Cat’s claw is one of the most significant herbs extracted from a tropical vine. Although very few benefits are verified by science, many experts say that it is beneficial for treating cancer, cancer symptoms, Arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and potential infections. Cat’s claw, in a nutshell, is a tropical vine, which can grow up to 30 meters. It consists of peculiar and curved thorns that look similar to a cat’s claw. It is found in limited regions of the world, such as the Amazon forest and Central and Southern America.It comes in the form of powder, capsule, tea, and similar liquid extracts.
Cat’s Claw and cancer:
- Laboratory studies have found that compounds in it play a vital role in stimulating the performance of specific immune cells called T-helper and phagocytic cells. These cells, then, boost the immunity of the cancer patient.
- It is said to slow inflammation processes, heal the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and improve the DNA repair.
- In a recent study, quinovic acid glycoside purified fraction of Cat’s Claw was shown to have caused cell death and inhibited growth of human bladder cancer cell lines.
However, only a few clinical trials have been performed on the human body. According to a recent study, cat’s claw can trigger the remnant of pediatric leukemia due to which this herb isn’t safe for treating all types of cancer symptoms.
Benefits of using Cat’s Claw:
Although it has only limited verified benefits, many people make use of it for a plethora of medicinal purposes.
- Improving your immune system during cancer therapy: It is widely used for enhancing and boosting your immune system. It plays an imperative role in combating infections more efficiently. In a recent study involving 27 men, ingesting 700mg extract of cat’s claw enhanced the number of WBCs (White Blood Cells). Many such studies suggest that it has potential anti-inflammatory properties, which play a crucial role in boosting your immune system during cancer treatment.
- Treating gastrointestinal cancer- Recent research shows that it helps stimulate your immune system’s activity, treat advanced level cancer symptoms and reduce inflammation caused by gastrointestinal disorders.
- Helps relieve cancer treatment side effects- A few small studies have shown it’s ability to protect patients undergoing cancer treatment against abnormally low levels of WBCs.
Potential threats of using Cat’s Claw:
According to studies, it has very minimal threats or side effects. However, it contains a high level of tannins that can cause diarrhea, stomach upset, and nausea, which may worsen the side effects of cancer treatments. Low blood pressure, anti-estrogen effects, potential risk of bleeding, threatening effects on kidney function, and nerve bleeding are other side effects of consuming excessive cat’s claw.
- Breastfeeding and pregnant women shouldn’t use it as it can be a potential threat to your baby. Therefore, consulting your doctor about this is highly imperative.
- Patients who are suffering from specific medical illnesses should stay away from cat’s claw. Conditions such as abnormal blood pressure, leukaemia, kidney disease, bleeding disorders, autoimmune diseases, and patients who have undergone surgery should restrain from using it.
- It can cause an adverse effect when in contact with other medicinal drugs. Thus, people taking medications for cancer, cholesterol, abnormal blood pressure, etc. should consult their doctors before using it.
It is a commonly known herbal supplement used for an array of medicinal purposes. Extensive research needs to be done to analyze and identify the possible benefits and disadvantages of Cat’s Claw. It is globally used by many cancer patients for treating several cancer symptoms. Evaluating the right amount of dosage is an indispensable component to consider before consuming Cat’s Claw.