Cat's claw

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What is cat's claw?

The cat's claw is a liana-like plant native to South America.

The cat's claw belongs to the genus Uncaria, of which there are two species in South America: Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis. The species differ significantly: In the shape of the flowers, leaves and seeds, in the size and colour of the flowers and in the content of their potentially effective ingredients.

The cat's claw among the indigenous people of South America

Among the indigenous people of the Peruvian rainforest, the cat's claw has a centuries-old tradition as a medicinal plant against all kinds of health problems. In Central Europe, the popularity of the cat's claw as a medicinal plant is only developing slowly. It is said that an Austrian expedition explored the Peruvian Andes about 50 years ago and brought the knowledge of the healing power of the cat's claw back to Europe.

The participants of the expedition accidentally came into contact with indigenous tribes in the eastern Andes who used the roots of a certain liana to treat rheumatic complaints and infections. [1]

Are there any side effects or interactions?

'Cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) interacts with anticoagulants, antihypertensive drugs and ciclosporin.' ([2]

Since there isn't enough data available, use for children and adolescents under 18 years of age, pregnant women and breastfeeding women is not recommended. In addition to this, an increase in uric acid levels, mild cardiovascular complaints and skin rashes in patients with allergic diathesis have been reported. [3]

Studies and references

  1. Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung (2009)Katzenkrallenwurzel – ein Antirheumatikum aus Peru. Abgerufen im Internet am 20.04.2021.
  2. Pharmazeutische Zeitung (2011)Phytopharmaka: Interaktionen bei Operationen. Abgerufen im Internet am 20.04.2021.
  3. Verbraucherzentrale (2020)Wechselwirkungen, Nebenwirkungen, Gegenanzeigen von Nahrungsergänzungen. Abgerufen im Internet am 20.04.2021.

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