Blog Introduction: Cat’s claw is a popular herbal supplement that has been traditionally used to fight a range of ailments, including infections, cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. However, only some of these benefits are supported by science.
This article tells you everything you need to know about cat’s claw, including its uses, side effects, and dosage.
Cat’s Claw and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term autoimmune condition that causes warm, swollen, painful joints. It is increasing in prevalence in the United States, where it affects more than 1.28 million adults. Some studies suggest that cat’s claw can help relieve its symptoms.
For example, a study in people with rheumatoid arthritis determined that 6 weeks of treatment with cat’s claw improved symptoms like joint pain and morning stiffness more effectively than a placebo (1).
Unfortunately, no large-scale studies have been conducted to confirm these results. Overall, the evidence for cat’s claw as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is limited but promising.
Other Potential Benefits of Cat’s Claw
Other than possibly relieving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, cat’s claw is also touted as a natural remedy for a long list of other conditions. These include cancer. Early research suggests that cat’s claw may enhance immune function and have anticancer effects.
Due to its purported immune-boosting properties, some people take cat’s claw along with chemotherapy or radiation therapy to help reduce side effects like nausea. (2)
Alzheimer’s disease: A few small studies suggest that compounds found in cat’s claw may help improve memory and cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease (15Trusted Source).
Also, remember that taking large amounts of any single supplement — even one that naturally occurs in food — can lead to deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals.
Therefore, supplementing with cat’s claw should not replace eating a well-rounded diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Cat’s claw is POSSIBLY SAFE. Rare side effects include headache, dizziness, vomiting, drowsiness, bloody diarrhea, low blood pressure , nosebleeds, liver damage, and kidney damage. If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking cat‘s claw immediately.
In general, it s best to start with the lowest possible dose and increase gradually as needed.
The appropriate dosage depends on several factors, including your age, health, and several other conditions. There is not enough scientific information to determine a proper range of doses for cat‘s claw. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy.
Overall, the evidence for cat’s claw as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is limited but promising.
More research is needed before strong conclusions can be made. Cat‘s claw appears safe when taken by mouth for up to 4 weeks.
However, it may interact with other medications. Remember to start with the lowest possible dose and increase gradually as needed. As always, consult your healthcare provider before taking any supplement. Thanks for reading!