Possible Benefits of Using Cat’s Claw Tea and Extract
Possible Benefits of Using Cat’s Claw Tea and Extract; An Update on Traditional Use and Results Reported by Americans
By Phillip N. Steinberg, Certified Nutritional Consultant
After working with cat’s claw for almost five years, I have continually been amazed at the glowing reports of how the herb seems to help alleviate the symptoms of many of the health problems that plague modern man, especially those related to environmental causes. Following is a summary of how the herb is typically used by native Peruvians, followed by results that have been reported by both health practitioners and individuals, who are using or have used this remarkable botanical here in the United States.
Typically, the indigenous people of Peru will boil 20-30 grams of inner stalk bark and/ or root in a liter of water for 30-60 minutes to prepare a tea. This amount will then be consumed throughout the day for several days to several months, depending on the seriousness of the illness. Traditionally, cat’s claw tea has been used to treat the following diseases: tumors and other growths, ulcers, gastritis, arthritis, rheumatism, menstrual disorders, prostate problems, asthma, diabetes, viral infections, acne, general debility, gonorrhea and cirrhosis. There is also some evidence that women in certain Indian tribes will drink cat’s claw tea to prevent pregnancy.
In addition to the above, health practitioners in America have reported successes using the herb to treat Crohn’s disease, colitis, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, other inflammatory bowel conditions and dysbiosis, fistulas, bursitis, gout and fibromyalgia, hay fever and other allergies, chemical toxin exposure and environmental sensitivities, chronic fatigue, circulatory problems, shingles and canker sores, candidiasis, parasites, multiple sclerosis, iritis, secondary infections in AIDS patients and to reduce the side affects of radiation and chemotherapy, when used in conjunction with these conventional therapies.
Individuals in the U.S. have also reported an elimination or reduction in symptoms associated with varicose veins, TMJ, general pain, stress and depression, backaches and sore muscles, hypoglycemia, warts, psoriasis, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, lupus, vision problems, tendinitis, uveitis, enlarged prostate, throat, sinus and ear infections, PMS and more. Cat’s claw tea has been used as an eye rinse to clear up eye infections and powdered herb has been used between toes to clear up athletes foot.
Though 20-30 grams is what is traditionally used in Peru, Americans will find that brewing 10 grams per liter will be sufficient to alleviate many of the less serious health problems mentioned above and that for many, drinking 2-3 cups per day will be enough to obtain satisfactory results. When using a powdered extract, 1 to 3 (500mg capsules) 3 to 4 times daily (1500-6000 mg.) will often be sufficient to alleviate many of the health problems mentioned above.
In addition, some natural substances that may work synergistically with cat’s claw include: MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), whole leaf aloe vera, Essiac Plus) and medicinal mushroom extracts such as; Coriolus Versicolor (PSK). Cat’s claw also can be combined with other South American botanicals such as pau d’ arco, suma, maca, jatoba, chanca piedra, muira puama and stevia.