Cat’s claw is a liana or vine from tropical rainforests that has been used medicinally for over 2,000 years. It has been used as a curative in the Peruvian jungle since time immemorial.
There are 34 different Uncaria varieties distributed around Asia, Africa and South America. In this article, we refer to Uncaria tomentosa, which is the uncaria variety with the best medicinal and healing properties.
This Amazonian plant contains more than 30 active substances that make it a very interesting natural ingredient for our health.
What is cat’s claw?
It is a type of plants among which two species in particular stand out: Uncaria guianensis and Uncaria tomentosa. As previously mentioned, the latter is the one with more medicinal applications.
Cat’s claw is native to the rainforest of Peru and other tropical areas of South and Central America. It is so popular in these areas that many refer to it as “the Amazonian miracle of herbal medicine”.
Cat’s claw extract is obtained from the bark and roots of this climbing liana which can grow to up to 30 meters tall.
The origin of its name can easily be understood by observing the shape of the thorns of this climbing plant, which are reminiscent of a cat’s claws. They have a characteristic hook shape that is reminiscent of feline nails.
Uncaria tomentosa is known as ‘cat’s claw’ due to the shape of its thorns
What is the chemical composition of Uncaria tomentosa?
The cat’s claw bark contains more than 30 active substances that are perfect for our health, which is why we refer to it as a medicinal plant.
Actually, the most important group of active principles in the composition of cat’s claw are the alkaloids. They are present in other plant species, but Uncaria tomentosa has them in abundance.
In fact, most of the content of these assets is usually concentrated in the roots and bark of the plant, hence these parts are used to obtain its well-known extract.
Beyond alkaloids, this medicinal shrub also contains glycosides, tannins, flavonoids, sterol fractions, and other compounds. Do you know what function each one fulfills?
- Glycosides: set of molecules or organic substances present in many vegetables. They are used as medicine in very small doses. Glycosides are a source of energy for any living being and also act as anticoagulants and cementing agents.
- Tannins: phenolic compounds that tend to accumulate in the fruits and barks of plants and trees. They are perfect molecules for our health due to their antioxidant properties. They protect tissues and prevent cell aging caused by free radicals.
- Flavonoids: there are many types of flavonoids, over 1,000 compounds of different chemical composition. They are present in many vegetables and greens. Sometimes referred to as vitamin P. They are anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer, improving the function of blood vessels.
- Sterols: substances found naturally in the animal world. They can also derive from the plant world and, in this case, they are known as phytosterols. Sterols or phytosterols maintain the structure and function of the cell membrane.
The bark and roots of cat’s claw contain more than 30 active substances
What are the benefits of cat’s claw?
There are many benefits of cat’s claw extract. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Reduces rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It has a powerful immunostimulating, antiviral and antiradical effect.
Let’s see them in more detail:
- Natural anti-inflammatory – cat’s claw extract is perfect to avoid joint problems and treat all types of inflammations. The glycoside content of quinovic acid makes it a very powerful natural anti-inflammatory.
- Antioxidant effects – cat’s claw is full of natural substances that delay or slow down aging or damage to cells in our body. They neutralize free radicals and stop the chain action that they usually start, offering a perfect anti-aging treatment.
- Fight neuronal degeneration – alkaloids help reduce inflammation in the brain and prevent deterioration of cognitive and intellectual abilities. In addition, according to a Phytomedicine study, the presence of phytochemicals helps improve our memory and protects our neurons during aging.
- Stimulates immunity – the consumption of cat’s claw extract helps increase the number of immune cells in our body. The key is precisely in the combination of the components of cat’s claw as a whole. The plant extracts are much more effective than each component in isolation.
- Helps the digestive system – cat’s claw extract has been used for many years to relieve stomach or digestive ailments such as gastritis, ulcers and hemorrhoids, among others.
- Improves circulation – this herb has been shown to be a vasodilator, which helps improve blood circulation. This is why it is recommended for cases of hypertension, to treat varicose veins or thrombosis. It is essential that you consult your doctor before starting a treatment with cat’s claw, especially if you are going to use it to treat a previous medical condition.
- Relieves chronic pain – Maybe you haven’t heard of it before, but cat’s claw extract is a perfect natural remedy to relieve pain. It is a perfect medicinal herb to treat blows, arthritis and many other chronic pains.
- Antiviral effect – Uncaria tomentosa extract is also used to combat infectious diseases and viruses of all kinds. It has been scientifically proven that the antimicrobial properties of cat’s claw extract inhibit the proliferation of bacteria such as staphylococci. In other words, they help us avoid infections.
Now you know what cat’s claw is and you know all the benefits that Uncaria tomentosa extract can bring you. This Amazonian plant can be really beneficial if you incorporate it into your diet, so don’t hesitate to try it. At Qomer you will find organic or conventional cat’s claw extract. Available in packs of 1, 5, 10 or 25 kilograms and with a minimum order of 25 kg.