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The story of the "cat's claw"

Die Geschichte der "Katzenkralle"

The history of Cat's Claw in traditional herbalism goes back thousands of years.

Cat's claw is a tropical woody vine in the Rubiaceae family that is found throughout the world. It can grow over 100 feet long and takes 20 years to reach full maturity. It gets its name from its hook-shaped thorns, which look like a cat's claws.

People in ancient cultures have been using cat's claw extracts in herbal medicine for 2,000 years.

There are 40 to 60 different types of cat's claws worldwide. Cat's claw extract is sold as a dietary supplement.

An ancient remedy of gigantic proportions

Since ancient times, cat's claw has been used around the world as a restorative herb. Above all, the cat's claw goes back to the Inca civilization.

Cat's claw (U. tomentosa) has been found in many Central and South American countries, including Peru, Brazil and others.

Although many indigenous people used cat's claw as an herbal remedy, others simply drank the water from the cat's claw stem as an invigorating drink.

For thousands of years, local tribes have used cat's claw to promote health. Cat's claw has also been used for spiritual well-being.

Some sources credit German scientist Arturo Brell with popularizing cat's claw in Europe and North America.

Benefits of Cat's Claw

Cat's claw is a rare plant and is most commonly consumed as a dietary supplement. The benefits of cat's claw are many, including:

Antioxidant support
Supporting blood sugar levels
Support of the cardiovascular system
Immune system support
Supporting the inflammatory response
Microbial support
Neurological support
From Peru to America

Cat's Claw is the best-selling product from NutraMedix, a company founded by staunch Christians Tim and Bertha Eaton.

Tim's first encounter with Cat's Claw occurred during his aviation training in the mid-1980s. During a three-day simulated crash survival test in the Amazon jungle, he was asked by tribesmen from the local village to drink the water from a vine they called "samento."

They assured him that the water was good to drink and wouldn't make him sick - and how right they were!

These days of missionary work shaped the rest of Tim's life. He made friends with the natives in the regions of Peru and other South American countries where he served.

He learned to hunt, learned about their beliefs and customs, and became familiar with the Amazonian pharmacopoeia, which placed this divine water at the center of their herbalism.

However, Tim also witnessed extreme poverty, malnutrition and lack of education among the local population.

After he met his wife Bertha in the early 1990s, they decided to make NutraMedix's vision a reality. They dreamed of creating a company that would not only provide health-promoting products to customers, but also support the communities in Peru that they hold dear.

Today, 25 years later, NutraMedix sells 40 products, but the main product is still a special form of cat's claw, responsibly sourced from Peru.

Cat's claw alkaloids

There are 2 notable alkaloids in traditional cat's claw. The absence of either significantly alters the effectiveness of cat's claw for health and disease.

Alkaloids are natural nitrogen compounds with notable physiological effects in humans (positive or negative).

Traditional cat's claw contains 2 notable types of alkaloids:

Tetracyclic Oxindole Alkaloids (TOAs)
Pentacyclic Oxindole Alkaloids (POAs)
The POAs are the source of the best cat's claw health benefits. The TOAs often block the pronounced effects of the POAs.

Some varieties of traditional cat's claw can contain up to 80% TOAs. Even 1% TOAs have been shown to reduce the immune supporting abilities of POAs.

The topic of oxindole alkaloids in cat's claw is a very complex and scientific topic.

Here are the basics:

TOAs stimulate your immune system.
POAs support your immune system and ensure that your immune system does what it is supposed to do.
In the presence of TOAs, immune system support from POAs can be reduced or nearly eliminated.
TOA-free cat's claw: Samento

TOA-free cat's claw, known as Samento, is an effective cat's claw extract that does not contain TOAs.

While there are different species of cat's claws around the world, only one is naturally free of TOAs: Samento, which is found in the Amazon rainforest.

An Austrian company discovered Samento years before Tim Eaton first tried it. What they discovered was the rarity of this form of cat's claw. They were unable to find or harvest enough of it. So instead of focusing on finding enough of this rare, naturally occurring, TOA-free cat's claw, they instead began a process to remove TOAs from other varieties that were easier to harvest.

Side effects and safety

Cat's claw is very well tolerated by humans. Rare side effects of cat's claw include headaches, indigestion, low blood pressure and dizziness.

Always consult your doctor before taking any new dietary supplement, especially if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or have a known medical condition.

Dosage of cat's claw

There are no official dosage guidelines for cat's claw. If you purchase a dietary supplement containing cat's claw extract, be sure to follow the manufacturer's dosage instructions.
For TOA-free cat's claw liquid tincture, the "standard" dosage is 30 drops (1.5 ml) twice daily at least 30 minutes before meals. However, your healthcare provider may suggest starting with 1 drop and working your way up to a higher dose.
You should always stick to the dosage stated on the packaging of a dietary supplement. Do not take more than directed on the label.

Is Cat's Claw Right for You?

Cat's claw is a medicinal plant that can provide many benefits to the human body.
However, their natural alkaloid types work against each other. TOA-free cat's claw may be a better option to support your health.


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