The wonders of nature never seem to cease and Cat’s claw is one of them. Known as Reparagen in the common trading channels, Cat’s claw comes from the madder family and falls under the category of a tropical vine.
Its leaves are covered with tiny and curved spines which look almost like claws. Cat’s claw has two scientific names – Uncaria guianensis and Uncaria tomentosa – and is mostly found in Peru and South America.
According to tradition and folklore, Cat’s claw is mostly used for treating tumors, certain skin disorders, intestinal disorders, stomach ulcers, arthritis, and wound healing. The root of the vine is the part that is used for medicinal purposes.
The extract of the plant is boiled in water and used for diarrhea, gonorrhea, and contraception while in some cases it can also help cleanse the kidneys or treat bone pain.
There are also reports that it greatly helps in treating weakness and fatigue. It improves disease prevention while being a great immune system stimulant. It’s a powerful diuretic and helps to eliminate excess water from the body. It also has positive effects in relaxing the smooth muscles and lowering blood pressure.
Due to its amazing antioxidant properties, Cat’s claw is just perfect for eliminating free radicals, the particles that can significantly damage your cells, which further contributes to health problems and issues. Other than that, this amazing plant also has the ability to improve both focus and cognition, even alleviate depression and repair DNA.
It has been used as a nootropic due to its power and effectiveness in supporting and improving normal cell division and immune function. In terms of cognitive health, it can boost ACh, also known as acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that regulates the brain and central nervous system functions.
Uncaria tomentosa is known to contain 17 alkaloids among other compounds and constituents. The Oxindole alkaloids are the reason why this magical plant has so many positive effects and health benefits.
Benefits and Effects
The nootropic and bioactive benefits of Cat’s claw are quinic acid esters. It greatly helps:
1) Neurotransmitters – It increases serotonin and boosts tryptophan, which helps alleviate pain and provides a calming effect.
2) Neuroprotection – Due to its anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant nature, Cat’s claw can protect the brain from damage and inflammation caused by any free radicals. Such damage could cause Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or depression.
3) BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor – Through boosting BDNF, Cat’s claw can repair damaged DNA and help promote neurogenesis, crucial for mood, memory, and learning. High BDNF levels protect you from dementia, schizophrenia, OCD, and major depression.
Known benefits and effects of Cat’s claw are:
- Eliminating free radicals
- Protecting brain cells
- Repairing brain cells
- Reducing stress
- Improving cerebral circulation
- Restoring acetylcholine
- Improving cognition and memory
- Reducing the risk of stroke
- Suppressing tumor proliferation
- Boosting immune health
- Enhancing DNA repair
- Boosting serotonin levels and relieving pain
When it comes to the nootropic effects of Cat’s claw, many neurohackers use it to calm their overactive mind. If used properly, it helps people focus and calm racing thoughts, which also improves their sleep. In general, people who use this outstanding plant report easy sleep, experiencing less pain, and feeling good.
As an immune booster, it can also help decrease joint pain due to arthritis. The alkaloids in Cat’s claw provide a calm mind, which is essential for learning and clear cognition.
How it Works/Functions
Since Cat’s claw is a potent neuroprotectant, it boosts brain function and health but it also protects cognition by enhancing DNA repair that takes place in the brain. By boosting the levels of tryptophan, Cat’s claw has a profound effect on your mood. Due to its antioxidant properties, it can be valuable in treating hypersensitivity. The extracts of Cat’s claw help increase learning and memory capacities.
Since this plant is extremely rich in alkaloids, it helps repair the acetylcholine receptors. One alkaloid in particular called Rhynchophylline regulates the levels of NMDA, which in turn helps relieve overstimulation and hyperactivity.
By doing so, a person can keep their calm mind for learning and clear cognition. Free radicals, along with anxiety and chronic stress are no friends to your brain. They can damage the brain and cause depression, anxiety, brain fog, and even memory loss. Oxidation kills neurons or your brain cells.
Chronic stress can significantly reduce memory and decrease your learning capabilities. The regular use of Cat’s claw helps improve memory by promoting the process of long-term potentiation. It’s a process of strengthening the neural synapses that takes place between neurons, which are in charge of the brain mechanisms behind learning.
In terms of chronic pain, depression, and stress, Cat’s claw can help improve the ability of your brain to efficiently transmit signals between brain cells. In return, the main results are improved decision-making abilities, cognition, and memory.
Considered mostly as non-toxic, Cat’s claw is safe and well-tolerated. It comes in different forms: as alcohol or water extract tincture, capsules or tablets. It can be also made as a tea if it’s ground or freeze-dried. Typically, the most recommended dose is no more than a 100 mg per day, especially for those with arthritis and chronic joint pain.
If the main goal is to support immunity and cognition, the regular dosage can be increased up to 250-300 mg per day. This intake can be regulated by simply taking capsules with the recommended dosage. The standard extracts of Cat’s Claw contain 15% phenols and 3% alkaloids. Still, it’s very important to keep in mind that there are two different Cat’s claws: Uncaria guiaenensis and Uncaria tementosa.
Even though it’s almost the same plant, the properties are different. For example, the former doesn’t contain as many alkaloids as the latter. Each of these two plants has different effects. Also, in terms of improving health, a person can typically take up to one gram, two to three times a day if it’s taken as a root bark. When it comes to extracts, the recommended dose is no more than 20-30 mg.
When it comes to nootropic stacking and supplementation, cat’s claw is a powerful cognitive enhancer and when properly stacked, can help to improve motivation, creativity, memory, executive, and mental functions. Such a nootropic blend will nurture and energize your body and mind.
Therefore, Cat’s claw is one of the most potent herbal nootropics that, when properly combined with other similar mind-supporting compounds, can help your mind operate at much higher levels.
It can help you make that extra effort when needed. Since your brain needs nutrition just like your body, you’ll want to look at some other valuable nootropics that are perfect for stacking with Cat’s claw:
Organic greens – powerful polyphenols, phytonutrients, anti-inflammatories, and antioxidants.
Alpha GPC – a neuroprotective agent and a real food for your brain that improves memory.
MCTs – also known as medium chain triglycerides, they support fat burning, weight loss, early satiety, and offer fast energy.
Green Tea EGCG – both an antioxidant and extremely potent phytonutrient, epigallocatechin-3-gallate is crucial to the process of neurogenesis, which is essential to learning and memory.
Phosphatidylserine – a healthy fat that serves as the main cell fuel. It’s a key contributor to keeping your brain healthy.
L-Theanine – provides relief from mental tension while aiding serotonin and dopamine.
Algal DHA – derived from algae, this omega-3 fatty acid supports the cerebral cortex, brain, retinas, and skin. It keeps your entire immune system healthy and is essential to your overall health.
Bacopa Monnieri – aids memory loss and provides relief from stress. It’s rich in bacosides and saponins that support learning ability and mental function, memory consolidation, and visual information processing.
Ginkgo Biloba – reduces oxidative stress and restores energy systems known as mitochondria. It’s beneficial for concentration, energy, and memory.
Alpha Lipoic Acid – keeps brain health in check and has neuroprotective effects.
Collagen Peptides – the protein that builds connective tissue in the body, which contributes to muscle elasticity and provides an anti-aging effect.
Such a nootropic stack can be extremely beneficial to providing relief from physical and mental fatigue, which results in improved productivity and performance. It also helps to remove any oxidative stressors, toxins, and pollutants from your body.
Cat’s claw can cause some allergic reactions such as the swelling of your throat, tongue, lips, and face, difficulty breathing, and hives. Most of the time, if taken in recommended doses, this plant is quite harmless and considered to be non-toxic and safe. Most common side effects are vomiting, headaches, and dizziness. It’s important to know that certain health and herbal supplements don’t go well with Cat’s claw.
So, if you’re taking stinging nettle, Lycium, L-arginine, fish oil, ubiquinone or coenzyme Q-10, and casein protein, it’s advised not to use Cat’s claw. Any medication for suppressing your immune system doesn’t go well with Cat’s claw. Also, those who are about to receive organ transplants or have tuberculosis, skin grafts, and autoimmune diseases shouldn’t take Cat’s claw in any form.
Other than this, there are no known consequences of using Cat’s claw in any available form. Before you decide to buy any health or herbal supplements that contain Cat’s claw, do your research and only buy from the most reliable sources. Some products can be contaminated with other drugs or toxic metals.
So, pay attention to the chemical ingredients before you decide to buy. Cat’s claw isn’t recommended for pregnant women or new moms who breastfeed.
Where to Buy
Since this plant isn’t so common in Europe and other non-American parts of the world, the best thing to do is to use reliable sources and trusted pharmacies. You can also check out websites such as Amazon. Amazon always offers a detailed explanation of a product and its ingredients.
It’s best to consult a professional supplement practitioner, dietitian or a doctor. That should provide you with enough information to make an educated decision about the best places to buy products and supplements with Cat’s claw.
When it comes to Cat’s claw tea, it can be found in almost every well equipped healthy food store but, again, it’s recommended that you check the source before buying. People mostly use the bark of the vine to make tea. If you’re searching for nootropic products, Amazon would be the best place to look.
Hailing from ancient times, Cat’s claw is indeed an awesome plant. It’s also one of the most recommended nootropic supplements on the markets across the globe. Used mostly as a herbal remedy, it’s a powerful immune system booster with potent anti-inflammatory properties.
For those who are dealing with Crohn’s or Lyme disease, Cat’s claw can be extremely helpful. It also helps relieve joint pain and provides great cognitive support. This powerful plant improves memory and mood while protecting your body and brain from toxins and free radicals.
As a nootropic, Cat’s claw is a very helpful instrument that can improve your mental sharpness. It reduces anxiety and stress and most professional athletes use it as a cognitive enhancer that helps them endure training hardships. It also elevates the level of white blood cells, which directly benefits the immune system.
While it has stunning disease preventing properties, it can also help repair DNA molecules and additionally energize your body. It’s mostly considered to be well-tolerated, safe, and non-toxic as long as it’s taken in recommended doses and according to the prescription. It helps long-term potentiation, which directly affects both memory and learning capacity.
It can help decrease joint pain and arthritis and simply make you feel better on a daily basis. Cat’s claw dates back to the Inca civilization and shamans in Peru claim that it’s a balancer and a bridge between the spiritual and physical worlds. Some Amazonian tribes even consider it their most sacred herb. There are six forms available: tincture, cream, tea, tablets, capsules, and liquid extract.