Cat’s Claw

Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa), also known as uña de gato belongs to the Rubiaceae family and it is a large woody vine growing over 30 metres native to the Amazon rainforest and other tropical areas of South and Central America including Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and other.

This herb has been used historically by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon such as the Asháninka for at least 2,000 years to treat asthma, inflammations of the urinary tract, arthritis, rheumatism and bone pain.

Since the early 1990s Cat’s claw has been used as an adjunctive treatment for cancer and AIDS in Peru and Europe.

Cat's Claw

Therapeutic parts used

  • Bark

Note on Constituents

Two chemotypes of Cat’s claw exists with different pharmacological properties. One chemotype contains the immune-enhancing pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POAs) with minimal traces of immune-suppressing tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids (TOAs) and the other contains both.

Main Actions

  • Stimulates immune system
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Anticancer
  • Antiviral


  • Immune disorders
  • Gastritis
  • Ulcers
  • Cancer
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatism and rheumatic disorders
  • Neuralgia
  • All chronic inflammations e.g. shingles
  • Chronic immune deficiency disorders e.g. HIV


  • Pregnancy
  • Women wishing to conceive
  • Organ or bone marrow transplant or skin graft

Herbal Extract

Cat’s claw liquid extract is available online such as Samento or Saventaro.


About Naturopathy by Savvas Ioannides
Savvas Ioannides is a Naturopathic, Herbal and GAPS Diet practitioner who studied at Nature Care College in Sydney. Savvas uses holistic and natural therapies including Herbal remedies and Nutrition to boost your vitality and help you achieve optimum levels of health.

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