is little objective evidence that cat's claw preparations reliably benefit any medical disorder.
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