Cat’s Claw (Uña de Gato)
Cat's Claw (uncaria tomentosa) is a plant that grows in rain forest and jungle areas of South America. The vine is named after the small thorns at the base of the leaves, which resemble a cat's claw. The claws allow the vine to attach itself around the trees and enables it to grow up the tree to heights of over 100 feet.
Extracts, obtained from the bark of the vine contain oxindole alkaloids, polyphenols, catechins and beta-sitosterol. The alkaloids are thought to possess immune-stimulating activity. The alkaloids are believed to enhance phagocytosis and improve T-helper cell function. In addition to its immune effect, cat’s claw is considered to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent.