Cat’s Claw

December 8, 2020

Cat’s Claw is a popular herbal nootropic. It is a plant that grows in tropical areas of central and South America. The name is derived from thorn-like “cat’s claws.” The plant is a green wood-like vine known for its thorn-like hooks on the leaf stem. There are two species of this herb known to have medical benefits, namely Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis. Uncaria tomentosa is a popular supplement in the US. It’s available as a liquid extract, powder, capsule, or tea.

History of Cat’s Claw

The Cat’s Claw’s bark and roots have been in use for centuries in South America as traditional medicine. It is used to alleviate inflammation, cancer, as a contraceptive, and control viral infections. Its use dates back to the Inca civilization.

Cat’s Claw boosts brain health and function in several ways. Studies suggest the species Uncaria might help sustain brain functioning. Some of its key benefits are


Over the years, the herb and its extracts used to treat many conditions.

They include:   

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Immune disorders
  • Pain
  • Wound healing
  • Tumors

Recent studies on how the supplement works are focused on cognitive benefits. There is enormous evidence the herb protects brain function and cognition. Cat’s Claw enhances DNA repair in the brain. It also boosts tryptophan levels that influence the work of serotonin and mood.

In other studies, the herb and its extract have:

  • Antioxidant properties
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Immune modulator
  • Anti-tumor
  • Anti-hypertensive
  • Prevention of stroke


Boost memory and learning

Cat’s claw herb and extracts help learning and memory in both healthy and damaged brains. Certain alkaloids help repair brain cells damaged by the dysfunction of acetylcholine receptors. Rhynchophylline, a Cat’s claw herb alkaloid, acts as an NMDA antagonist. Selective restricting NMDA receptor helps tone down hyperactivity and over-stimulation. As a result, it provides a calm mind for clean cognitive learning.

Functions of Cat’s Claw herb

Cat’s Claw benefits include use in wellness. It is regarded as one of the best herbal nootropics.

Boost memory

Cat’s claw herb and extract increase cognitive function. It could be applied to treat cognitive disorders such as dementia and amnesia. The function is attributed to the herb’s impact on the cholinergic system. It includes the brain chemical acetylcholine.

Brain vasculature support

Cat’s Claw restores cognitive function through brain vasculature support. Thus, it can treat people with vascular dementia. This herb prevents impairment of spatial learning behavior caused by ischemia.

Anti-spasmodic and convulsing

Another of the Cat’s Claw benefits is the ability to reduce convulsions. It makes a perfect treatment and potential therapeutic approach to epilepsy in humans.

Antioxidant activity

An aqueous extract of cat’s claw herb Uncaria showed the ability to prevent cell damage. It increased cell visibility. In the process, it preserves cell potential and function. It scavenges hydroxyl radical in a Parkinson’s human cell model of dopaminergic neurons.

Anti mutagenic function

The effect is linked to cat claws’ antioxidant properties. Also, the supplement improves leucocytes’ DNA repair.

Anti-inflammatory function

The supplement inhibits the synthesis of vital pro-inflammatory mediators. This is done through the inhibition of the pro-inflammatory signaling pathway.

Decreasing pathogenic proteins in the brain

Cat’s claw herb promotes the degradation of the alpha-syncline protein. The protein acts as a marker and a causative agent of some neurological problems. Besides, the extract inhibits the formation of molecular structures amylin fibrils. This prevents the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s on neuronal cells.

The herb may be the best type of anti-aging brain health nutrient.

How to take Cat’s claw supplement?

Cat’s claw herb is a well-tolerated nootropic. It is considered non-toxic. The supplement is available in water or alcohol extract tincture, capsule, or tablets. Freeze-dried or ground claw bark is taken in the form of tea.

The recommended dosage for optimum cat’s claw benefits is 100mg capsule per day. But for cognitive and immune support, a dosage of 250 or 350 mg capsule per day is recommended. The cat’s claw herb vine or root bark for tea or extract contains 3% alkaloids and 15% phenols.

Side effects

Adverse side effects are rare with Cat’s claw herb. But some people experience:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

One of the Cat’s Claw benefits is the ability to stimulate the immune system. Cat’s Claw herb lowers blood pressure. Thus, avoid the supplement if you have any issue with low blood pressure. Also, high blood pressure medication shouldn’t be used along with the cat’s claw herb. The supplement increases the risk of bleeding.


The cat’s claw herb has a long history of safe use as an herbal remedy. Today, the herb is used as an anti-inflammatory and immune system booster. It is prevalent in the nootropic circle of cognitive support. Supplementation can improve mood and memory while protecting the brain.

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