Cat’s Claw (Urticaria tomentosa)

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. The plant is considered a valuable medicinal resource and is protected in Peru. Although scientific research has just recently begun to explore cat’s claw, many cultures native to the South American rain forest areas have used this herb for hundreds of years.

Preliminary studies have demonstrated very little potential benefit with Cat’s claw in the treatment of cancer. Although no serious adverse effects have been reported, there is little known about its safety because most reports have been based on anecdotal evidence. Until proven safe, cat’s claw should not be taken by pregnant or breast-feeding women. Also, there are no well-known drug interactions with cat’s claw.

Cat’s claw tea is prepared by combining 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) of root bark and 1 cup (250 ml) of water and boiling for 10-15 minutes. Drink one cup tid. Cat’s claw tincture at 1/4-1/2 teaspoon (1–2 ml) can be taken up to two times per day, or 20-60mg of a dry standardized extract can be taken once per day.


Cat's Claw (Urticaria tomentosa) can help with the following


Lyme Disease

While the use of Cat’s Claw looks very promising, there is a POA TOA controversy that seems to be as yet unresolved. If you wish to look into this controversy further, the following articles may be helpful.

An article by Leslie Taylor, ND discusses it at some length, suggesting that any quality Cat’s Claw product should be equally effective.

This pilot study attempts to show that a TOA-free Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is effective in treating chronic Lyme disease (Lyme Borreliosis).

There have been many testimonials regarding a particular Cat’s Claw product called Samento.


Rheumatoid Arthritis

Uncaria tomentosa extract over a 6 month period reduced the number of painful joints in a well-controlled study involving 40 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis already being treated with sulfasalazine or hydroxychloroquine. An additional 7 months of treatment with Uncaria tomentosa extract reduced the number of painful and swollen joints with the same group of patients. [J Rheumatol 2002;29(4): pp.678-81]


Likely to help
Highly recommended



Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with one teaspoon herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Tinctures may be used singly or in combination as noted. The high doses of single herbs suggested may be best taken as dried extracts (in capsules), although tinctures (60 drops four times per day) and teas (4 to 6 cups per day) may also be used.


Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

CAT Scan

(Computerized Axial Tomography scan). A scanning procedure using X-rays and a computer to detect abnormalities of the body's organs.


(tsp) Equivalent to 5cc (5ml).


(gm): A metric unit of weight, there being approximately 28 grams in one ounce.


Three times a day.


An alcohol or water-alcohol solution, usually referring to a preparation from herbal materials.


(mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.

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