How Can Cats Claw (Uña de Gato) Improve Your Immune System?
Cats Claw (Uña de Gato is the Spanish name ) grows exclusively in the highlands of the Peruvian rainforest, Taking up to 20 years to mature, it is a giant, woody vine that grows to heights of more than 100 feet.
The vine derives its name from the small thorns at the base of the leaves that closely resemble the claws of a cat.
The active ingredients in Cats Claw are alkaloids, tannins, glycosides and several other phytochemicals. Uña de gato vine contains a unique group of elements known as oxindole alkaloids, which give it the ability boost the immune system. 1
One benefit of cats claw is its powerful support to your immune system. Research suggests that these unique alkaloids in the bark and roots help increase white blood cell activity. Increasing your body’s white blood cell count is vital in helping your body fight off viral and respiratory infections.
Research from 1970 through the present (by Klaus Keplinger and others in Austria, Germany, England, Hungary and Italy) has shown beneficial effects of Una de gato in the treatments for cancer, genital herpes, systemic candidiasis and AIDS. Six alkaloids isolated from the plant root have been found to significantly enhance the ability of the white blood cells to attack, engulf and digest harmful micro-organisms or foreign matter, thus assisting the process of phagocytosis in the body.
Cats claw also has powerful antioxidant properties to help protect the body from free radicals. Alkaloids and glycosides in cat’s claw have also demonstrated anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity.2,3
These compounds assist the body's anti-oxidant response and serve as free-radical scavengers. Free radicals can damage and mutate healthy cells. We are constantly assaulted by free radicals due to the proliferation of stress and toxins in our daily environment.
Another benefit of cats claw is its ability to help your digestive and bowel system. Dr. Brent W. Davis has studied cat's claw for a number of years and has described it as "the opener of the way" in reference to its remarkable ability to cleanse the digestive tract, helping nutrients enhance absorption.
1. Keplinger H. Oxyindole alkaloids having properties stimulating the immunologic system and preparation containing same. US Patent no. 5,302,611, April 12, 1994.
2 Aquino R, De Feo V, De Simone F, et al. Plant metabolites, new compounds and anti-inflammatory activity of Uncaria tomentosa. J Nat Prod 1991;54:453–9.
3. Rizzi R, Re F, Bianchi A, et al. Mutagenic and antimutagenic activities of Uncaria tomentosa and its extracts. J Ethnopharmacol 1993;38:63–77.
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