THE HERBAL CORNER - "Cat's Claw"
Did you know that the CAT'S CLAW herb:
* improves immune system function?
* nutritionally supports the circulatory system?
* possesses anti-inflammatory properties?
* fights infections, allergies, lupus, and other disorders?
CAT'S CLAW (Uncaria Tomentosa or Uņa de Gato) is a thick, long, slow growing woody vine that grows between 400 and 800 meters above sea level in the Amazon jungle. This vine gets its name from the small, sharp thorns, two at the base of each pair of leaves, which looks like a cat's claw. These claws enable the vine to attach itself around trees climbing to a height of 100 feet or higher.
Research began on Cat's Claw in the early 1970's. In 1989, when the plant's alkaloids were isolated and tested, six primary oxindole alkaloids were found to be most prevalent in the Cat's Claw bark: isopteropodine, pteropodine, mitraphylline, isomitraphylline, ryncophylline, and isorynchophylline. Three of these have been proven to be effective immuno-stimulants or immune system boosters. Ryncophylline has been shown in laboratory testing to display an ability to inhibit platelet aggregation and thrombosis. This means that this alkaloid may be supportive of health for those who are at risk for stroke and heart attack. There are some properties that are considered helpful to lower blood pressure, and increase circulation, and inhibiting both the formation of plaque on the arterial walls and formation of blood clots in the vessels of the brain, heart and arteries.
In addition to these alkaloids, Peruvian and Italian researchers have discovered other beneficial phytochemicals inherent in the plant, including proanthocyanidins, polyphenols, triterpines, and the plant sterols beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol. These might explain the antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory properties attributed to this herb.
In 1991 there was a new study to isolate the chemical compounds found naturally within the plant that would be responsible for anti-inflammatory principles. This led to "the isolation and characterization of a new quinovic acid glycoside called glycoside 7 as one of the most active anti-inflammatory principles to be uncovered."
Many species of the genus Uncaria exist in nature - more than 30. However, it is the Uncaria Tomentosa species that offers the most promise as a therapeutic agent. Uncaria guianensis is frequently confused with Uncaria tomentosa therefore consumers should check the Cat's Claw bottles they buy for "Uncaria tomentosa" and choose from a reputable company.
Cat's Claw is supportive of health for those fighting Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, leaky bowel syndrome, colitis, hemorrhoids, fistulas, gastritis, ulcers, parasites, intestinal flora imbalance, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, environmental toxic poisoning, organic depression, those infected with the HIV virus, and more.
Please note: the information contained herein has been compiled from various sources. The above statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We make no claims, either expressed or implied, that any treatments mentioned in this newsletter will cure disease, replace prescription medication, or supersede sound medical advice.
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