Natural Health Products

Non-traditional solutions to help boost your health and wellness.

Cat’s Claw

General Information

Cat’s claw is a woody vine that can be found in the Amazon rainforest as well other areas of South and Central America. The plant gets its name from the claw-like thorns growing out of its stem. The plant is believed to help boost the body’s immune system and to have anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used for centuries in South America in traditional remedies.

Common Name(s)
cat’s claw, uña de gato
Scientific Name(s)

Uncaria tomentosa, Uncaria guianensis

How is this product usually used?

The bark and root have been used in traditional herbal remedies.  Cat’s Claw is taken by mouth and may come in various forms, including capsules, tablets, tinctures, and elixirs, and can also be made into tea.

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Cat’s claw has been used for different purposes, including:

  • colitis
  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • diverticulitis
  • peptic ulcer
  • gastritis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • hemorrhoids
  • herpes zoster
  • herpes simplex
  • HIV
  • HPV
  • asthma
  • psoriasis

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

There is currently no reliable evidence available for the effectiveness of cat’s claw for any of its uses. More rigorous studies are needed.

Cat’s claw appear to be well-tolerated when taken by mouth for short term use. There are some reports of dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Cat’s claw can slow blood clotting. When it is taken with other medications that can affect your body’s ability to clot blood, cat’s claw can increase the chance of bleeding.

There may be an interaction between cat’s claw and the following medications:

  • blood-pressure-lowering medications (e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, metoprolol, ramipril, valsartan, amlodipine)
  • blood thinning medications (e.g., warfarin, clopidogrel, ASA)
  • immunosuppressants (e.g., cyclosporine, azathioprine, prednisone)
  • HIV medications (e.g., amprenavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir)
  • medications that are affected by certain liver enzymes (e.g., ketoconazole, itraconazole, triazolam)

People who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should avoid using cat’s claw because of its past use as a contraceptive. Those who are breast-feeding should also avoid using cat’s claw.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

  1. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Cat’s Claw.
  2. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Cat’s claw.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.