Since ancient times, the bark and roots of these Amazonian creepers have been used by the Indians of South America to heal wounds, treat stomach disorders, arthritis, cancer and other diseases. Since the 1980s, uncaria preparations have been increasingly used in European medicine.
Description and properties of unkariya (cat’s claw), contraindications
At the base of the leaves, these plants carry strong curved thorns that cling to the bark of twined rainforest trees. Hence the informal name. Uncaria – cat’s claw. The genus includes more than a dozen species, but only two are used in medicine – unkariya felted (
Useful properties of uncaria
Scientists have discovered in Uncaria several biologically active substances with immunostimulating and anti-inflammatory properties. They probably explain the traditional use of these vines for treating cancer, arthritis, dysentery, peptic ulcers, and other infections and inflammations. However, clinical trials efficacy unkariya not yet verified.
In Germany and Austria, cat’s claw is recommended for strengthening the immune system of cancer patients in whom it is weakened by chemotherapy or radiation. The antitumor and immunostimulating effect is associated with several uncaria compounds. A number of them have been studied for decades. In the 1970s, scientists discovered in its inner cortex and roots the so-called procyanide oligomers (PCO), which suppress the development of cancer tumors in experimental animals. In the 1980s, German specialists isolated other compounds from Unkarii that strengthen the immune system, partly by stimulating phagocytes – cells that absorb the germs that have penetrated the body. In 1993, the Italians reported another class of bioactive cat claw agents, quinic acid glycosides. Their action is multifaceted. As antioxidants, they neutralize oxidizing free radicals, and in addition, they kill viruses, reduce inflammation and prevent malignant cell degeneration.
A potentially feline claw is useful in preventing cancer growth and in controlling chronic sinusitis infections.
Traditionally, unkariya is used as an analgesic, in particular for arthritis and gout, which can be explained by its anti-inflammatory action. However, the mechanism of its relief of various inflammations still needs clarification.
According to preliminary data, in combination with standard AIDS treatment, the immunostimulating effect of the cat’s claw is beneficial for HIV-infected patients. Some experts do not recommend the use of this plant for tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic diseases affecting the immune system, considering that its excessive stimulation is fraught with an increase in symptoms. However, a number of physicians are advised to treat autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus, with unkarya. This question needs further study.
Uncaria is contraindicated when planning for conception and pregnancy, because it can provoke miscarriage, and when breastfeeding.
In Peru, it has long been valued as a contraceptive, and in experimental animals it stimulates the contraction of the uterus. Apparently, the reception unkariya fraught with miscarriage. For contraception you should not use it.
Ways to use unkaria (cat’s claw), side effects
Indications for use unkarii drugs
• Weak immunity, for example, with sinusitis and other chronic infections.
• Arthritis and gout.
Mode of application
Take twice a day, 250 mg of standardized extract of uncaria tablets or 1-2 ml (20-40 drops) tincture. The dry powder of a cat’s claw (ground ground roots or inner bark) is sold in capsules of 500 and 1000 mg. Their daily dose is up to 2000 mg in two doses. You can also use a dry collection for brewing: 1-2 teaspoons per cup of boiling water (instructions are given on the package), up to three glasses per day.
Cat’s claw can be combined or alternated with other immunostimulating herbs, such as Echinacea, yellowroot, astragalus, tabebuyas, Reishi mushrooms and Maitake.
In order not to be mistaken with the dose, try to buy standardized preparations containing 3% alkaloids and 15% polyphenols.
Look for Latin names Uncaria tomentosa and
Possible side effects of unkariya (cat’s claw)
Although the safety of uncaria drugs has not been adequately investigated, it was not noted when using its standard doses of intoxication. Overdose can cause diarrhea.
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