Cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a woody vine native to the Amazon and Central American rainforests. Its name is derived from the hook-like thorns that resemble the claws of a cat. Cat’s claw bark and root have been used for centuries by South Americans as a remedy for arthritis and to treat digestive disorders such as gastritis, colitis, and stomach ulcers.
Cat's claw contains a compound known as pentacyclic oxindole alkaloid (POA) that is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects. The compound, specific to cat's claw, can block the production of inflammatory substances such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha).
Cat's claw can also slow blood clotting, leading to easy bruising and bleeding in large doses (mostly in people on anticoagulants). Because of this, you should stop taking cat's claw at least two weeks before surgery to avoid excessive bleeding.
We have found cat's claw to be a good addition to other anti-inflammatory herbs and diets. Adding it to our blend of frankincense turmeric and ginger really seems to boost the effectiveness of all the herbs.
The typical dosage is 1-2 capsules per day (500-1000 mg), taken with or without food.