Cats Claw

Herbal Supplements

Peer Reviewed

Cat Claw with Flower and Root

Cat's claw is an herb native to tropical countries. The cat's claw plant is a climbing shrub (vine-like) with claw-like thorns on the stems. The inner bark and roots are used in medicinal preparations. The stems contain a watery bitter tasting liquid that is purported to fight fatigue, hunger, and thirst. Cat's claw is one the most popular herbs sold in America.

This herb is used to cleanse the intestinal tract, has antioxidant properties, may enhance the action of white blood cells and may act as an anti-inflammatory.

Cat's claw is available in the following forms: crude bark to make tea, liquid, and dried.

Guidelines and Cautions
Always purchase Cat's Claw from a reputable manufacturer (look for standardization and quality control). Follow the package directions for use.

Do not take cat's claw if:

  • Recently immunized
  • Receiving intravenous hyperimmunoglobulin therapy
  • Take peptide hormones
  • Receive blood plasma
  • Receive bovine or porcine insulin
  • Pregnant or nursing

Speak to a medical professional prior to adding cat's claw to your diet. Do not give to children.

Cat's claw has not been thoroughly researched. The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) lacks evidence to provide a clear base safety rating.

Disclaimer: Many people report feeling improvement in their condition and/or general well-being taking dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements. The Editorial Board of, however, cannot endorse such products since most lack peer-reviewed scientific validation of their claims. In most cases an appropriate diet and a "multiple vitamin" will provide the necessary dietary supplements for most individuals. Prior to taking additional dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements it is recommended that patients consult with their personal physician to discuss their specific supplement requirements.

Updated on: 03/21/16
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Vincent Traynelis, MD
Although many patients describe improvement in their condition after taking one of the supplements previously described, the Editorial Board is unable to endorse these supplements, as there is insufficient peer reviewed research available. Hopefully the role of these compounds will be better understood once more scientific research is compiled.
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