Cats Claw

Michael Wright swswsw at gnatnet.net
Sat Aug 3 04:07:54 EST 1996


In article <21508181596747ntc at cei.net>, kistech at cei.net says...
>
>Please share any information on Cats Claw from the rain forrest in 
Peru.
>A reply by e-mail would be nice as well as a thread on this news group. 
>
>Jim 
>
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>James L. Kistner aware at cei.net
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>Cave City, Ar. 72521 
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CAT'S CLAW (Uncaria tomentosa)
That Wondrous Herb from the Peruvian Rain Forest
      (by Phillip N Steinberg, Certified Nutritional Consultant) 

In the May, 1994 issue of the Townsend Letter, many of you read about 
the history and
remarkable properties of Uncaria tomentosa (Cat's Claw). Since that 
time, hundreds of doctors
and clinics throughout the United States have begun working with the 
herb and it has become
widely available in health food stores. Preliminary reports seem to 
verify what I had first mentioned
in my previous article. That is, that Uncaria tomentosa may be 
beneficial in the prevention and
treatment of many of today's serious health problems. These include: 
cancer, arthritis, bursitis,
rheumatism, all forms of herpes... including Epstein Barr, chemical and 
environmental allergies and
sensitivities, asthma, depression, systemic candidiasis, lupus, 
diabetes, hypoglycemia, chronic
fatigue syndrome, acne, PMS and menstrual irregularities, environmental 
toxin poisoning,
circulatory problems such as hypertension, varicose veins, thrombosis 
and those infected with the
HIV virus. There is also evidence that Uncaria tomentosa may be helpful 
with numerous stomach
and bowel disorders including: gastritis, ulcers, hemorrhoids, Crohn's 
disease, diverticulosis, leaky
and irritable bowel syndrome. 

Within the last year, I have received reports from both doctors and 
individuals describing their
successes in using the herb. Here is what some have reported: 

Dr. Ambrose, ND, co-founder of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine 
recently informed me
that she is seeing significant improvement in patients suffering from 
Crohn's disease, ulcers, asthma,
arthritis, iritis, shingles, dysbiosis and chronic fatigue syndrome. One 
patient, a woman who had
been taking sulfasalazine (a sulfa drug with numerous side effects) to 
treat a bleeding ulcerative
condition associated with Crohn's, was able to quit the drug after a few 
weeks using Cat's Claw,
her bleeding condition seems to have cleared up and she is reported to 
be experiencing much
higher levels of energy. 

Dr. Ambrose also mentioned that she has been able to eliminate the use 
of many Chinese herbs
because Cat's Claw, in many instances, seems to be more effective; and 
finally, she has informed
me that Cat's Claw seems to enhance overall immunity while increasing 
stamina and energy in
patients who suffered from physical and mental exhaustion due to an 
overactive or stressful
lifestyle. 

Dr. Donna Schwontkowski, DC: In Healthy & Natural Journal, issue 1, 
October 1994, pp.
64-65, has stated that Una de Gato (Cat's Claw) is the most powerful 
immune enhancing herb of
all the herbs native to the Peruvian Amazon. In her article titled, 
"herbal Treasures from the
Amazon" part 1, she mentions that preliminary studies suggest that the 
herb has an ability to stop
viral infections in early sages, help patients who are chemically 
sensitive, enhance emotional
stability - even in the midst of extreme stress, fight infections in 
AIDS patients and decrease the
visible size of some skin tumors and cysts within two weeks. 

Dr. Schwontkowski also reports that Una de Gato has been linked with the 
remission of brain and
other tumors, as well as providing relief from the side effects of 
chemotherapy. Dr. Julie Clemens,
ND and Homeopath began giving Cat's Claw to her mother who had severe 
circulatory problems
in her legs and found walking to be difficult and extremely painful. 
Within a few weeks, her
circulation improved and she was able to begin walking with almost no 
pain. Dr. Clemens has also
report seeing a significant reduction in the side-effects of radiation 
and chemotherapy in her cancer
patients who are using Cat's Claw. 

Kitty Winslow, owner of a health food store in Missouri has reported 
that four of her customers
have eliminated most of their symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, as 
a result of taking Cat's
Claw in capsule form. 

Finally, a patient in Texas who is HIV positive, informed me that after 
taking Cat's Claw capsules
for approximately eight weeks, his T-cell count rose from 560 to 875. 

Obviously, these reports are anecdotal in nature. However, I feel the 
herb certainly shows promise
and should be considered for use in more comprehensive natural treatment 
programs. One thing
that could be done is an in-depth scientific evaluation of how the 
varied plant phytochmecials found
in Cat's Claw many function synergistically. These include oxindole 
alkaloids, quinovic acid
glycosides, triterpines, polyphenols, proanthocyanidins and plant 
steols. The presence of these
compounds seem to be what gives the herb its adaptogen, antioxidant, 
antitumor, antimicrobial and
anti-inflammatory properties. 

Though more research is needed to determine proper dosage for various 
ailments, there is a
general consensus based on the available information and use by various 
doctors and individuals
throughout the U.S. 

Traditionally, the Indigenous Peoples of Peru have used both the root 
and the inner bark of Cat's
Claw to prepare a tea in the form of a decoction. However, because the 
plant has become a
threatened species, the government of Peru has passed legislation 
designed to protect the herb and
insure it's availability of those who need it now and in the future. 
Since the inner bark has been
found to contain all of the medicinal properties attributed to the herb, 
it has recently become illegal
to harvest or disturb the root. Harvesting the root causes the needless 
death and destruction of the
vine and ecologically speaking is an unsound practice, Couple this with 
the ever-increasing
worldwide demand and it becomes clear why Cat's Claw has become 
threatened. In fact, it has
been estimated that the species could become extinct within the next 5 
years if harvesting the root
were allowed to continue. Harvesting the inner bark, however, is 
ecologically sound as long as the
root remains intact. This practice insures that the vine will grow back, 
replenish itself, reach
maturity and again be ready for harvesting in approximately 4 years. 

In present day Peru, one can walk into a pharmacy and purchase Cat's 
Claw in either tea or
capsule form. Labels on the packaging state that the curative powers of 
Cat's Claw are almost
unlimited. This is attributed to the herb being a powerful cellular 
reconstitutor. Instructions are
given on how to use the herb to teat cancer, arthritis, gastritis, 
female hormonal imbalances and
other ailments. 

In closing, I would like to mention that I am involved in the ongoing 
research of Cat's Claw and
other herbs from the Peruvian Amazon. I am particularly interested in 
hearing from anyone who
has used Cat's claw and what results they have obtained. 




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