The cat’s claw plant ( Uncaria tomentosa ) is a type of woody-trunk climbing vine native to the Amazon rainforest region.
It is very popular in Brazil and in other Latin American countries because of the therapeutic uses of its bark, which is used to treat flu, colds, allergies that affect the respiratory tract and uterine inflammation.
The best part is that it is a very safe plant and can be used by almost anyone. Know its benefits, how to make tea and the correct way to consume it.
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7 Uses for Cat’s claw tea
1. Treat colds and flu
The specialist in herbal medicine, Danilo Ramon, informed that one of the main uses of cat’s claw tea is to treat very common problems of the respiratory system, such as: flu , colds and allergies.
This is especially “because it has two substances: isomitraphyline and pteropodine, which inhibit the multiplication of the virus [of the flu and cold]”, he explains. The herb is also a source of glycosides, which act on the structure of these microorganisms, preventing them from being able to fix and replicate.
The anti-inflammatory action is derived from compounds such as steroids, catechins and procyanidins, which “inhibit the release of histamine [a vasodilator substance that starts inflammation], fighting allergies,” adds Danilo.
This anti-inflammatory effect also serves to combat the symptoms of respiratory infections, such as: runny nose, throat irritation and cough caused by the accumulation of phlegm (mucus) in the airways.
2. Give immunity to immunity
You know that period when your immunity gives that wobble and you get sick often? According to the herbalist, the tea made with Cat’s claw peels is perfect to solve this problem.
The plant “is indicated for various organic imbalances that cause difficulty or alter the body’s defense capacity ”, he commented, explaining that this happens thanks to the herb’s immunostimulating properties.
This means that it favors the multiplication and improves the response time of the cells that make up the immune system and are the body’s main way to fight the pathogens that you have daily contact, and all because of the aforementioned isomitraphyline and pteropodin.
3. Alleviate Arthritis Pain
The herbalist also recommended the infusion to relieve the symptoms of arthritis, the common name for several diseases that affect the joints and cause swelling and pain.
The disease occurs when the body starts attacking the affected regions and starts the inflammatory process, without any external stimulus and relief is, consequently, derived from its anti-inflammatory action.
4. Remove toxins from the body
The infusion has the potential to assist in detoxification , which is derived from its depurative and diuretic actions. As the naturopath points out, this makes it help “eliminate uric acid from the body”.
At the same time, the diuretic action is effective in treating urinary infections because it accelerates the expulsion of pathogenic bacteria.
5. Regulate blood pressure
As a result of this diuretic action pointed out by Danilo, cat’s claw tea has another therapeutic use, which is to control hypertension , since urine is a way to eliminate salts that raise blood pressure.
The plant is a powerful vasodilator and is therefore able to widen blood vessels, making blood flow more easily.
6. Reduce the negative effects of chemotherapy
The immunomodulatory potential of cat’s claw, mentioned by Danilo, brings another incredible benefit, which is to relieve some of the symptoms of chemotherapy.
This is because it increases the body’s defenses , which are negatively affected by the treatment, and also prevents damage to the DNA.
Thus, it is possible to have a reduction in side effects such as: weight loss, secondary infections that occur due to the weakened immune system and nausea.
7. To treat uterine inflammation
“[The herb] eliminates uterine inflammation,” emphasized the naturopath. Part of this is related to a much talked about benefit of it, which is its anti-contraceptive action. That is, to avoid pregnancy .
What happens is that the phytochemicals found in the plant’s bark directly affect the receptor mechanisms for estrogen, a female hormone. The result is an interruption of the menstrual cycle.
Even the use of cat’s claw helps to reduce the spots of endometriosis , a type of chronic inflammatory disease.
How to make and drink tea from this herb?
Cat’s claw tea is super easy to make. Danilo taught that it must be prepared through a process called decoction, which is where you cook the herb for a few minutes. Check out!
Place 100 grams of herb bark in a pan with 1 liter of filtered water and place on the fire. Let it cook, over low heat, for a maximum of 20 minutes, wait for it to cool and then strain. The herbalist recommends drinking up to three cups of this infusion a day.
“Cat’s claw can be associated with other plants to treat the immune system in combating viruses and other inflammatory disorders,” he said, pointing to yellow uxi as the most common mixture, as it also acts as a treatment for uterine problems.
However, before making any association between two or more herbs, always consult a specialist to assess the correct doses and duration of treatment.
Care and contraindications
“There is no contraindication, as the plant is not toxic . But guidance from the herbalist is needed to treat autoimmune problems”, warns the specialist.
He also instructs that you must follow the guidelines and avoid drinking more than three cups a day, since the excess can cause dizziness and diarrhea due to the herb’s action on the gastrointestinal system.
Finally, pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under 3 years of age should avoid using it without medical supervision.
Where to find a Cat’s claw
The cat’s claw bark can be found at street markets and natural and herbal products stores, both physically and online .
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.