The Natural Way

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Cat's Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is so useful it has the unpleasant honor of being closely studied by the pharmaceutical industry. Chemists will be looking for a way to synthetically create similar chemicals to those found in this Amazonian herb. When found these synthetics can be patented and made into prescribed drugs. Just what is Cat's Claw? Other names are Una de Gato, Garabato and Amarillo. Science knows it is made up of natural chemicals such as beta sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol. Many of the compounds have known anti-cancer benefits. These are the ones which have been studied. Science has just recently published very good work proving benefits from this herb. The Shaman of the Amazonian jungle has known this for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. The modern Herbalist knows it is an anti-inflammatory, reduces the negatives from radiation therapy and chemotherapy as it is a powerful antioxidant, has a long history of use in stopping the growth of tumors and their proliferation. It also increases circulation, inhibits blood clots, reduces cholesterol and can lower high blood pressure. Traditional use also includes bowel cleanse, Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, leaky bowel, colitis, ulcers, irritable bowel and the elimination of parasites. There are also anti fungal properties which alleviate systemic candida. The immune system boosting properties are legendary. Tincture seems to be the easiest method of taking this herb, though capsules are available. Most of the ailments Cat's Claw attends to are very serious. Using this remedy along with conventional treatment should be just fine. Be sure your MD knows about your use. How did the "uneducated" Shaman know how to choose this herb out of the hundreds of thousands in the Amazon? Science is just now affirming what has been known for a long time. Something else is certainly at work in gaining the biomedical knowledge which the Shaman had. Mystery, isn't it great?

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