Cat’s Claw Health Benefits
Cat’s claw health benefits include immune system enhancement, anti-inflammatory properties, and help in treating BPH and prostatitis. Also known as una de gato, cat’s claw is found in the rainforests of Peru and contains the natural anti-inflammatory substances called beta-sitosterol and campesterol
Both beta-sitosterol and campesterol are two factors that may be the reason why cat’s claw has been somewhat effective in reducing symptoms of arthritis. A 2010 study examined studies of various substances and their impact on osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. One of the substances evaluated was cat’s claw.
The reviewers reported that three of the 16 studies they examined showed that cat’s claw was beneficial for osteoarthritis, either alone or in combination with other factors. (Rosenbaum 2010)
Thus far there are no specific scientific studies indicating that cat’s claw is effective in treating any prostate conditions, such as prostatitis and BPH and the urinary symptoms associated with them. However, this herb is sometimes used for these purposes, largely because of its beta-sitosterol content.
Another one of cat’s claw health benefits may be related to anticancer effects. A Brazilian study reported that cat’s claw helps repair DNA damage, which is associated with cancer. The study also noted that cat’s claw “is promising for use with chemotherapy to minimize the adverse effects of this treatment.” (Farias 2011)
Cat’s claw is available in standardized root and bark extract (containing 3% alkaloids and 15% phenols) in liquid and capsules. A typical dose for arthritis is 100 mg daily of the standardized capsules. To support the immune system, cat’s claw health benefits may be realized at a dose of 250 to 350 mg daily. Cat’s claw is not recommended if you have low blood pressure. (University of Maryland)
Farias I et al. Uncaria tomentosa stimulates the proliferation of myeloid progenitor cells. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2011 Sep 1; 137(1): 856-63
Rosenbaum CC et al. Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory dietary supplements for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 2010 Mar-Apr; 16(2): 32-40