May Help Fight Cancer Cells
For anything to be considered effective for cancer, there must be a lot of rigorous research. Theres not enough evidence to use cats claw as a treatment for cancer. Still, there is interesting early research suggesting cats claw could have anti-tumor activity and help improve the quality of life for people living with cancer.
A study on people with terminal cancer reported that cats claw could help with energy levels, social functioning, and overall quality of life. As mentioned above, cats claw may also help support the immune cells that usually drop during chemotherapy.
Some have suggested the cats claw has anti-tumor activity based on the results from test-tube studies. One study found that extract from cats claw inhibited the growth of specific cancer cells, including breast cancer.
This same anti-tumor activity was seen for several other types of cancer cells, but all the studies were conducted in labs and not on humans.
However, since cats claw has immune-stimulating effects that could impact cancer cell growth, much more research is needed before recommending its use.
May Support Hormone Balance
While the evidence is scarce, one very small animal study suggests cats claw could help with hormone balance by supporting healthy estrogen levels. The study indicated that cats claw could inhibit estrogen receptors, which in theory could help women struggling with estrogen dominance. However, this was an old study, and it has not been replicated.
Another study that followed rats with endometriosis found that the animals had less inflammation when given cats claw and even noted a possible contraceptive effect. While interesting, theres definitely not enough research to suggest this as a tool to avoid pregnancy.
If you suspect your hormones arent what they could be, you can start balancing your hormones naturally today with my free hormone starter kit. It includes a seven-day meal plan, recipe guide, and much more info to nourish your body and get things back on track.
How Herbal Supplements Can Help
The best way to gain the level of phytochemical protection you need to help your immune system win the internal battle against invasive microbes is to take herbal supplements specifically, standardized botanical extracts.
Standardized botanical extracts take herbal supplements to the next level. Theyre made with wild plants or plants that have been cultivated to enhance their phytochemical content and are grown in an environment that doesnt introduce unwanted chemical toxins. The extraction process also yields the greatest concentration and the widest spectrum of phytochemicals in the plant. And the final product is standardized to a concentration of one or several key phytochemicals in the plant, so you know what youre getting.
Below are a few of my favorite herbs for mitigating the systemic chronic inflammation associated with chronic Lyme disease. Though all of the herbs have value in suppressing microbes and reducing inflammation, three of the herbs mentioned below Japanese knotweed, cats claw, and Chinese skullcap were found in a 2020 study from Johns Hopkins University to have greater activity against Borrelia burgdorferi than the antibiotics, doxycycline and azithromycin.
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Misleading Testimonials For Cats Claw
Lantos and colleagues described factors that might convince people that Cats Claw works for Lyme disease:
As this study illustrates, practitioners of unorthodox alternative therapies specifically target their marketing to the group of patients who believe they have Lyme disease.
The easy accessibility to testimonials from patients, particularly in the forms of online blogs, discussion boards, and promotional materials by alternative therapy providers, can be persuasive to vulnerable populations.
The internet has democratized access to reliable health information not until the internet era has accurate information for lay-readers, not to mention the scientific literature itself, been so accessible to the public.
On the other hand, there is also a large volume of inaccurate information about Lyme disease on the internet, and this may impede some patients from making well-informed decisions about their health.
It may indeed be true that patients feel better while taking some of the treatment regimens described in this study. In the largest clinical trial of extended antibiotics for the treatment of persistent symptoms following treatment of Lyme disease, 38% of placebo-treated patients improveda proportion not significantly different than among those who received antibiotics. This underscores the importance of the potential placebo effect in the assessment of any treatments efficacy.
What Is Cats Claw/samento
Cats Claw is a plant that is named for its claw-shaped thorns. Samento is an extract from the Cats Claw plant.
According to an NIH review of Cats Claw:
Theres no conclusive scientific evidence based on studies in people that supports using cats claw for any health purpose.
Nevertheless, cure-all claims have been made by peddlers of products advertised as containing Cats Claw. The Hispanic community in particular has been target of bogus health claims about Cats Claw, which is known as Uña de Gato in Spanish.
In the US, products made from Cats Claw are typically treated as dietary supplements, which means they have very little regulation. When it comes to supplements in the US, it is often unclear if the product is of high quality.
Supplements may contain adulterants, be inconsistently produced, or not contain what they say on the bottle. And because herbal supplements are drugs, they may cause unexpected effects.
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Lyme Disease And Cats Claw
Until now the big problem with Lyme disease was diagnosis. Now, Dr. Joanne Whitaker has invented an apparently 100% reliable test for Lyme disease. Her lab actually tests for the presence of the Borrelia boriensis itself, not just antibodies to Bb. Her methods also detect the cell wall deficient form. Her test is called Q-RIBb for quantitative rapid identification of Bb. The test uses an animal derived antibody to Borrelia boriensis modified to carry a fluorescent molecule. The antibodies attach to both the spirochete form and the CWD form and, under the right color, will light up under a microscope. With this test, Dr. Whitaker not only can detect Lyme directly, but it can be done in only 20 minutes and she can tell you the severity of the infection is by the number of organisms present. Dr. Linda Mattman has confirmed that Dr. Whitakers test is virtually 100 percent sensitive. It will rarely, if ever, miss a diagnosis. Dr. Mattman checked Dr. Whitakers work by simultaneously culturing the samples and she found a 100 percent correlation between her labs detection and Dr. Whitakers test. Dr. Whitakers lab can be reached on the internet at www.bowen.org or at 727-937-9077.
May Help With Symptoms Of Arthritis
One of the most popular uses for cats claw is for arthritis. Arthritis is an inflammatory joint condition that leads to pain, swelling, and loss of function. Cats claw may be a natural way to support your joints if youre experiencing arthritis-like symptoms.
Cats claw may inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines like tumor necrosis factor-alpha . Cytokines are signaling proteins that activate inflammation in your body, so cats claw may help turn them off.
Some studies suggest that taking cats claw may help reduce pain and stiffness for people with osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis that leads to tissue degeneration around your joints.
People with rheumatoid arthritis have experienced similar benefits as people with osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that results in swollen, painful joints. Its associated with elevated markers of inflammation in your blood.
A study on forty people with rheumatoid arthritis found that those taking cats claw with their typical medication reported less joint pain than those taking a placebo.
Again, the reason cats claw may help is related to its anti-inflammatory properties. In some people, it may interrupt and calm the inflammatory markers that would otherwise signal a pain-promoting inflammatory response.
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What Is Cats Claw Used For
Cats Claw is an herb traditionally used by the Asháninka Indians of Peru. The tribe recognized two different types of this plant . This difference has been verified phytochemically and two chemotypes have been identified: the preferred chemotype contains predominantly only pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids speciophylline, mitraphylline, pteropodine, isomitraphylline and isopteropodine the other chemotype, which was never used, contains predominantly the tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids rhynchophylline and isorhynchophylline in addition to the POAs. The preference for the POA chemotype Cats Claw has been backed up by scientific research even though there has been more than enough puff made about TOAs, we still must point out that all Cats Claw contains some. I like to use a product that utilizes the synergistic benefits of Cats Claw with a few other herbs. Coriolus, Green Tea and Olive Leaf extract blend well with Cats Claw.
Cats Claw acts as an immune stimulant, it aids the Th1 response. It also has some anti-inflammatory actions as well and is therefore a great benefit to a bio-toxin generated autoimmune disorder in the brain. Because of its anti-inflammatory benefits, it can help brain issues like depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD and the like.
What has been needed for years has been a better Lyme test or some other objective measureto persuade practitioners to consider the diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease.
What we use for Lyme:
Babesia Treatment At The 6
Babesia are malaria-like protozoans that parasitize and reproduce in the red blood cells. Chronic symptoms that I had included air hunger , persistent cough, fatigue, fevers, headache, imbalance, chills, sweats and anemia. I decided to try Buhners recommended herbs for babesia. I had been coughing for 4 months straight. I would develop this cough almost every year, and it would last for months on end. I knew it was time to treat the babesia. I wrote a more in-depth post about it here Two Herbs For Babesia Success.
Sida Acuta- 1/4 tsp 3 x per day
Cryptolepis- 1/4 tsp 3 x per day
I took these for 5 weeks straight. I decided to stop, as I was developing a yeast problem and my stools had become very small and infrequent. I felt that my gut flora had been adversely affected. After researching, I discovered that the cryptolepis can upset the ecological balance in the gut. I stopped the treatment, and babesia symptoms have not returned.
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Setting The Stage For Chronic Inflammation
Though the immune system plays a key role in protecting cells of the body from microbe invasion, the health of cells is also a major player. When cells become chronically stressed, they are more susceptible to being invaded by intracellular bacteria and other microbes. There are five primary categories of factors that weaken cells and set the stage for the chronic inflammation associated with Lyme disease.
#1. Poor diet
When cells arent fed properly, they cant function properly. Processed foods sourced from grains, beans, and grain-fed meat are overloaded with raw carbohydrates and refined fats that disrupt cellular functions. On the other hand, theyre deficient in the nutrients that cells need to function properly. Poorly nourished cells cant properly defend themselves against microbes.
#2. A toxic environment
In the modern world, chronic exposure to low levels of toxic substances and free radicals in food, water, and air is hard to avoid. The list includes man-made toxins associated with petroleum products, free-radicals in processed food, and natural toxins such as mold. In addition, the acid and free radicals associated with inflammation are highly toxic to cells. Toxic substances disrupt cellular processes, damage internal working parts of the cells, and weaken cell membranes. Weakened cells are more vulnerable to microbe invasion.
#3. Chronic stress
#4. Physical stress
Effect Of Cat’s Claw On Lyme Disease
Cat’s claw is considered to be one of the main herbs that can help lower, or even eliminate, lyme spirochete loads in the body, support the innate immune function to help respond to the borrelia infection, and treat some of the symptoms of Lyme disease including central nervous system confusion, skin problems, and specifically arthritic inflammation among others.1
Cat’s claw is specifically good for helping treat late-stage Lyme infection, chronic Lyme, and that which does not respond to antibiotics.1
Read more details about Cat’s Claw.
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What Is Cats Claw
Cats claw is a vine found in tropical areas of South and Central America and the Amazon rainforest. Its been traditionally used by indigenous tribes of the South American Rainforest to treat many different inflammatory conditions.
There are two species of Cats claw, Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis. Most of the research available focuses on Uncaria tomentosa. As a result, this variety is most commonly used in supplements, specifically the root and bark extracts, as capsules, or sometimes in tea and herbal tinctures.
The somewhat unusual name for this botanical is because of its thorns that look like the claws of the cat. Also called una de gato, the thorns help the vine climb and grow up through the tall trees of the rainforest.
The health benefits of cats claw are related to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Natural Remedies To Tame The Fires
Eating a healthy diet, living in a clean environment, learning to live around stress, and staying active are all very important for keeping cells in your body healthy. However, the chemical substances in plants defined as herbs can take that protection to the next level. Taking herbs can give you the advantage that you need to overcome chronic inflammation and return to a normal life.
Plants must protect their cells from a wide range of stress factors: damaging free radicals, physical stress from harsh weather, toxic substances, harmful radiation, insects, invasive fungi, parasites, and, last but not least, every variety of microbe.
Plants do this with their own natural chemistry. In fact, plants are the most sophisticated chemists on the planet. The chemical substances that plants use to solve problems and protect cells are called phytochemicals.
Mushrooms, which are technically fungi, also have to deal with similar stress factors as plant. They also produce a wide range of protective substances that mirror the protective properties of phytochemicals found in plants.
When we consume plant phytochemicals, the benefits are transferred to us. The three primary things that phytochemicals do for us:
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Cats Claw: Should You Take It
Cats claw has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to help with many ailments. Research is still ongoing, but the preliminary evidence that it could be an effective immune system booster and arthritis treatment is promising.
If youre interested in trying cats claw out for yourself, talk to your doctor before taking it, especially if you have any of the above conditions or take medications. And definitely avoid if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Have you tried using cats claw? What were your results? Let me know if you have any questions about this herb by leaving a comment below.
Consult Your Healthcare Provider Before Using Natural Remedies
If youre curious about banderol, samento, or other herbal treatments, talk with your healthcare provider about whether to incorporate any of these remedies into your Lyme disease treatment plan. While it may be tempting to want to try it, improper treatment of Lyme disease can lead to serious complications such as joint problems and nervous system disorders, so self-treating with herbs isnt recommended.
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that the side effects and risks of these herbs in regular or high doses aren’t known, nor is their safety in children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with other health conditions. Your healthcare provider can help you weigh the risks with the benefits.
Lyme Disease Doctor Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next healthcare provider’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.
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Cats Claw/samento Side Effects
Adverse events have been reported in individuals who have consumed products with Cats Claw listed as an ingredient.
In 1997, doctors in New York reported on a woman who developed kidney failure after taking a Cats Claw-based herbal remedy.
In 2008, doctors in Spain reported on a woman who was taking drugs to control HIV along with cats claw. The cats claw seems to have prevented the womans body from properly metabolizing the HIV drugs. If the herb-drug interaction had not been caught in time, toxic effects may have occurred.
In 2009, doctors in Oregon, where real Lyme disease is rare, reported that a woman with chronic Lyme had developed silicate kidney stones. Silica was an ingredient in several supplements she was taking, including Cats Claw, Ganeden Biotechs Digestive Advantage, and Nutraceas FlexProtex supplements.
My Experience With Otoba Bark And Cats Claw For Lyme Disease
In my Seattle practice, I had quite a bit of success using the herbs Otoba Bark extract and Cat’s Claw tinctures, even when prescriptive antibiotics were no longer working. I find this combination helps improve the symptoms of Lyme disease 80 to 90 percent of the time. This is the same chance of success I see with prescription antibiotics.
I added these two herbs into my treatments in August 2010 based on a research paper published in the July 2010 Townsend Letter. In the paper, Eva Sapi, PhD, and her research group showed that Otoba Bark extract and Cat’s Claw treat the various forms of the Lyme germ and reduce biofilm colonies. Biofilms are slime layers that cover Lyme germs, blocking treatment. For more information, see Biofilms: Lyme Disease Gated Communities .
To my surprise, I observed that nearly 90 percent of patients I placed on this protocol had marked improvements in fatigue by the follow-up two-month appointment. Some reported significant die-off reactions. Eventually, based on my patients observed and reported successes, I started to work with Otoba Bark and Cat’s Claw in the middle of treatment courses, and now at the initiation of treatments.
As a nutritional support, the combination of Otoba Bark and Cats Claw is a frontline treatment. They are alse effective in the middle and to wrap up treatments. These herbs are an equally effective option to prescription antibiotics.
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