Cats Claw: MOTHER NATURE'S WONDROUS HEALERS
By Phillip N. Steinberg, C.N.C.
By now most of you have heard of Cats Claw, a remarkable herb
being imported from the Peruvian Amazon. After almost three years
of working with and writing about this miracle from the rainforest,
I have become increasingly convinced of it's tremendous healing
power. It seems to have the ability to help people suffering from
many different illnesses both acute and chronic, sometimes in
just a matter of a few days. I have personally received testimonials
from alternative practitioners, health stores and individuals
from all across the United States and other countries, who claim
that Cats Claw, also known as Uña de Gato or in Latin
as Uncaria tomentosa Willd DC, has literally changed their patients,
customers and personal lives.
Though most of these claims are anecdotal in nature, they never
the less give us reason for optimism. Based on these reports,
there is evidence that Cats Claw can help, at least in some cases,
people suffering from tumors and growths, arthritis, bursitis,
gout, fibromyalgia, asthma, hay fever, allergies, chemical and
environmental sensitivities, multiple sclerosis, shingles, canker
sores, chronic fatigue and depression, candidiasis, parasites,
dysbiosis, Crohn's disease, ulcers, gastritis, hemorrhoids and
inflammatory bowel, prostate problems, diabetes, hypoglycemia,
PMS and menstrual irregularities, circulatory problems and various
viral and bacterial infections, including secondary infections
in AIDS patients. There have also been reports of Cats Claw's
effectiveness in reducing the side effects of both radiation and
chemotherapy when used in conjunction with conventional cancer
adjunctive nutritional therapies. Will all this stand up to scientific
scrutiny? I believe that in time it will; however, we will have
to wait until the appropriate clinical trials have been completed.
For now, at least, Cats Claw seems to be virtually non-toxic
and safe to use up to as much as 20 grams per day for several
weeks to several months at a time. This is the amount generally
used by the indigenous people of Peru, who boil inner bark and/or
root in a liter of water for 30 minutes, then consume this decoction
throughout the day for a variety of illnesses.
Here in the U.S. individuals with minor illnesses have often
responded with as little as 2-4 grams per day in capsule or tablet
form. I personally have been taking 1 gram (1,000 mg.) three times
per day almost every day for the past three years. I have found
this amount to virtually eliminate the pain and discomfort in
my lower back associated with an arthritic condition that developed
as a result of two car accidents.
I have also witnessed Cats Claw's ability to clear-up sinus,
ear and throat infections in 48 to 72 hours and I have used drops
of tea in the eyes to clear-up conjunctivitis and powdered herb
between toes to clear-up athletes foot.
So, what is it that makes Cats Claw such a powerful natural
medicine? The answer lies in the herb's unique phytochemical make-up.
In all, the herb contains five different groups of beneficial
plant compounds. These include: alkaloids, polyphenols and proanthocyanidins,
triterpines, glycosides, and phytosterols. Laboratory research
in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, England and Peru has demonstrated
that these compounds possess immune augmenting, anti-microbial,
anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-ulcer, anti-oxidant
and adaptogen properties.
Because Cats Claw has been referred to as an adaptogen and anti-oxidant
herb, it is suitable to be used on a daily basis by those seeking
to maintain maximum resistance to the stresses and strains of
modern life. Is Cats Claw an herb for everyone? No, there is
a small percentage of people who should not use the herb. These
include: anyone taking anti-ulcer medications, transplant patients
or those being injected with foreign proteins as a part of their
normal therapy. Cats Claw can also cause uterine contractions
and therefore, should not be taken by pregnant women or women
seeking to conceive.
What about side affects? In a small number of people, Cats Claw
will cause constipation or diarrhea and in rare occasions a slight
fever or reoccurrence of former symptoms as it drives a deep seated
pathology out of the body. These usually pass or normalize within
two weeks. I have also heard of a few people who have broken out
in a rash after taking Cats Claw. For these reasons, I always
suggest starting out with a lower dose and then gradually increase
the amount over a ten to thirty day period.
If side effects are going to occur, they will generally do so
within the first week. It is important to keep in mind that these
side effects are rare and that the vast majority do not experience
any at all.
Today, there is a wide variety of Cats Claw products available
in capsule, tablet, tea, liquid and powdered extract forms. Most
products are made from the inner bark of the vine, however, I
recently learned that a small amount of root & root bark is
being harvested legally and ecologically in Peru and is now available
in various products. Recent assays have determined that Cat's
Claw root and root bark contain a significantly higher alkaloid
content. There is also a highly specialized pharmaceutical extract
developed from the root that is currently being used to treat
cancer, AIDS and other diseases in Austria and Germany. The pharmaceutical
has not been approved for sale in the U.S.; however, more products
containing root and root bark will soon become available from
health food stores, mail-order and network marketing companies.
Essiac Tea Plus Cats Claw! Adjunctive Disease
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