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Cat’s Claw Lyme Disease

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Cats Claw/samento For Lyme

Cat’s Claw & Otoba Bark are My Favorite Lyme Herbal Antibiotics

A 2015 study by Lantos and colleagues found no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of Cats Claw and other herbs for Lyme disease.

According to the CDC:

Antibiotics are the only known effective treatment for Lyme disease, but a quick search on the internet will introduce you to other untested remedies that claim to cure Lyme disease or chronic Lyme disease. These productsavailable online or from some health care providersmay be dangerous, deadly, or simply a waste of money.

Samento is marketed as part of the Cowden Support Program by the shady supplement company NutraMedix. William Lee Cowden, MD is a doctor and homeopath who has been disciplined twice by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. Cowden developed the Cowden Protocol and is financially connected to NutraMedix.

Bill Rawls, MD is an OB-GYN turned chronic Lyme patient who should not be giving advice on infectious disease. Rawls runs his own shady supplement company Vital Plan and peddles Cats Claw-containing products.

Cats Claw is also part of the Buhner Protocol, a cocktail of herbs concocted by Stephen Harrod Buhner, an Earth poet with no credible background in science or drug development.

Dr. James Hamblin, MD, preventive medicine physician and staff writer at The Atlantic, warns about doctors who sell supplements:

There arent many absolutes in medicine but one is never trust a doctor who has their own line of dietary supplements.

James Hamblin

What Are The Health Benefits Of Cats Claw

Cats claw contains the right blend of anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Also, some research indicates that this healing root has immune-modulating mechanisms that can revive and bolster an impaired immune system.

Based on these promising health benefits, cats claw extracts can do the following:

Boosts The Immune System

Cats claw may also stimulate the immune system as part of its health benefits. Animal and human studies seem to validate this, with one study indicating an increase in white blood cell count.

White blood cells are part of the bodys immune system, helping the body fight infections and other diseases.

When study participants received 700 mg of cats claw daily for two months before being vaccinated for pneumonia, there was an increase in their WBC count .

Another study with animal models investigating how cats claw may stimulate the immune system presented similar findings after subjects received cats claw extract for six weeks .

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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.

Babesia Herbs

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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Options For Chronic Lyme Disease Treatment


Antibiotics are not a cure-all solution for Lyme disease rather, a whole body approach to healing is necessary in both acute and chronic Lyme disease cases. Since chronic Lyme disease triggers a severe inflammatory response in your body, controlling inflammation is one of the first steps before your body can heal. Restoring your immune system so that it can best fight the disease at its root level is the central goal for your integrative medicine healthcare provider. Getting enough sleep, managing stress, balancing hormones and reducing exposure to mold, parasites and toxic chemicals are all important considerations.

Dietary changes are key, including the consumption of anti-inflammatory and gut-healing foods . Immune boosting foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and nutrients. Fermented probiotic-rich foods like kefir, amasai, raw goat’s milk yogurt, unpasteurized sauerkraut or beet kvass have been shown to reduce the progression of infectious disease.

Addressing the chronic pain which is common to sufferers of chronic Lyme diseasewhile the disease is being combattedcan also involve alternatives to toxic, addictive pain medications. Some chronic pain treatments range from the use of frankincense essential oil, which contains the anti-inflammatory boswellia, to turmeric supplements and balms.

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Botanicals And Essential Oils

Botanical medicines are foundational interventions in the functional medicine approach to Lyme disease. There are many botanical protocols available for Lyme disease however, it can be confusing trying to determine which protocol and products to use. At CCFM, we have extensive experience using botanical protocols for Lyme and can create a protocol that is customized to your specific needs. Some of the botanical protocols and companies we use for the botanical treatment of Lyme include the Buhner Protocol, Byron White Formulas, Beyond Balance, and Nutramedix.

Herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner, a pioneer in the use of botanical medicines for Lyme disease, has developed a botanical protocol that we use with many of our Lyme patients at CCFM. The protocol is centered around several keystone herbs, including Japanese Knotweed, Cats Claw, and Andrographis. Botanicals that can be added to the core protocol, based on the patients needs, include Astragalus and Smilax Buhner recommends Astragalus as a preventative measure for those who live in Lyme endemic areas. You can learn more about Stephens protocol in his book Healing Lyme: Natural Healing and Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis and Its Coinfections.

Some of the botanicals with anti-Borrelia activity include:

  • Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
  • Cinnamon bark essential oil
  • Clove essential oil

Certain essential oils also demonstrate anti-Borrelia activity 3, including:




Methylene Blue

Relieves Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis And Osteoarthritis

This South American vine has perhaps received the most significant attention in treating health issues like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis .

Given its history of treating inflammatory diseases by the tribal people of South America, the practice carried over and is considered a non-pharmacological way of improving rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis symptoms.

A few preliminary studies have investigated the effects of using cats claw for both RA and OA. Studies have looked at one of its compounds called pentacyclic oxindole alkaloid that possesses the potential to fight inflammation.

For OA, taking a daily dose of 100 mg for four weeks showed better pain relief and overall symptom improvement than the people taking a placebo .

For rheumatoid arthritis, researchers administered 20 mg supplements 3 times a day for 24 weeks. Findings showed people taking cats claw extract to present a more significant reduction in pain than their placebo counterparts .

The one consideration to remember here is that while supplements with cats claw may assist with lowering inflammation, there is very little evidence to show it that may prevent joint damage from worsening. To establish this, more studies are needed.

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When Inflammation Becomes Chronic

Imagine if the acute inflammatory process was going on in tissues throughout your body and it never resolved. Thats exactly what happens with the chronic inflammation associated with chronic Lyme disease.

The driving force is bacteria invading cells. Its not an all-out invasion like you would find with an acute infection, such as pneumonia, however. Its an insidious migration of bacteria into tissues throughout the body in the brain, heart, joints, muscles, kidneys, intestines, everywhere.

When Lyme bacteria enter the bloodstream from a tick bite, WBCs gobble up the bacteria in an attempt to get rid of them. The bacteria, however, have sophisticated ways of staying alive inside the WBCs. Instead of eradicating the bacteria, the WBCs unintentionally become transport vehicles to distribute bacteria to tissues throughout the body.

On arrival, the bacteria surface and infect other cells. Its not as much a deluge of invasion as it is a random sprinkling. Tissues throughout the body become peppered with cells that have been infected with bacteria.

The Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, are intracellular, which means they infect and live inside cells. The cells provide nutrients to make new bacteria as well as protection from the immune system. Once the bacteria have used up the resources a cell has to offer, they surface and infect other cells.

Dosage Of Otoba Bark And Cats Claw In Lyme Disease

Cat’s Claw Bark for Lyme Disease

Over time, because of strong Herxheimer die-off reactions, I changed how I started the regimen. Start treatments at 5 drops 2 times a day of each herb and increase the dosage every 2 days by 1 drop per dose until taking 30 drops 2 times a day. If there is a Herxheimer a die-off reaction at any dose, do not increase the dose till the die-off reaction has improved. With this adjusted approach I found limited die-off reactions.

Take these herbs together without food. But they can be taken with other supplements and medications. Do not take them at least 30 minutes before eating and until two hours after eating.

Finally, one manufacturer of these two herbal tinctures recommends that they be taken at least 15 minutes apart from each other. I do not find this matters, and I had patients take both of these together all the time.

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Cats Claw: New Tool To Fight Lyme Disease

According to the Environmental Protection Agency , Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the US. The incidence of Lyme disease has approximately doubled since 1991: 3.74 to 7.95 reported cases per 100,000 people between 1991 and 2014. This may seem small, but the increase is staggering in regions where Lyme is most common, such as New England and the mid-Atlantic: New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and Delaware now report 50 to 100 more cases per 100,000 people than in 1991.

Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses come with a host of debilitating symptoms which, over the long term, can progress to affecting neurological and cognitive function. These illnesses are notoriously difficult to treat and can greatly diminish quality of life. Anything that can make a dent in these otherwise intractable conditions would be most welcome among doctors and their Lyme-affected patients. Uncaria tomentosa, better known as cats claw, appears to fit the bill.

Cats claw preparations are made from the plants roots and the vine bark, which are crushed and made into tea or into standardized extracts. These extracts contain a host of compounds shown to be immunomodulating, and to have antimutagenic, cytoprotective, antioxidant and antihypertensive properties.

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:

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Chronic Lyme Disease Treatment In San Antonio Fl

Lyme disease develops when the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria is transmitted by the bite of a deer tick and spreads throughout the body. Proper diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential in preventing serious complications of Lyme disease. Several weeks of antibiotic treatment in the early stages of Lyme disease can result in complete, rapid recovery for most patients. However, in some cases, symptoms persist in spite of treatmenteither because the window of time has elapsed for early treatment or because the patient simply did not respond to antibiotic treatment.

Cases of Lyme disease that do not respond to antibiotic treatment are referred to in Western medicine as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. If the disease is not diagnosed or treated early, spirochetes can spread into different parts of the body and remain dormant, with symptoms not emerging until days, months or years later. When Lyme disease persists for longer than six monthswhether undiagnosed or post-treatmentit is commonly referred to as chronic Lyme disease and can be difficult to treat.

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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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.

Cat’s Claw Liquid Extract Planetary Herbals

Menstruum: grain alcohol, purified water

Cat’s Claw is known to be used for :Anti-inflammatory for Osteoarthritis SymptomsAnti-inflammatory for Lyme Disease SymptomsStimulate the Immune System

Cat’s Claw, also called Una de Gato, is from the Peruvian rain forest and has been used for hundreds of years by the native Ashanica Indians. It has been the subject of scientific research throughout the world since the 1970’s, shown to be effective for osteoarthritis pain and inflammation. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Cat’s Claw has been used traditionally to treat osteoarthritis . One study found that it may help alleviate knee pain from osteoarthritis without side effects.

Adults: 45 drops 2-3 times daily between mealsLyme DiseaseStephen Buhner recommends Cat’s Claw for joint inflammation. His dosage recommendation for the tincture or extract is as follows.Adult : 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon 3 x per day between mealsEquivalency Note: 1 teaspoon = 5 ml = approx 100 drops

In this disease, the Lyme bacteria stimulate the immune system to cause inflammation in the body which then breaks down cellular tissue so that the bacteria can feed on the nutrients that are released. The bacteria in fact create and control a form of autoimmunity. Cat’s Claw stimulates the immune system in a controlled way to get a handle on the out-of-control cytokine storm that can occur in Lyme Disease, other autoimmune conditions, and severe influenza.

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Effect Of Cats Claw On Lyme Disease

Cats 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

Cats claw is specifically good for helping treat late-stage Lyme infection, chronic Lyme, and that which does not respond to antibiotics.1

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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.

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