Why Cats Claw For Arthritis?

Cats claw can help put the spring back in your step. Cat’s claw herb has been clinically demonstrated to lessen joint discomfort. It’s a natural treatment that reduces persistent pain and inflammation in arthritis conditions.

For five years, my husband and I’ve successfully used the purest cat’s claw extract (uncaria guianensis) we’ve found anywhere.

The anti-inflammatory effects of cats claw have proven beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout and fibromyalgia.

Cat’s claw supplement is an excellent application of a plant species that contains antioxidants and restorative properties.

The “good” cats claw is from the Peruvian Amazon

Cats claw is a remarkable herb from the Peruvian Amazon. Also known by its Spanish equivalent una de gato, cat’s claw earns its name from the vine’s curved thorns shaped like the claws of a cat.

This long woody vine has a historical use as a folk medicine by native Peruvians to treat a variety of human ailments, including arthritis inflammation.

There are two main species marketed under the name of Peruvian cat's claw, uncaria guianensis and uncaria tomentosa, although almost indistinguishable, each having different properties and uses. The two are frequently confused but uncaria tomentosa is the more heavily researched for medicinal use, while uncaria guianensis may be more useful for osteoarthritis. They’re both referred to as una de gato.

The “bad” cats claw is from Mexico and Southwest United States

In Mexico and Southwestern United States, a plant with the Latin name of acacia gregii is known as cats claw acacia or catclaw acacia.

This shrubby tree is not the same as the long South American vine uncaria guianensis (the “good” cat’s claw) that produces the researched cat’s claw used in medicine or quality natural dietary supplements.

Acacia gregii contains chemicals that may be harmful if swallowed. Those who question their cat's claw source shouldn’t take it. (My husband and I take Peruvian “good” cat’s claw, uncaria guianensis made from its bark).

Research suggests cats claw effective for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

Studies reported from various sources including National Standard in July, 2005, confirm Peruvian cats claw has anti-inflammatory affects for the two most common arthritis types: osteoarthritis (the deterioration of joints due to wear and tear) and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks cartilage and synovial fluid in joints).

While it has far-reaching health applications, the best-researched cats claw benefits are for relief of arthritis pain. Its properties for treating arthritis pain may also be due, in part, to its ability to cleanse the digestive tract and aid in removing toxins from the body. Arthritis, joint pain and inflammation have been associated with toxin overload in the body.

Properties attributed to cat's claw include:

  • Adaptogenic
  • Anti-microbial
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-tumor

Further studies of cat’s claw for treatment of human ailments other than arthritis are necessary before definitive conclusions can be drawn.

Dosage amounts

While not well defined, common doses of cat’s claw in clinical trials have been 100 mg per day for osteoarthritis and 60 mg per day for rheumatoid arthritis.

Some studies have safely used larger dosages (350 mg to 500 mg per day).

Daily doses as high as 10,000 mg has been reported among South Americans, who take cat’s claw as a general tonic. However, high dosages haven’t been studied for possible side effects. Those who decide to use cat’s claw supplements should follow the label directions.

Is cat’s claw for everybody?

Is the cat's claw herb for everyone? Doctors may not recommend the herb for a small percentage of their patients. These include: anyone taking anti-ulcer medications, transplant patients or those being injected with foreign proteins as a part of their therapy.

Cat's claw can also cause uterine contractions and therefore, shouldn’t be taken by pregnant women or women seeking to conceive.

Side effects of cat’s claw

Cat’s claw can be taken without side effects by almost everyone in dosages of 100 mg per day. At first, a small number of people may experience constipation or diarrhea and in rare occasions a slight fever but these symptoms usually normalize within a week or two.

When beginning any new supplement treatment, it’s best to start with a lower dose then gradually increase to the recommended amount over a week to ten day period.

It’s important to keep in mind that side effects of cat’s claw are rare. The vast majority don’t experience any at all. If side effects are going to occur, they’ll generally do so within the first week.

Are herbal dietary formulations regulated for safety?

The answer is no. In the United States, herbal formulas are sold as dietary supplements. Dietary supplements are not regulated the same as drugs are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, pre-market evaluation and approval for efficacy by the FDA are not required.

This also means that dietary supplements are not always tested for manufacturing consistency, purity or potency. While the new current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) regulations address this factor, full implementation of the rules for the dietary supplement industry will not occur until June, 2010. Therefore, the composition still may vary considerably between manufacturing lots. It’s possible in the United States that your cat's claw dietary supplement has no efficacy whatsoever.

But wait a minute! There’s a company that met or surpassed all 30 questions I devised when attempting to choose the best dietary supplements on the market.

It’s a company that you can trust. A company whose natural dietary supplements meet the same GMP standards required by the FDA of pharmaceutical companies and contain the purest of raw ingredients. A company that guarantees what you read on the label is what you get inside the bottle—every time!

Featured natural arthritis supplement with cat’s claw

Cat’s claw extract and glucosamine hydrochloride are well researched. The formulation we use also includes zinc, copper, manganese and boron in a dietary supplement that improves lubrication and cushioning in joints.

As a natural supplement they are proven effective and safe for relief of arthritis pain and cartilage repair. Cat’s claw benefits are clinically documented at a daily dosage of 100 mg and glucosamine at 1500 mg. My husband has osteoarthritis in both knees. He’s had improved joint function and flexibility enabling him to play tennis three times a week. I’ve restored my neck function from neck arthritis to near normal after many years of complications.

We’re very happy with the cat’s claw supplement we’ve used since it was introduced in 2003. Its formulation matches the clinically documented dosages of 1500 mg daily of glucosamine hydrochloride and 100 mg of cat’s claw. For our money, we’ve found what we believe is a remarkable effective supplement containing the cats claw herb. It’s science-based as an anti-inflammatory and helps build cartilage and improves joint flexibility, causing me to confidently recommend this joint health product.

Disclaimer: Health statements on this cats claw page have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Glucosamine Hydrochloride. The first authentic natural helper to appear in arthritis treatment in years. As a nutritional supplement it’s thought to help repair damaged cartilage. Click here for more on glucosamine

Arthritis Products. Three safe natural products scientifically designed to fight pain and reduce dependency on pharmaceutical medicines. Each is unique for rapid relief and joint health...Click here for details

Osteoarthritis Relief. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It affects joints of the knees, hips, fingers, lower spine and neck. Click here for more on osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief. Many of the natural or herbal supplements for osteoarthritis are also recommended for rheumatoid arthritis. Click here for RA natural treatment options

Joint Pain Relief. Wouldn't it be great if you could have a drug-free future with no harmful side effects and have complete control over your joint pain? It's not a dream--all of this is.... Click here for more on natural joint pain relief

Herbal Pain Relief. Herbal pain relief supplements are popular complementary or alternative treatments used effectively for all symptoms of various types of arthritis. Click here for more on herbal pain relief.

Borage oil. Several studies confirm borage oil GLA, an omega 6 fatty acid, as an effective treatment for joint pain, stiffness and grip strength in RA patients, with few side effects. Click here for details

Boswellia. This ancient herb has natural benefits similar to arthritis pain relief medicines but without harmful side effects. Click here for more on boswellia

Fish Oil. Studies validate that fish oil supplements reduce joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and other arthritis types. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Click here for more information

Ashwagandha. Dietary supplements containing ashwagandha provide natural herbal stress relief without the side effects of drug treatments. Click here for more

Menthol. In an arthritis pain cream, menthol replaces the pain message with a cooling sensation in order to provide temporary relief from localized pain. Click here for more details

St. John’s Wort. Helps life spirits of arthritis sufferers as a natural alternative treatment for mild depression, anxiety or ....Click here for more

Valerian. Sleep well tonight with this safe herbal choice as a natural dietary supplement for insomnia relief, restlessness and anxiety. Click here for more information

Alfalfa. Known as the “father of all foods,” the alfalfa leaf contains a wide range of healing properties that help reduce arthritic pain, swelling and stiffness in joints. Click here for more on alfalfa’s benefits

Safflower. This plant’s properties reduce pain and inflammation and provide natural alternatives for joint discomfort. Click here for more about the safflower herb

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